The Technology Trailblazer
IN FLORIDA, TRINITY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY IS PROVING ITSELF TO HAVE A MODERN, COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE WITH CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY – ROOTED IN THE SAFETY AND HEALTH OF EACH STUDENT.
We were recently awarded over $2 million as a part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act – the largest amount in Florida – to address the impact COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on non-public school students and teachers across the state. Funds were used for various enhancements focused on improving student access to health and safety, creating more effective modes to support learning, and technology upgrades.
We selected health and safety enhancements to ensure that our students are physically protected and to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Examples of these enhancements included classroom air purifiers, cleaning and health supplies, an upgraded notification system for general and emergency communications and an additional ten automated external defibrillators (AED). AEDs enhance the safety of our students and athletes through life-saving cardiac equipment. These units will be added to every building, sports field and two travel units. Our learning enhancements were hand-picked to create a more academically thriving environment and individualize our teaching. The addition of the IXL and MAP testing programs have allowed us to better identify the learning needs of our students and assist in closing the learning gap caused by COVID. Other educational enhancements include new furnishings to promote collaboration, curriculum mapping and lesson planning services and, most notably, technology additions and upgrades. We selected cutting edge tools to equip students with what they needed to succeed. Specifically, these resources included items such as campus network upgrades, classroom smart boards, laser projectors, Chromebooks, and course software upgrades.
While these selections have allowed TCA to showcase its modern, competitive edge, we have come quite a way in terms of our technological infrastructure. Our Technology Director, Dante McNeil emphasized that prior to these advancements, “[the] existing infrastructure was based on 20+ year old hardware that did not have many features required for today’s learning demands.” Our old infrastructure was a blend of many different hardware platforms, but this is not the case anymore. We are happy to share that our new infrastructure boasts the following technological benefits: (1) it helps to standardize on a single platform, allowing us to manage the network more easily, (2) it possesses the capability to move to a faster network backbone to support more computers, systems, and more reliable internet access, and (3) it increases security posture by allowing a better separation between student devices and public access systems devices and systems.
All of our CRRSA Act funds were used to obtain various enhancements centered in improving access to safety and health for students, equipping them with the technological tools to excel, and resources for teaching improvements. A more detailed list of all the upgrades we implemented include:
- Business phone upgrades to allow flexibility and remote work situations for faculty and staff
- Campus network upgrades (installation Spring Break 2022)
- Chromebooks for students and teachers, Google Chrome education licenses, and charging stations
- Classroom furniture, air purifiers, AEDs and laser projectors
- Cleaning and health supplies
- Collaborative desks and chairs for upper division classrooms
- Curriculum mapping and lesson planning services
- Measure of Academic Progress (MAPS) adaptative testing
- Physical barriers for social distancing
- Transportation rentals to allow proper social distancing during field trips
- Smart boards for every classroom
- Software upgrades for language arts and math courses for K-12
At TCA, we are proud to say that we are equipping students by preparing them for their futures, not our past. With improvements in health and safety, learning, and technology, we can confidently embody the words of our Head of School, Mr. Welling that stated, “we are creating a safe and healthy learning environment”. We are committed to excellence, advancement, and creating an environment where all of our students can truly thrive.