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December 11, 2017
El Dorado News Times
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Parkers Chapel Board approves Chromebook insurance fee

Murray, Skinner attend last meeting

By Brittany Williams
This article was published September 17, 2017 at 5:00 a.m.

PARKERS CHAPEL — The Parkers Chapel School Board approved an “insurance” fee for school-issued Chromebook laptops at its meeting last week.

District superintendent Michael White said Monday that the high school now has one-to-one technology and because of that, the policy would hold Trojans accountable for maintaining one-to-one status.

Chromebooks, or Google-powered computers, are used in everyday instruction and during ACT Aspire standardized tests. The laptops could replace textbooks students usually carry around, take home or leave in the lockers, high school principal Seth Williams said.

“The teachers have really enjoyed (it) this year because before we had enough Chromebooks, but they were having to kind of borrow within departments,” the principal said. “Now, it’s just assumed that the kids have one. That’s one of your materials, you have to bring that with you and they can use it in their lessons. It’s important that they use them on a regular basis because the testing is computerized, everything but the ACT and the AP tests.”

Students would be responsible for repair costs due to negligence or loss of a school-issued Chromebook. Parents who choose not to pay the insurance fee will be responsible for the full cost, the superintendent said. The fee would decrease as years go by.

“They’re going to charge a fee of $25 per year,” he said. “Over a six-year period, they would spend $75 for the use of their Chromebooks and that money is guaranteeing, and it’s kind of like a miniature insurance policy, that the cost of many normal wear and tear things will be taken care off.”

White’s recommendation to upgrade the school’s sewer system. A previous upgrade that was completed prior to White’s tenure didn’t meet the demand of the district’s growing enrollment, he said.

“The numbers they that were using for so much fewer students that last spring we were dealing with a lot of sewer water on top of the ground because the ground was just saturated,” he said. “Because of what kind of project it is, it’s got to be approved by the state. So we had to take to the state. They’ve got their own ideas about what needs to be done and of course when they add things to the project, the price went up.”

Glenn Mechanical reviewed the current sewer system and concluded that lines need to dug up, replaced some of the valves due to water flow and add five to six more lines, new filters and pump. The local company’s bid was $24,021 to complete the project within state health department guidelines.

“I don’t think we have a choice because it’s really foul and nasty out there … We shouldn’t have to deal with this every again,” White said.

Board members unanimously approved White’s recommendation to accept Glenn Mechanical’s bid to complete the project.

The school board’s legislative liaison Lisa Murray and member Howard Skinner made their last board actions Monday night. South Arkansas Community College career counselor Grace Palculict is running unopposed for Skinner’s position.

While the last day of early voting is Monday, election day is scheduled for Tuesday, according to a legal announcement published in the News-Times.

“Ms. Lisa did not file to run, but wanted to. So what we need to do is appoint Ms. Lisa or someone else to fill that spot after the election. She’ll have to run again next year,” board president Jason Hardy said.

The board approved the district’s 2017-2018 budget and minority recruitment plan, a transfer request, Arkansas Comprehensive School Improvement Plan assurance, and an addendum to resource teacher Tiffany Graven for concession stand coordinator duties. A transfer request was also denied and tabled, respectively.

The Parkers Chapel School Board’s next meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9 in the Parkers Chapel High School technology building.

Brittany Williams may be reached at 870-862-6611 or bwilliams@eldoradonews.com. Follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook @BWilliamsEDNT for updates on Union County school news.

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