Association of K-12 Education Technology Leaders Honors Desert Sands Unified School District for Commitment to Digital Equity
LA QUINTA – Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD) has received the prestigious and coveted Digital Equity Award in recognition of the district’s commitment to providing all students with an equitable education. The Consortium for School Networking, CoSN, a premier association of K-12 education technology leaders, presented the award.
In concurrent news from CoSN, DSUSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational and Technology Services Kelly May-Vollmar, Ed.D., has been appointed to their board of directors for a three-year term.
CoSN’s Community Leadership for Digital Equity Award, sponsored by Kajeet, is given annually to a school district that is working to minimize the United States homework gap. DSUSD was hard at work on award-winning equity and access initiatives even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, building its own LTE network through a public-private partnership, and has continued its commitment to innovative education by leveraging CARES Act funding to accelerate its technology masterplan.
Desert Sands Unified School District Superintendent Scott L. Bailey thanked CoSN for the recognition, saying, “The distance learning required of pandemic-related school closures has further exposed the ongoing digital divide. Thank you to CoSN and Kajeet for this recognition, and for your support of all educators in our quest to provide equitable learning opportunities to all students.”
“Desert Sands USD has been at the forefront of solving the Homework Gap for years, working to enhance learning with technology for all students equitably by expanding broadband internet access,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “We are impressed by their work and excited to formally recognize the district’s longstanding commitment. Getting all students online became more important than ever before in the last year, and DSUSD had the infrastructure in place to transition to distance learning successfully.”
Desert Sands USD’s digital equity initiatives include:
- Connect: One to World – LTE network building project
- MiFi devices for students that lack sufficient broadband access
- District-issued personal student devices
- “Growing Up Digital” and “Going the Distance” parent workshops
- Model classroom teacher training
The district’s “Connect: One to World” project has been recognized by the Government Accountability Office in a report to Congress on ways to close the digital divide. But, DSUSD is not only making a mark on the national stage, it is also connecting with the local community through virtual “Bailey & Coffee” chats with the superintendent — which have brought in thousands of guests — and a new “Classroom Conversations” series.
“Kajeet is delighted to support the important work that Desert Sands Unified School District is doing in their school communities,” said Daniel Neal, CEO and founder of Kajeet. “The digital divide is one of the most pressing issues of our time and we commend Desert Sands for leading the way toward equitable and safe access for all.”
Desert Sands USD received the award virtually and was recognized during CoSN2021. Watch Michael Flood, SVP & GM of Education at Kajeet, present the award to DSUSD here. Watch their acceptance speech here and a related video highlighting the district’s accomplishments here.
Learn more about CoSN’s awards and this year’s other winners at: cosn.org/awards.
- Digital Equity: Shutterstock