Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bonner school board approves $219,000 for tech equipment

June 6, 2012

The USD 204 Board of Education Monday approved more than $219,000 worth of new technology purchases for the 2012-2013 school year.

Ken Clark, district director of technology, reviewed his requests for new technology for the next school year at the school board’s Monday meeting. Requests included a new iPad program for eighth grade algebra and completing the process of purchasing new computers for teaching staff.

Clark first reviewed selecting a new company to provide services for the parent notification system. The company currently providing the service was bought out and will not be upgrading its system, so Clark recommended a new provider, School Messenger, for a fee of $4,500.

The biggest cost next year will be finishing the replacement of laptops for all teaching staff for $92,140. Computer carts for Clark Middle School tack on $5,850, and updating desktop computers at the middle school will cost $33,810.

The district also will purchase the Adobe software suite for the high school’s use at $13,200 and a replacement data backup system at $15,482.

Edwardsville Elementary School will receive a few upgrades: Mimio Teach interactive whiteboards for $6,792 and some accompanying projectors for $3,180. Marker boards at the school also will be resurfaced for about $2,000.

The district will purchase nine MacBook Pros, some costing more than others because they will have specialized software, for a total of $13,040, and a MacBook Air System for $1,761.

At the May 21 meeting, Steve Cook, middle school principal, presented a plan for use of iPads in eighth-grade algebra classes, and the board Monday approved the purchase of 60 iPads for the program.

The pilot program will be for students who qualify for algebra and whose parents agree to giving their student the responsibility of the iPad. Studies have shown that use of the iPads has improved algebra comprehension, and students using the iPads also will use an online textbook.

The technology purchases will be made with the capital outlay fund. Superintendent Robert VanMaren said the district had projected it would need up to $250,000 in technology purchases, and he commended Clark for finding savings in many areas to keep costs down.

In other business, the board:

• Approved the minutes from the May 21 meeting

• Approved warrants totaling $849,007

• Received confirmation of state approval and awarded the food service management contract to Opaa Food Management of Chesterfield, Mo.

• Heard year-end reports for Delaware Ridge and Edwardsville elementary schools.

• Tabled discussion of coaching recommendations until its June 18 meeting.

• Approved hiring Novak Birks P.C. as auditor for the 2011-2012 audit.

• Conducted a 15-minute executive session for the purpose of negotiations and attorney-client privileged issues and a 10-minute executive session for the discussion of non-elected personnel. The board took no action out of either session.

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