As Palm Springs Unified School District students and their families adapt to distance learning and ensure they have all the tools to connect virtually with their teachers and classmates each day, district technology specialists and support resources are available throughout this transition period and beyond.
District students were issued a Chromebook or iPad prior to the physical closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic regulations last spring or over the last several months before the launch of the 2020-21 school year earlier this month. Students who are new to the district or might not have received a device can get one through their home school. Those in need of replacement of damaged or lost student devices and associated accessories (such as cables and chargers) can pick them up at one of the technology depots during the weeks of Aug. 31 and Sep. 7 on Mondays at Cathedral City High School, Wednesdays at Palm Springs High School and Fridays at Desert Hot Springs High School. All tech depots are from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the school parking lots. In addition to providing support for student devices, district staff members also can utilize the technology departments for software installations, updates and basic repairs.
In an effort to ensure that all Palm Springs Unified students have internet access, the district has provided over 4,300 hotspots for families without connectivity. Students who are still in need of hotspots because they do not have internet access should request one at their home school.
Hotspots are specifically to provide internet access and do not address technical issues on existing internet connections. For students who are in need of technology support for Chromebooks, iPads and hotspots, dedicated email addresses are in place that are monitored by technology specialists who can provide assistance. Email for TK-fifth grade students and parents is: ESHelp@psusd.us. The address for sixth through eighth grade students and parents is: MSHelp@psusd.us. High school students and parents should address issues to: HSHelp@psusd.us.
Immediate support with technology tools are available from the district’s Technology Teachers on Special Assignment, or TOSAs. Students at Agua Caliente, Cathedral City, Cabot Yerxa, Della Lindley, Katherine Finchy, Rancho Mirage, Two Bunch Palms and Vista del Monte should contact Bhavini Patel at email@example.com. Elementary students at Bella Vista, Bubbling Wells, Cahuilla, Julius Corsini, Landau, Rio Vista and Sunny Sands should contact Ursula Fabiano at firstname.lastname@example.org. Secondary TOSAs are Kathy Surdin (Desert Springs and Painted Hills middle schools and Desert Hot Springs and Mount San Jacinto high schools) at email@example.com and Eduardo Rivera (Desert Learning Academy, James Workman, Nellie Coffman and Raymond Cree middle schools and Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City and Palm Springs high schools at firstname.lastname@example.org Links are also available to book appointments with the TOSAs for questions that can’t be answered on an email.
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The District’s Family Engagement Center is providing a wide array of distance learning resources that can be found at bit.ly/distance-learning-support. Here students and parents can access video tutorials and tools on distance learning platforms as well as links to many enrichment resources on many topics ranging from academic resources, virtual field trips. visual and performing arts and more.
The Family Engagement Center’s website section on distance learning also includes resources on using the video and audio conferencing platform Zoom, including Zoom Tips for Parents, How to Use Zoom both for parents and students and Student Tips. The section of the site on device support provides Chromebook shortcuts and troubleshooting tips as well as iPad basics and using Clever Badge with iPads.