People Working Together, or "PWT," can add a couple of different meanings to their acronym. Maybe "Providing Working Technology"? Or "Partnering Without Territory"? The group generously allocated their resources of time and money to provide Chromebooks to HHES 5th Graders.
People Working Together (PWT) is Hockinson School District’s non-profit parent/teacher association. Established in 1999, PWT supports the students, families and staff of Hockinson Heights Elementary (HHES) and Hockinson Middle Schools (HMS). With funds raised from numerous partnerships and events, PWT provides our schools with classroom grants, technological equipment, books and other resources.
Last March, PWT donated $20,000 to purchase Chromebooks for 5th Grade. HHES, which had saved some of its building budget due to the Spring 2020 closure, matched the donation. With the $40,000 and a small contribution from the HSD, 160 Chromebooks were ordered with an anticipated delivery timeline of December 2020. Unfortunately, due to increased demand worldwide, the Chromebooks did not arrive until early March. But that gave time for the PWT to donate an additional $3,500 for the purchase of protective cases so in-person hybrid students could safely transport the devices to/from school and at-home students could have a device of their own for remote learning.
This investment creates numerous benefits for students. For instance, given the half-day elementary format, providing students with Chromebooks allows students to extend the day's in-person instruction by completing independent work at home. Additionally, introducing 5th Graders to Chromebooks will support a more seamless transition to middle school, which is Chromebook-based. This familiarity will also pay off at high school and, if students elect, Hockinson Virtual Academy which the HSD anticipates will continue as a learning option for its students.
HHES Principal Josh Robertson and Associate Principal Meredith Gannon putting cases on Chromebooks.
PWT volunteer applying stickers to Chromebooks.
This project was another example of "people working together" for HSD students. PWT volunteers, building administrators Josh Robertson and Meredith Gannon, Media Tech Amy Clover, and the HSD Tech Department all collaborated to prepare devices for distribution and organize the pick-up event. 5th Grade teachers have met frequently to align and maximize their instructional practices and tech expectations. All of the generosity, patience, and coordination that has gone into this project has resulted in an exciting new learning resource for HHES students. From 2021 on, HSD 5th graders will be using paper, pencils, textbooks, and Chromebooks.
Thank you for your partnership, PWT!