Harrisonburg schools to use $1.1M in CARES Act funding for technology, new jobs

Harrisonburg schools to use $1.1M in CARES Act funding for technology, new jobs
File photo of tablets (Source: WHSV)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - About $220 million in additional CARES Act funding was distributed to Virginia’s public schools last month to be used for COVID-19 pandemic-related resources and supplies.

Harrisonburg City Public School leaders have decided where it’s $1.1 million in funding will go.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Richards said they decided the federal funding will go toward additional Chromebooks, Wi-Fi, additional technology and Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE.

Funding was also used to pay salaries for positions needed for the pandemic, like almost a dozen Instructional Technology Resource Teachers (ITRTs).

“The elementary school is using Seesaw and if there’s an issue they are there to fix it. When the high school has issues with the Canvas platform they’re in there,” Richards said. “It’s not just solving those types of problems, it’s also bringing in new innovations, so how can we use these platforms better. The ITRT’s are really good with that sort of thing.”

In addition to the ITRT’s, an ITRT coordinator was also hired, as well as Community Network Support staff to assist with Wi-Fi installation and issues as HCPS learned from home.

Richards said the two rounds of CARES Act funding have been very important to keep operations running and to keep students connected during the pandemic.

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