The Booneville School Board last week approved the purchase of 350 Chrome Books which will make Booneville High School a 1-to-1 school and refinanced bonds that will save the school a little more than $1 million.
Last week’s technology decision came after studying the process undertaken at other schools, like Clarksville, who have replaced their textbooks with electronic versions students can carry in a single electronic device.
However, unlike a text book, students will also be able to supplement classroom instruction with Internet based learning from any wireless connection.
"I’m excited for our kids," said Superintendent John K. Parrish. "This is how they interact in the world and I think it will help us do a better job teaching and learning.
Parrish said technology coordinator Misty Simpson recommended the purchase number because it is inevitable something will happen to the devices.
"What we’re going to do is have (parents) take out insurance (on the devices) and charge each child $25. Then if they get broken or stolen, we can provided them with a new one," said Parrish. "That’s pretty common."
The devices will not eliminate all text books, Parrish said, but will trim the number necessary because the only books available will be on campus.
The technology purchase price of just over $115,000, as well as book covers at about $10,000 will be paid for with National School Lunch Act funds.
"We’re upgrading our wireless (network) at the high school to accommodate all the Chrome Books," said Parrish.
The cost of that project is about $15,000.
Refinancing the district’s $11.635 million in bonded debt did not require voter approval because the term of the bond did not change.
The $1 million plus interest savings realized from the refinance will be realized in the first three years of payments, Parrish said. However, state laws stipulate the money saved can only be used for new construction, capital repairs, renovation or academic equipment.
The board also approved a $1,142,190 bid to replace the roof and insulation at the district’s junior high School, the gymnasium and the multipurpose facility— fieldhouse — and to replace the roof on the new portion of the Littlefield Agriculture Building.
With a bid of about $58,000 lower than Dale Construction, Beshears Construction won the bid for the project which was necessitated by hail damage, Parrish said.
The roof project will likely not begin until August and will not be completed when school resumes on Aug. 18.
In another move the board approved adjusting salaries for nurses. The move comes after the fifth nurse in six years has left the school district.
"The nurse we had was offered a job making twice what she’s making now," said Parrish. "We decided it was time to act — at some point in time we’re going to run out of nurses. What we did was put our RN on the teacher salary schedule and future LPNs on the RN salary schedule.
"I think it was time for us to get caught up with what the market is for what nurses are being paid."