By JEROD CLAPP
The Google Chromebook will become the device of choice for Clarksville Middle School’s 1:1 program for the next school year.
The board for Clarksville Community Schools approved just more than $174,143 to bring 475 of the devices to classrooms for grades five through eight at Tuesday night’s meeting. Sixty percent of the costs would be paid through textbook rental fees, with the remaining 40 percent picked up by families.
Students in the middle school have worked with laptop computers since 2011. The laptops they used will move to the high school to expand the district’s computing initiative.
“We are really moving forward with the use of technology in our school corporation, that’s just a given,” superintendent Kim Knott said.
She said while the unit cost, plus software support, is higher than the school corporation’s neighbors at Greater Clark County Schools, it’s still not as much as they were paying for other computers.
“It’s significantly less than the laptop,” Knott said. “Given that, I would recommend that the board would give us permission to purchase the Chromebooks for the [middle] school for grades five through eight.”
The board passed the measure unanimously.
The board also passed a measure to allow Knott to send out letters for any required reductions in force, though she said she didn’t expect to lay off any staff members.
“This is something that as superintendents, we must do on an annual basis; it’s always precautionary,” Knott said. “We’re not anticipating any staffing changes as far as anyone leaving us, but I still need to come to the board and ask you to provide me with the permission to initial notifications in the event that we would need to do staffing reductions prior to July 1, 2013.”
After the meeting, Knott said most of this year’s retirees will leave positions that will be filled by new staff members. She said the measure was more of a housekeeping issue.
The board voted unanimously in favor of the measure.
In other business at the meeting, the board received updates on its New Tech school timeline. The board is working with Clarksville’s Redevelopment Commission to use space at the former Value City property along Eastern Boulevard. The commission has asked for more details on the project before they give a deed to the school corporation.