MIDLOTHIAN — Technology has often been thought to drive innovation. Now, thanks to a vote by the Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees, children across the school district will have an opportunity to put that notion to the test.

True North Technology Consultants was approved by the Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees to guide the district through the implementation of the districtwide 1:1 M-Powered Initiative program. When describing the three-phase implementation plan, MISD consultant Russ Johnson, who is also the CEO of True North Consulting Group, noted a close relationship with a school district that has already implemented a similar program as to why he expects success with the 1:1 M-Powered.

“By the end of the summer, we will be deploying close to 9,000 units to all district students and staff,” Johnson said. “Garland School District deployed a similar plan. I met with them to see what they did and what they would do differently. This gives me some help to prevent errors in your deployment. [...] The deployment will start in March with staff training in April. We will be using ISD technology staff as much as possible, only calling in outside help when needed."

According to Assistant MISD Superintendent Ashley Stewart, by the beginning of school in September 2017, every MISD student will have a device. She explained that kindergarten through fifth grade would be issued an IPad, while students from the sixth through 12th grades will be issued a Macbook Air.

“This is in addition to all of our staff, who will also receive new devices,” Stewart said.

Outside of the leap toward innovation, the MISD Board of Trustees and staff received the fourth quarter demographic report on the growth projects within the district from Brad Alexander.

“The growth patterns of new housing starts is constant across the city. There were 170 new starts in the fourth quarter of 2016. This was a record fourth quarter,” Alexander said.

Illustrating the projected growth within the district, Alexander showed where, by the year 2018, there would be 637 new closings. By 2020, he expects for there to be between 800—900 new home closings.

In describing the potential impact on the school district, Alexander said “The middle schools will be at capacity by the end of the 2019-2020 year. Midlothian High school will see the largest growth in student population. [...] Looking at growth trends the district could expect an additional 5,117 students in seven years."