Technology projects coming in 2018 thanks to bond measure

Technology projects coming in 2018 thanks to bond measure
Posted on 12/21/2017

Grand Junction, CO - The recently passed District 51 bond measure will generate $11 million specifically for technology purchases. These purchases will place the learning possibilities that come with devices into more students’ hands and help teachers make the most of modern classroom technology.

Currently, there is one device for about every three-and-a-half students in District 51. In order to shrink this deficit to at least one device for every two students, the District 51 Technology Department plans to use bond dollars to purchase 6,500 Chromebooks and chargers in 2018. That leaves enough bond revenue to replace those devices with 6,500 new Chromebooks in 2022. While Chromebooks receive automatic updates, advances in age, hardware, and technology eventually make devices out of date, so periodic replacement is necessary.

More devices also will get into student hands by trading out 2,200 laptops for 4,400 Chromebooks next year, when the lease on those laptops is up.

Although these changes will not get the district to a ratio of one device for every student, the Bring Your Own Device program and continuing D51 Foundation Chromebook donations will help schools get closer to that goal. Bringing the ratio to 1:1 with the bond would mean buying all of the Chromebooks in 2018, which would mean no money to replace them later or make other technology purchases planned with bond dollars. 

The technology portion of the bond will also allow the district to buy a laptop for each teacher; wireless HDMI devices that will give teachers the power to use projectors, TVs, and interactive boards for instruction from anywhere in the room; and professional development for educators to learn how to best utilize the devices. 

A growing number of devices means a growing need for technology support. Thinking ahead, the D51 School Board included $300,000 per year for the next 10 years in the 2017 mill levy override to create and fund five new technology support jobs.

The mill levy override will fund one new Help Desk position, which has been posted, and four technical support jobs that will be posted soon. The technical support jobs will be at each of the four traditional high schools, and those jobs may support feeder middle schools as well. 

 

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