Truckee Tahoe school district approves $319,000 technology plan | SierraSun.com

Truckee Tahoe school district approves $319,000 technology plan

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The school districtand#8217;s recent purchase of about $319,000 in computer equipment could be the last of its kind for area students and educators.

The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District boardand#8217;s approval earlier this month means 144 20-inch iMacs, 61 Epson projectors, 70 Dell Inspiron Netbooks, 30 Dell Latitude laptops and other computer products will soon be heading to local schools.

and#8220;This equipment will help us to prepare our kids and teachers to use the maximum amount of time for instruction,and#8221; said David Inns, TTUSD technology committee president and assistant superintendent of human resources.

The purchase will be funded mainly by the $260,000 from the districtand#8217;s Measure A budget, which sees an about $3.5 million yearly, said Steve Dickinson, school district assistant superintendent of finance. Measure A is a parcel tax adopted in 2000 that supports arts, technology and other programs.

Inns said he believes the investment will be the last large computer purchase by the district for many years; not because of finances, but because of a trend showing kids bringing more technology to school.

and#8220;Even low-income students seem to have cell phones these days; itand#8217;s only a matter of time before the prices of smart phones like the iPhone start dropping in price,and#8221; Inns said.

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The 70 netbooks essentially are smart phones with a few more minor additions, Inns said, in that each one offers students Internet access and word processing tools, two things that will enable students to become not only users of technology, but also producers.

The school board selected Sierra Continuation High School in Truckee as the recipient for the new netbooks because of the schooland#8217;s small population and the fact it doesnand#8217;t have a normal computer lab like most schools, according to the technology committee.

The rest of the computers and software will be divided among other district schools, the largest allotments going to Truckee Elementary and Tahoe Lake Elementary.

Lisa Mohun, TTUSD trustee, said she hopes the district can pay the remaining $59,000 with either the districtand#8217;s reserve funds or other available funding.

and#8220;Technology is our future and the school district needs to get on board,and#8221; Mohun said. and#8220;We have a real healthy reserve right now and what I would like to see is for me and the other board members to talk about it instead of buying it piecemeal, one portion at a time.

and#8220;Our teachers have a whole other scope of lessons that they can teach with this new technology. Itand#8217;s time for us to buy into this.and#8221;