Tech Grants Help High-Poverty Schools Get Wired for Learning

Keeping up with technology is a challenge for any school—but it can be especially tough for schools serving students from high-poverty communities. To lighten the burden, the Minneapolis Foundation has awarded more than $200,000 in grants to address technology needs at five high-performing schools in Minneapolis.

These grants reflect the Minneapolis Foundation’s commitment to supporting the expansion of schools that deliver rigorous academic coursework, closing educational opportunity gaps and preparing all students for success. Funding will support a variety of specific technology needs at the schools, all of which project enrollment growth in the coming year. At least 80% of the students at each school are children of color from low-income families.

Funding for these one-time grants comes from the Minnesota State Network Fund, a fund of the Minneapolis Foundation that addresses networking and technology.

Here’s how the five schools will use their grants:

  • Bdote Learning Center, a year-round K-4 Dakota and Ojibwe language immersion school in South Minneapolis, will develop a technology plan and purchase equipment for a computer lab, wireless network hubs and repeaters, and other equipment.
  • Friendship Academy, a K-6 school in South Minneapolis, will install an intercom system and make upgrades to its broadband system, purchase iPads and laptops for inquiry-based, experiential learning in science and math, and upgrade its server and hard drive.
  • Harvest Network of Schools, a K-8 school network in North Minneapolis, will purchase, install, and train its staff to implement TIES, a comprehensive student information system, across its three schools. Harvest plans to use this software, which will include grades, attendance, transportation, and other data, to more effectively craft academic plans for individual students. Parents will have also have access to their students’ data.
  • Northeast College Prep, a K-4 school in Northeast Minneapolis, will purchase and install a server, wireless system, new access points, and a new phone system in its new facility this spring.
  • Prodeo Academy, a K-2 school in Northeast Minneapolis, will add wiring and access points in four new classrooms. The school will also purchase computers, projectors, licenses for literacy and math programs, and NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment materials.
Prodeo Students at computers

Students at Prodeo Academy are among the scholars who will benefit from school technology grants awarded in 2016 by the Minneapolis Foundation.