By Sarah Lang The Lebanon Reporter
---- — LEBANON — The Lebanon Community School Corporation is considering the purchase of nearly 500 computers for students and staff at all four elementary school buildings.
Director of Technology Chad Martin gave the proposal to the school board of trustees at Tuesday’s meeting. The proposal included 369 student notebook computers, 123 staff notebook computers, and four desktop computers for elementary building custodians.
The current teachers’ laptops were purchased in 2009, Martin said, and some notebook computers for kindergarten, first grade and second grade classrooms will be replacing desktop computers purchased in 2007.“We have been trying to keep these running, but they are past their cycle and becoming more difficult to keep functional,” Martin said.
Additionally, the need for Compass Learning Odyssey, a computer program that creates personalized curriculum for each student, has surpassed the current computer availability in the elementary schools, Martin added.
For these student computers, Martin looked at desktops versus the laptops. The laptops were $60 more, but the desktops did not include a screen. The choice came down to usability and the footprint in the classroom, he said. Five laptops could fit where four desktops would have been.
The proposal includes: at Perry-Worth, 60 notebook computers, updating 60 existing computers, and 60 additional notebook computers for Compass Learning support, replacing classroom desktops; at Hattie B. Stokes, 66 additional notebook computers for Compass Learning, replacing classroom desktops; at Harney, 60 additional notebook computers for Compass Learning, replacing classroom desktops, and six student desktop computers for the pre-kindergarten classrooms; and at Central, 90 notebook computers replacing 90 outdated notebooks, and 32 additional notebook computers for Compass Learning, replacing classroom desktops. The staff computers include 110 for individual staff members, replacing existing notebook computers, and 13 spares.
Martin anticipated requesting the purchase of these machines at Tuesday’s meeting, but the vendor announced last week that it could not meet the order with the specific hardware Martin was building the proposal around. Due to that, prices also could not be estimated yet. The new hardware will have to be evaluated, and Martin plans to bring the proposal back to the March meeting for a vote.
Also Tuesday, the board approved the purchase of three school buses: one 66-passenger bus with a handicap lift, a 72-passenger conventional bus, and an 84-passenger transit style bus. The low bid was from Midwest Transit for $295,215. The bus replacement budget for the year is $326,000. Two old buses were traded in for around $8,000, said Charles Tait, business manager and assistant superintendent. A third will be kept as a spare.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor honored board member David Herr for his service as board president in 2013. He said Herr was actively involved and a pleasure to work with.“David was an outstanding leader and engaged in what we were doing educationally and from a construction standpoint,” Taylor said. “Your leadership was evident in almost everything we did.”Herr was presented with a plaque for his service.“I appreciate this,” he said. “It’s kind of cool because there is one of these hanging in my mom’s house, with my dad’s name on it.”Taylor also recognized 13 Lebanon High School band members who have qualified to play in the state solo ensemble: Thomas Lucas, Triston Fischer, Bailey Peycha, and Christian Wilson in the sax quartet; Lucas DeBard for snare solo; Megan Elliott for Flugelhorn solo; Emily Fleck for trumpet solo; Ian Henshaw for horn solo; Alex Kraft for trumpet solo; Johnny Legocki for euphonium solo; Emily Merritt for flute solo; Morgan Rowe for alto sax solo; and Christian Wilson for tenor sax solo.
The LHS band has not seen this many members qualify for the state ensemble in a long time, Taylor added. The state contest is March 1 at North Central High School in Indianapolis.