Friday, December 11, 2015

Technology Update: E-Rate and You! (12/11/15)

As mentioned in last week’s Technology Update, Washington USD will be applying for E-rate for the 2016-2017 school year. E-Rate is a federally funded program that provides discounts to assist schools to obtain affordable Internet access and telecommunications services.

Five service types are funded:
1.      Data Transmission Services and Internet Access
2.      Voice Services
3.      Internal Connections
4.      Managed Internal Broadband Services
5.      Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections

Discounts range from 20-90 percent of the costs of eligible services, depending on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status at the school district level. Our current district average is 59% which puts us at an 80% discount per the USAC (Universal Services Administrative Company) Discount Matrix

The E-rate Program is one of four programs funded through a universal service fee charged to companies that provide interstate and/or international telecommunications services. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) administers the universal service fund at the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Funding is divided into two categories:

  • Category 1: Discounts (80%) on Data Transmission Services and Internet Access, and (40%) Voice Services
  • Category 2: Reimbursement ($150 per student, minimum of $9,200 per school site) for equipment for Internal Connections, Managed Internal Broadband Services, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections

What does this mean to you and your classroom?
A requirement of E-Rate is that students are taught Internet Safety Education Requirements outlined in the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)We are using Common Sense Media curriculum for standards-aligned, researched-bases lesson plans that meet these requirements.  Many of these lessons are low-tech using only pen and paper and can be completed in approximately an hour.  

At a minimum, we are asking that you include the lesson(s) below for your grade level as part of your curriculum. As you are winding down for the winter break, now might be a good time to incorporate the lesson(s) into your instructional day (see links to lessons by grade level).

·        Grade TK/K: Going Places Safely
·        Grade 1: Sending Email
·        Grade 2: Show Respect Online
·        Grade 3: Talking Safely Online
·        Grade 4: The Power of Words
·        Grade 5: Digital Citizenship Pledge
·        Grade 6: Safe Online Talk, Scams and Schemes
·        Grade 9: Private Today, Public Tomorrow
·        Grade 10: Risky Online Relationships
·        Grade 11: College Bound
·        Grade 12: Taking Perspectives on Cyberbullying

After completing the lesson, please complete the verification form and send it to Kim Harrison or Melissa Oliver at the district office. The verification form will be used to validate our compliance for E-Rate. You are welcome to cover more than just the lessons outlined above – check out the Scope and Sequence of Common Sense Media’s lessons.

If you have questions, we are here to assist!


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