Soon nearly every student in the Whitley County School District will have access to a Chromebook.
The Whitley County Board of Education approved the purchase of 350 new Chromebooks during its monthly meeting Thursday.
Previously the board purchased enough Chromebooks to provide every student in the fourth grade and up with a Chromebook, and the purchase of the new Chromebooks will allow all students in grades 1-12 to have access to a Chromebook.
Whitley County Superintendent John Siler said that this will be instructionally beneficial, especially in light of the school district having all classes online until at least Sept. 28 in keeping with the governor’s COVID-19 recommendation.
“This school year will not be like any other,” Siler added.
Initially, the school district planned to have in-person classes giving parents the option to have their children learn remotely before the governor’s decree.
Siler said that about 20-25 percent of parents were planning to opt-out of in-person instruction for their children prior to the change to all online classes to start the school year.
In other business Thursday, the board:
- Approved the elementary school dental program agreement for 2020-2021, which includes an agreement with the Elgin Children’s Foundation and Dayspring Dental. Deputy Superintendent Paula Rickett said the agreement calls for preliminary dental screenings to be done at all the elementary schools, which prioritizes students in need of treatment. Elgin also pays to have the children transported to the Dayspring Dental office for treatment. “It’s a great service for our students,” Rickett added.
- Set the motor vehicle and watercraft tax rates at 55.20 cents per $100 of assessed value, which is the same rate it has been the last several years.
- Approved school meal and a la carte prices for 2020-2021. All students will still receive a free breakfast and lunch this school year. The price for adults meals is going up 10 cents.
- Discussed the HVAC replacement project at Whitley County Middle School. Siler noted that all the units had been set, and would have WiFi enabling those units to be controlled remotely. If in-person classes were called off for a couple of days due to inclement weather or illness, then the HVAC system could remotely be placed in holiday mode to reduce heat or air-conditioning use in order to save money.
- Approved an athletic trainer agreement with P.T. Solutions and St. Joseph Hospital in London. Siler noted that beloved long-time athletic trainer Kelly Bryant retired at the end of the school year last year. In addition to providing athletic training services, the agreement will also provide for injured students to have access to physical therapy services.