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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • District expands use of computers

  • The Leavenworth school district will be expanding its use of iPads and other computer devices in the classrooms for the next school year.
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    • Other business

      In other business Wednesday, the Leavenworth Board of Education:


      • Approved variou...

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      Other business

      In other business Wednesday, the Leavenworth Board of Education:



      • Approved various renovation and maintenance projects for Earl M. Lawson Elementary, Richard Warren Middle School and Leavenworth High School for a total of $297,226. The projects will be paid for with money from the school district's capital outlay fund.



      The vote was 5-1 with board member Mike Carney voting against the motion. Board member Loyal Torkelson was absent.



      Board members also approved a Leavenworth High School roof project at a cost of $236,660. The project will be paid for with money from a contingency fund.



      The vote for this motion was 4-2 with board President Nancy Klemp and Carney voting against it.



      • Approved an additional $20,000 in compensation to Bret Church for serving as interim superintendent.

  • The Leavenworth school district will be expanding its use of iPads and other computer devices in the classrooms for the next school year.
    When they met Wednesday, the Leavenworth Board of Education approved the purchase of more than $300,000 worth of new computer equipment and upgrades to existing computers.
    Currently, there is one iPad for every two students in grades three and four at the district's elementary schools. And, there is one iPad for every student in grades five and six at West Intermediate School.
    West will close after the current school year. Fifth-grade classes will be moved to the elementary buildings. Sixth-grade classes will be moved to Richard Warren Middle School.
    The iPads being used at West will be redistributed to the four elementary buildings. With the purchase of 51 additional iPads, there will be enough of the devices for every student in grades three through five, said Ben Boothe, director of secondary education.
    "We would be able to establish a one-to-one ratio," he said.
    Every teacher at the elementary schools also would have iPads.
    In order to accommodate the addition of fifth-grade classes, elementary schools will be losing computer labs.
    To make up for the loss of the labs, the district will purchase a computer cart for each of elementary building. Each cart will be equipped with 30 Chromebook computers.
    The computer network infrastructure also will be upgraded at each elementary building, and additional storage units will be purchased.
    The cost the elementary school computer purchases and upgrades will be $92,518.
    For Warren Middle School, the district will purchase 510 Chromebook computers and cases. The district also will purchase software and enhance the school's network infrastructure.
    Boothe said the district also will utilize 190 laptop computers already at the middle school. The laptops, which will be upgraded, and Chromebook devices will enable the district to provide each student with a computer.
    Interim Superintendent Bret Church said students at the middle school would be able to take the devices home, something that has not been allowed at the other buildings.
    Boothe said Chromebook devices are cheaper than iPads.
    He said Chromebooks are similar to laptop computers. He said these devices probably will be more appropriate for middle school students who will be more dependent on keyboards as they use the computers for things such as research.
    The middle school purchases total $194,952.
    The district will not be implementing a one-to-one ratio for computer devices at Leavenworth High School for the 2014-2015 school year. But, the high school will receive some computer upgrades.
    The desktop computers at the elementary school computer labs will be moved to Leavenworth High School to replace older equipment.
    Page 2 of 2 - The district also will purchase 25 computers to upgrade an AutoCAD computer aided design lab at the high school. The district also will be making upgrades to computers at the high school's library and for a credit recovery classroom.
    The cost of the purchases for the high school is $13,380.
    The computer purchases for the elementary schools, middle school and high school were unanimously approved. One board member, Loyal Torkelson, was absent.
    In the future, district officials will focus on purchasing individual devices for students at the high school. Boothe said it would be too expensive to implement this in one year. He said officials have discussed implementing one grade level per school year.

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