Memorial Stadium will get internet for football games, Longview school board decides | Education

Longview school officials approved about $50,000 toward internet improvements for schools and for Longview Memorial Stadium. 

Matt Keevy, the district’s technology manager, told the school board Monday evening about $40,000 of the funds will come from Federal Communications Commission discounts that allow the district to choose vendors that provide better internet and some technology upgrades.

“That will result in about a $10,000 bill for the district,” he said. Board documents note the district has enough money in its technology budget to foot the cost.

About $48,000 will go toward basic maintenance of internal connection services and around $3,500 will go toward connecting the stadium to the internet.

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Keevy said the investment opens the possibility of telecasting football games to the public, highlighting the benefit of having internet access at the stadium. 

The project can only go forward with the approval of next fiscal year’s budget, which starts in August. 

Transitional kindergarten coming to Longview

A state-funded kindergarten program will kickstart this November at the Broadway Early Learning Center for 4-year-olds who are about to turn 5, early learning coordinator Megan Shea-Bates said. 

“This is really meant for general education students who just need that extra boost to get ready for the K-12 environment and is intended for families who cannot access a quality learning environment for a variety of reasons,” Shea-Bates said.

Each classroom will have about 15 to 17 students, or about 70 students total who complete the kindergarten program, she said. Eligible families include those who also would qualify for free and reduced lunches, families whose income was too high to qualify for HeadStart programs and caregivers with children the district sees as needing some extra time before kindergarten. 

During her presentation, Shea-Bates said Educational Service District No. 112 found in its research 45% of eligible children receive access to transitional kindergarten programs. 

With the transitional kindergarten program, Shea-Bates said they could see that number rise to 60% of children in the district who have access to early learning programs. The goal is for about 15% of all students entering kindergarten to have been a student in this pilot program, she said. 

“I know about the need there is for people who fall through the cracks,” said board member Barb Westrick, a former preschool teacher. 

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