WRV board purchases 90 iPads for elementary
The White River Valley School Board approved of the purchase of three classroom sets of iPads for the elementary school.
According to WRV superintendent Bob Hacker, the purchase will cost $32,759 from the referendum fund and will purchase a total of 90 iPads for student use with carts.
“These tools will not be issued to the individual students but will be kept in classroom sets for teacher checkout and use,” Hacker said. “There will be no charge to parents.”
The purchase was approved by a 4-2 vote, with board members Brock Hostetter and Andy Davis opposed.
“I’m having a hard time seeing them (iPads) being utilized efficiently,” Hostetter said. “I think it makes it harder for students to have relationships with teachers and staff.”
Hostetter’s concerns were echoed by a patron in attendance during public comment.
“As a mom, I don’t think they’re (iPads) necessary,” she said. “I spend $200 to rent these things for my son, but they never use them. Personally, I would much rather go back to books. I agree our community is changing, but we’ve got to remember where we came from.”
Board member Joe Decker stated it is second nature for the students to use the technology.
“If you stand still, you’ll be left behind,” Decker said.
In other business, Hacker held an update on the referendum. He stated there will be an estimated loss in revenue due to a lower student population, and the total estimate brought in will be $3.8 million. With the passing of a recent state bill that will reduce the assessed valuation of farmland by up to 25 percent over the next three years, Hacker stressed the importance for self-sustaining programs.
“The year we go off the referendum, we are projected to have an $850,000 reduction in farmland revenue,” he said. “I have to cut $2.1 million out of the school budget general fund (by 2021, looking at the 2022 school year). We have to take some risks over the next three and a half years to build programs that are self-sustainable and I have to do my best to build up our rainy day fund.”
The board also:
Approved the WRV teacher evaluation handbooks.
Approved the student handbooks for the elementary school and middle school. High school handbooks were tabled for further discussion regarding clarity.
Approved the only bid for hay removal from WRV Middle School for $8 per bale for the first cutting and $4 per bale following.
Approved the 2018 budget timeline.
Approved pre-school fees and times for 2017-2018. The fee will be $20 per day and can be paid for weekly, quarterly or monthly.
Approved moving school board meetings to the third Thursday of the month, effective July, and the superintendent office hours.
Approved purchasing high school science techbooks for $9.50 per download.
Hacker also announced graduation will be Friday, May 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school gymnasium.
The WRV School Board will next meet Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m. in room 110 of the high school.