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District 113A moves ahead with next phase of technology purchases

Published: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 11:27 a.m. CDT

LEMONT – The District 113A Board of Education approved the purchase of 175 computers not to exceed $72,000 during its Wednesday meeting.

The purchase is nine Lenovo desktop machines for nurses, secretaries and learning resource center assistants; 11 Lenovo Yoga laptops for principals, secretaries and tech assistants; and 155 Google Chromebooks for Oakwood School students.

With the purchases, there will be eight Chromebooks per Oakwood class, as well as two carts of 12 Chromebooks for kindergarten, three carts of eight Chromebooks for first grade, and three carts of 12 laptops for second grade.

There will also be five backup Chromebooks for each school.

Superintendent Courtney Orzel said the district is focusing on the web-only Chromebooks for its lower grades because the younger students do not usually need the Windows-based applications.

This is phase two of the district's technology purchases. The first phase approved in March was for more than 800 student and classroom computers costing more than $495,000.

Oakwood Principal Cathy Slee also proposed expanding the midday kindergarten reading support program.

The program is currently available for students in the English Language Learners program and would be extended to other students in need of reading support.

The reading support program is 75 minutes and is held between the morning and afternoon kindergarten classes.

Slee said the cost of expanding the program would be minimal to the district. Students would use existing bus routes and no additional reading specialists would need to be hired.

Kindergarten students using the reading program are pulled out of class, so the midday program would allow for more uninterrupted class time and free the specialists to work in other classrooms, she said.

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