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South Whidbey schools' technology spending may drop

The South Whidbey School District may spend a bit less than planned on technology supplies this year.

At a recent school board meeting, directors unanimously approved $97,000 for technology supplies and revisions to the Langley Middle School audio system for the 2014-2015 budget. That’s about $9,000 less than the previous amount requested, said Tom Atkins, the district’s technology operations manager.

“We went back and asked for a Chevy instead of a Cadillac,” Atkins said in regard to the audio system update.

The supplies include Chrome Boxes for the technology labs, iPad 2s for kindergarten and first-grade students and video recording and publishing equipment. Previously Atkins had requested Chrome Books as opposed to Chrome Boxes, which are about $100 less expensive, and additional revisions to the Langley Middle School video system.

The board’s vote was not a formal approval of the entire 2014-2015 budget — it will be voted on later this year.

South Whidbey High School Principal John Patton, also the Career and Technical Excellence program director, presented an annual plan for the Career and Technical Excellence program and highlighted student achievements. Patton noted that the district would like to offer more classes providing college credit for high school students. Presently, nine of the 11 classes offer college credit.

“The [program] enables students, if they take a five credit class, to save $500, and those credits transfer to any college in the state,” said Patton.

Patton also highlighted the achievements of students who contributed materials to Whidbey Telecom, Costco and the district’s yearbook production company. He added that the first robotics class was introduced to Langley Middle School and the FIRST Robotics Club to South Whidbey High School.

Major purchases for the district included video editing software, a video camera, stipends for Future Farmers of America and First Robotics Club advisors, sports medicine supplies, four welding stations, Adobe software, and about $2,000 to allow high school students access to Skagit Valley College courses.

 

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