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Thompson School District Announces Completion of “Ubiquitous Technology Access” Project

UTA Deployment-WinonaFor many years, a goal of Thompson School District (TSD) has been to provide ubiquitous technology access (UTA) to all of its students. With the final deployment of devices to Winona Elementary School, the district has now achieved that goal. Winona Elementary becomes the 30th school to reach UTA status. In August 2021, the new Riverview PK-8 school will open as TSD’s 31st UTA campus. 

“This is a big accomplishment that puts TSD on par with all surrounding school districts,” said Dr. Matt Kuhn, Chief Technology Officer. “Access to robust and effective technology is a critical part of our students’ education and we are pleased that we are now able to offer these enhanced opportunities to students throughout the district.” 

UTA consists of three models: One-to-One, One-to-Classroom and Daily Checkout. The One-to-One model includes the issuing of a device to each student for the entire school year for them to take home each day and bring back to school fully charged and ready for learning. The One-to-Classroom model uses sets of student devices issued to core classrooms where the devices stay in charging stations to be available to students in those classrooms during the school day. Meanwhile, the Daily Checkout model involves devices that are issued to students for the entire school year that are checked out each morning at a central charging station in the school and then returned at the end of the day to that same station.

Thanks to this technology upgrade, the district can finally take full advantage of educational software, learning management systems and increased student engagement possibilities. Standardized devices can now be efficiently supported and secured with mobile device management systems. This also allows district staff to convert obsolete elementary computer labs into innovative learning spaces for specialized technology like multimedia, fabrication, robotics, botany and more.

The district’s UTA transformation has a long history. In 2014, Mountain View High School and Conrad Ball Middle School were selected as two pilot schools to deploy iPad 2s in a One-to-One take-home model of UTA. In 2016, High Plains School was opened with a One-to-Classroom model. In 2017, the iPads were upgraded to iPad 5s and Laurene Edmondson Elementary School was added as TSD’s fourth UTA school. With the passage of a bond and mill levy in 2018, the district embarked on an ambitious plan to provide technology equity (“techquity”) by deploying student devices to all students at all schools. Student devices are iPads and two types of chromebooks. The 2020 pandemic increased the urgency of those plans. Worldwide, schools were trying to achieve the same outcome as remote learning became necessary for students. These actions had a deep impact on the global supply chain. Yet by April 23, the District was able to deploy devices to the last remaining school to achieve ubiquitous technology access for all of TSD. 

For more information, please contact Michael Hausmann, Thompson School District Public Information Officer, at 970-613-5011 or via email at michael.hausmann@thompsonschools.org.