In the not too distant past, school districts were encouraging students to bring their own electronic iPads, tablets, iPhones, etc. to learn on because the schools just didn’t have the money to bring their technology up to date. Thanks to some donations and educational partnerships, those days are slowly changing in Williamsburg.
At Williamsburg Independent School, which recently installed over 100 new computers, students will still be allowed to bring their own devices this upcoming school year, but they will be expected to keep them put away until after school, Superintendent Tim Melton noted.
“We have the devices for students. We want to use them on a daily basis. We want (them) students to use the devices we have here,” Melton said. “We want kids to have their devices, but we want them to keep them in their pocket or in their bag.”
Melton said that Dataseam recently donated 100 new Macintosh computers that were placed in the library downstairs at the school. The PC computers that were down stairs have now been moved up stairs.
Chrome books for the sixth, seventh and eighth graders are also being purchased. Qualcom last year donated 70 tablet computers for fifth graders
In addition, the Gear-Up program is helping to create a new STEM lab will with an additional 30 new Macintosh devices.
“I can’t wait until we unveil that,” Melton added.
Chief Information Officer Parker Smith told the board that the recent improvements in technology are great, but he noted one of the next big priorities will be to upgrading some parts of the technology that people don’t see, which is probably about 15 years old.
An application has been submitted to e-Rate to help get funding to replace the network, Smith noted.
During its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Melton also updated the board of education on construction projects going on this summer, including the placement of a new logo on the gym floor.
“Once it is dry, it will look as sharp as any school in the area,” Melton noted.
He added that this was one of the last projects, which athletic director John Harris did before he retired. Jerry Herron has been selected as the new athletic director.
Herron took over as head coach of the WHS football team in 2006. Since then he has coached the team to numerous district titles, as well as back-to-back appearances in the Class A state championship game in 2013 and 2014.
“I am looking forward to this new challenge. I’m very excited about it. The athletic directors before me have all done a great job. I’ve learned a lot from watching John Harris and Gary Peters over the years. Both of those men have a wonderful demeanor, and great work ethic. They have set good examples, so my goal is just to work hard, and try to build on what they were able to accomplish,” Herron said.
Other renovations taking place at the school this summer include new flooring and new paint for restrooms in the older portion of the building.
Melton also mentioned some important dates coming up in the near future.
- An open house is planned for Aug. 22 from 4-7 p.m. at the school, and the first day for students will be Aug. 26.
- A Kentucky Health Summit will be held at the school on July 31 with Daysprings bringing in people to see how its health clinic at the school is being run.
- A pilot summer reading project is continuing in conjunction with the summer feeding program. Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis will be in Williamsburg on July 31 to read to students at Brush Arbor as part of the program.