Thanks to help from the state along with cannabis tax revenues from the City of Trinidad, Trinidad School District No. 1 has received a total of $50,000 to help ensure they can continue to adequately educate district students and provide equal access to online education.

TSD1 started back to school this past Tuesday, September 8. TSD1 Superintendent Dr. Bonnie Aaron said overall things have been positive.

“The first day was better than expected,” said Aaron. “Teachers and staff continue to meet with parents and students to instruct them how to access Microsoft Teams and Infinite Campus Portal. Students continue to register daily as we get closer to the October 1 student count.”

Most recently, the district received $25,000 as part of a competitive grant from Help Colorado Now.

“These funds are earmarked for student learning devices,” said Aaron. “I meet with CFO Paul Jussila and IT Director Ron Martin on Friday, September 11 to finalize the purchases.”

The grant award will help support the District’s mission to provide all students with a comprehensive system of support, a safe learning environment, and the opportunity to reach their academic and leadership potential, Aaron explained.

“Trinidad School District #1 is pleased to receive this grant award since we are experiencing firsthand the urgent need to equip students with devices due to remote instruction during COVID-19,” said Aaron. “Providing student devices helps fulfill the district’s mission to provide students the opportunity to reach their academic potential during remote instruction. We believe this grant award will have a significant impact on the education of our students.”

Additionally, several weeks ago, the City of Trinidad gifted TSD1 with $25,000 and Aaron stated those funds were earmarked for enhancements to distance learning capabilities which require IT infrastructure upgrades and student learning devices.

The district has also received a total of $686,911.38 in COVID Relief Funds along with $298,250 from Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.

“The Colorado COVID Relief Fund was developed to ensure the most acute community needs in Colorado are being addressed,” said Aaron.

Even with the help from local and state governments, some of the issues TSD1 and other schools across the state are facing have to do with competing for technology resources currently in high demand in addition to ongoing financial shortfalls, Aaron explained. Difficulties with shipments as well as waiting for items to be in stock to ship have caused some delays that the district has had to work around.

“Some computers are still back ordered,” said Aaron. “TSD1 teachers received laptops purchased with stimulus funds. Some teachers may still be in need of the distance learning or video conferencing equipment. Student devices are purchased as funds become available through grants and Title 1.”

Additionally, the district conducted a needs assessment to determine what students would require internet access.

“Chris England at First National Bank contracted with Comcast to sponsor those families identified as needing internet access,” said Aaron.

For more information about TSD1, you can visit their website at tsd1.org.

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