California’s Simi Valley Unified School District first tested Lightspeed’s Topcat instructional audio system at an elementary school serving deaf and hearing-impaired students, but quickly realized the system had much broader impact.
Stand for Children, a nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon, has spent the last 25 years working to improve the lives of children through education through proven solutions that focus on equity and racial justice.
The organization followed a Children’s Defense Fund rally in June 1996, drawing some 300,000 participants to Washington, D.C., – largest demonstration for children in U.S. history.
Since 1999, the organization, which operates across nine states, has achieved over 209 state and local victories and leveraged over $6.7 billion in education investments to improve the lives of more than 5.6 million children.
Lightspeed, whoseinstructional audio systems address classroom equity by ensuring all students can hear clearly, became a Stand partner in 2020.
Editor’s Note: Much has happened since we published this blog in February 2021; we’ve updated to include the most recent details regarding pandemic funding for schools, including details about the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP).
Federal aid programs created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic represent important funding opportunities for K-12 schools. Each package is meant to provide enough flexibility for schools to complete a variety of projects–from purchasing cleaning supplies, covering budget shortfalls and providing educational support, to purchasing technologies and facilitating training for educators and other staff members.
Q: What prompted Lightspeed to update its products?
A: We are constantly looking at new ways to improve the functionality and performance of our offerings. It’s important that each product aligns with the latest developments in instructional and classroom technology.
Behind the scenes, we keep track of potential improvements we can implement to ensure the needs of educators and students are met. There’s also a larger modernization piece at play. Updating our product line enabled us to launch the Instructional Audio Solutions platform, which can be scaled and enhanced over time.
In the end, what we’ve developed is a more modern, versatile, and robust hardware platform.
Kristin Ortiz is a second-grade teacher at Dora L. Small Elementary School in South Portland, Maine. When she first starting using Lightspeed’s Topcat instructional audio system, she thought it was just a way to help project her voice so that students could hear clearly throughout the classroom. She quickly found it was a way to better connect with students, something that is crucial to learning.