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Lakewood freshmen, sophomores to get laptops

HEBRON – A laptop computer can be more cost effective than textbooks and infinitely more useful to students, Lakewood High School Principal Scott Coffey told the Lakewood School Board June 10.

“It doesn’t change the fact we need gifted teachers,” he said, but providing Lakewood High School students with laptops would go a long way toward improving their education.

Beginning this school year, Lakewood will officially begin phasing in a One to One program, where all high school students are eventually provided a laptop, which stays with the student throughout his or her high school career, and the student keeps the laptop following graduation. This year, only freshmen and sopho- mores will receive laptops.

Coffey said while some people may consider a laptop for every student an extravagance, they are actually cost effective when considering how much it costs to supply students with textbooks throughout high school. Also, the laptops become obsolete in four years, so it makes sense to let students keep the laptops following graduation.

Technology Director Randy Miller said he looked into the cost of iPads and Windowsbased laptops, but found that Google Chromebooks were high quality and far more cost effective. “These things will boot up in about seven seconds,” he said. Miller said the Chromebooks cannot catch viruses and are very low maintenance. He expects the district to have about 700 Chromebooks by next year.

Coffey reiterated that purchasing and updating Chromebooks is significantly less expensive than purchasing and updating textbooks. “The students’ displeasure is we get more out of them,” he said. Coffey said students can use laptops to do class work at home when they are sick, or when they are home during snow days.

“We’re taking lessons learned from last year,” said Lakewood Superintendent Mary Kay Andrews Wednesday. She said Lakewood implemented a One to One pilot program last school year and it was successful. This year, all freshmen and sophomores will be issued Chromebooks, as will each incoming freshman class during following years. “It’s a phased program,” she said. “We’re still in the infancy steps.”

Andrews said providing students with laptops helps them prepare for the technology requirements they will experience in college and the workforce.

In other district news:

• Andrews said the district hired Andrew Bobalik as the new varsity basketball coach. In addition, he will teach health at Lakewood Middle School. Bobalik is formerly the assistant men’s basketball coach at Wheeling Jesuit University. Supplemental contracts with Robert Englert, Junior Varsity Golf Coach; and Robert Sanders, Middle School Golf Coach, were approved.

• In other personnel matters, board members accepted the resignations of Elizabeth Wills, 1st Grade Teacher; John Grimm, General Music; and EAlyson Clark, PS Intervention Teacher. Grimm also gave up his supplemental position as assistant band director.

A two-year contract for Deanna Martindale, Hebron Elementary Principal, was approved. The employment of Melissa Flesher, District Literacy Coach; Christina Rausch, LHS/LMS Intervention Specialist; William Tudor, LHS Intervention Specialist; Devon Walker, First Grade Teacher; and Rebecca Haire, Third Grade Teacher, was also approved.

• The district food service received two grants. One will cover a new oven at Jackson Elementary and the other will fund a salad bar at Lakewood High School.

Board members scheduled a special meeting at 7 a.m. on Monday, June 22, at the administration building to conduct ordinary business.

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