“But just financially it wasn’t an option,” said Michelle Lamboley, executive director of special services.
The board passed a resolution authorizing the district to enter into a lease up to $2 million with a tax levy not to exceed 0.5% for the purpose of purchasing new technology equipment and making updates to meet the district’s needs.
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The four-year lease and ESSER grant money is expected to fund the purchase of Chromebooks for grades 3-5; tablets and cases for pre-K to second grade; staff laptops charging and extra power equipment; and the replacement of wireless infrastructure.
The pilot one-to-one initiative for the 2020-21 school year was mentioned as part of a report to review the community’s feedback after a semester of remote learning, but as board member Meta Mickens-Baker said, the district’s technology needs go beyond the response to the COVID-19 school closure.
While it is still unclear what the fall semester will look like, Lamboley said the State Board of Education has encouraged districts to use this grant funding to support their technology needs regardless of whether students will be able to return to in-person learning.
Incorporating more technology “will by no means replace what our teachers do” in these younger classrooms but instead will go hand-in-hand to enhance their lessons, she said.