In a previous meeting, the school system ordered Lenovo Chromebooks to hand out to the teachers next school year, said Shawn Hudgins, technology coordinator for the system. The system also ordered enough for two labs for students, one lab for each high school, so the teachers can start using them for classwork, he said.
“The idea is this time next year we’ll be purchasing and rolling them out to the student population,” Hudgins said.
But the schools don’t have wireless networks that will handle the traffic created by the initiative, he said. The school system needs to upgrade the networks in both high schools and to install one at the Cleburne County Career Technical School, which has never had a wireless network, in order to make the initiative feasible.
The school system put the project up for bid and had three companies present proposals, Hudgins said. Each proposed a different solution, he said.
“I did get evaluation equipment from each company to see what would be best for our solution,” Hudgins said.
The cheapest bid, including 24-hour repair, training and the cost of ownership, came from Mississippi-based Howard Technology Solutions, he said. He also said he worked with the company before at the middle school, Hudgins said. The total cost for the upgrades and installation would be $75,433, he said.
The board members asked about how the program would be rolled out to students next year.
Hudgins told them the students in seventh through 12th grades would each receive their own Chromebook, which they would be able to use at school and take home. In addition, the schools would have a stockpile of about 10 percent in the office so that students who were having problems with a computer could trade one in. Because the school system is using Chromebooks that use online servers referred to as cloud technology, the students’ work would be stored in the network not on the computer, making the exchange easy and efficient, he said.
“Once these students have them, we want them to always have them,” Hudgins said.
The board voted unanimously to accept the bid.
In other business the board:
• Approved a 25 cent increase in school lunch fees.
• Heard from Hudgins that he is updating the school system’s website.
• Accepted resignations from Holley Fenn at Cleburne County Elementary School, Jeff Lumpkin at Cleburne County High School and Rhonda Ponder.
• Approved transferring Sara Young to pre-kindergarten teacher assistant at Cleburne County Elementary School, Jordan Fuller to Cleburne County High, Michael Graben to the middle school, Cling Payne to the middle school and Mark Hilburn to Cleburne County High.
• Approved hiring Bethany Seals at Ranburne Elementary; Kristi Turley at Pleasant Grove Elementary; Todd Chandler at Cleburne County High School; Anna Stephens at Ranburne High and Elementary; Kristi Grubbs at Cleburne County Elementary; Lesa Jackson, College and Career Ready Coach; Karley Johnson at Cleburne County Elementary and Middle schools; Taylor Gardner at Fruithurst Elementary; Kelly McMahan at the middle school; and Amy Farr at Cleburne County Elementary.
• Approved hiring Greg Corkren as middle school principal and Valrie Bain as Cleburne County High School principal. Both were hired with two-year, probationary contracts.
• Approved a 2 percent increase to supplemental pay for coaches.
• Approved the purchase of the county building at 141 Davenport Drive for $1 plus surveying and legal costs. School officials plan to use the property as the district’s central office.
• Accepted the low bid for new intercom systems at Cleburne County Elementary School, Cleburne County High School and the technical school as well as phone systems at the high school and the technical school for $33,365 from Anniston-based Telephone Communications, Inc.
Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.