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A good use for extra funding

Alissa Widman Neese • Jul 13, 2014 at 7:00 PM


Clyde High School: it's time to log on.

The school's students will soon be the latest to reap the benefits of a one-to-one laptop initiative, which Clyde-Green Springs school board members approved at a special meeting Thursday.

Board members agreed to purchase enough Samsung Chromebooks for all Clyde High School students to use in the upcoming school year.

The affordable, lightweight laptops store most of their data online.

Students will use their personal devices to complete assignments at home and at school, as well as state-mandated tests.

Each student will pay $50 to use their Chromebook, while the district will foot the remainder of the bill. Students will return their Chromebooks to the district after high school graduation.

The 670 devices cost about $162,000 total from the district's permanent improvement fund.

The district used leftover funds from from a building initiative, which voters approved in 2008, to finance the purchase, treasurer Joyce Dupont said.

The state financed 66 percent of the $34 million building project, and any unused grant money can now be used to purchase furnishings or equipment, including technology, Dupont said.

"We were lucky, and our bids for the project came in a lot lower than expected because contractors were looking for work during the recession," she said. "We just recently closed out the project, so now those funds became available to us."

In late April, board members approved an identical one-to-one initiative for Clyde-Green Springs Schools students in grades 5-8.

The 750 computers cost about $184,000 total from the district's $20 million general fund.

Clyde-Green Springs Schools received more delinquent tax payments than anticipated this year, which made those purchases possible, Dupont said.

The district now considers its one-to-one project complete, and does not plan to expand the endeavor to any additional grade levels.

About half of the 15 or so districts in the Register's coverage area will implement some sort of one-to-one technology initiative in the upcoming school year.

Before coming to Clyde-Green Springs Schools, superintendent David Stubblebine implemented a similar Samsung Chromebook initiative at his previous district, Monroeville Schools, in 2013.

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