Technology needs for a school system continuously change. In an effort to keep technology as up-to-date as possible, the Clinton City Board of Education has approved the purchase of 600 new Chromebooks and storage carts to be divided between the five schools.
John Lowe, director of technology, recommended the board approve the procurement of enough student devices to have at least 30 new Chromebooks per 60 students. The purchase of the 600 devices and 30 mobile carts will cost an estimated $182,000.
“The Chrome devices will be used for student use to enhance the ability of teachers to leverage updated digital content and enhance teaching practices including blended instruction that combines face-to-face and online activities,” Lowe said.
Plans are to place 60 new devices and two new carts at L.C. Kerr School, 120 new devices and four new carts at Butler Avenue School, 120 new devices and four new carts at Sunset Avenue School, 240 new devices and eight new carts at Sampson Middle School and 60 new devices and two new carts at Clinton High School.
Additionally, Lowe requested the board allocate funds to each school to refresh outdated student digital devices on a rolling basis, starting with one school per year beginning 2017-2018 to spread the cost an time allocation over multiple fiscal years.
Lowe suggested the K-5 schools receive $20,000 on their year of rotation and the middle and high schools receive $40,000 on their year of rotation.
According to Lowe, Clinton City Schools currently does not own enough digital devices to test all students online at one site in the required time frame without borrowing devices from other schools or displacing students and teachers in classes where the curriculum requires access to digital devices.
Lowe said current testing windows required for state accountability testing measures hamper Clinton City’s ability to test all students online at the close of the school year when testing windows align for all grade levels.
“This purchase is in alignment with the North Carolina Learning Plan,” Lowe shared with the board. “We are trying to update our equipment based on the greatest need.”
The expected life of a Chromebook, Lowe said, is about five years, but some have been known to last longer. The purchase does include an extended warranty, at an additional cost of $32,000.
“This is a huge day for Clinton City Schools,” assistant superintendent Dr. Mark Duckworth said.
Clinton City Schools superintendent Dr. Stuart Blount, agreed with Duckworth, calling the purchase an asset to the school system’s students and teachers.
“We are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to purchase the Chromebooks for the students of Clinton City Schools,” Blount said. “This purchase will allow for teachers and students to have an increase in access to technology and interaction within the classrooms. In being a Google District, although many options were considered, the choice for Chromebooks was an obvious one. The impact to serve the most students was a driving factor.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.