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 Local Schools Receive Broadband Grants

​Ten schools across the county will get grant money to enhance their network connectivity and successfully administer the state's new online assessments, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced Jan. 7.

Across the state, 227 school sites will share nearly $27 million in Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grants.

"These state grants provide the critical last step needed to connect an additional 63,000 students to the state education network that will give them access to technology, which will prepare them for college and careers, and let them take the new computer-based California assessments," Torlakson said.

Locally, the schools that will receive the money are:

  • Harbor Springs Charter, Julian Union Elementary School District
  • Julian Junior High, Julian Union Elementary School District
  • Monterey Heights Elementary, Lemon Grove School District
  • Mount Vernon Elementary, Lemon Grove School District
  • San Altos Elementary, Lemon Grove School District
  • San Miguel Elementary, Lemon Grove School District
  • Vista La Mesa Academy, Lemon Grove School District
  • KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy, San Diego Unified School District
  • America's Finest Charter, San Diego Unified School District
  • Bella Mente Montessori Academy, Vista Unified School District

California public schools administered field tests last year to determine their readiness for implementing California's new computer-based assessment program. While the vast majority of schools were successful, about 300 sites either lacked the online capacity to administer the Smarter Balanced Field Test or were able to only accommodate the tests by shutting down all other online activities.

Of these 300 sites, 227 will be awarded the grant funding to connect to the California Research and Education Network. The K-12 High Speed Network is continuing to explore connectivity solutions for the remaining sites.

"While school sites with the most need were selected to receive the grants, this process has provided further data to help those schools that didn't receive funding at this time," said Imperial County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Todd Finnell, whose agency administers the network. "Additional work is needed to secure funding and identify possible solutions for these schools."

The State Board of Education and the California Department of Education helped the network develop the criteria to select the sites.

"Getting all school sites connected is critical because the new online system provides teachers more resources to improve instruction, improves students' test-taking experience, and ensures that results are available to teachers, parents, and students much sooner than ever before," said State Board of Education President Dr. Michael Kirst.