LEMONT – The District 113A Board of Education approved the purchase of new student and classroom computers totaling more than $495,000 during its meeting Wednesday.
The costs include $309,122 for student devices, $153,998 for classroom devices and $31,960 for 94 device carts.
During the March 5 meeting, a staff committee had suggested the district purchase a combination of Google Chromebooks and PC laptops for students and Lenovo Yoga combination tablets and laptops for the teachers.
The district will pay for the student computers with an Illinois Technology Loan to be paid back over three years.
The teacher computers will be leased over four years.
The district chose Tiger Direct as its vendor after a last minute offer.
According to District Instructional Technology Coordinator Tracy Simon, the offer will allow the district to purchase 59 more Chromebooks than it had initially planned.
These are computers the district had planned on purchasing the next year and will be used in Oakwood School, she said.
Though the board unanimously approved the purchase, some members expressed their discomfort with such large purchases and said it should not become a common practice.
Board member Brian Bushnell said he would like the district to not spend some of the money it will be saving for next year’s budget by purchasing more computers this year.
The board also approved a new school schedule that will include three additional half-days.
The half-days were recommended by a staff committee during the Feb. 19 meeting as a way to schedule more teacher collaboration time while limiting interruptions to instruction time.
There are six half-days during the school year, mostly scheduled before extended weekends and breaks: Thursday, Sept. 25; Friday, Oct. 31; Friday, Dec. 19; Friday, Feb. 13; Thursday, April 2; and Friday, March 15.
Extended breaks include: fall break from Nov. 24 to 28, winter break from Dec. 22 to Jan. 2 and spring break from April 3 to 10.
The last day of school is scheduled for Wednesday, June 3.