ROGERS CITY - Students at Rogers City Area Schools will be getting new technology this school year, starting with 12 new computers for a high school computer lab.
Board of education members approved buying the computers for around $1,000 apiece Monday after discussing the need with Superintendent Katy Xenakis-Makowski and Principal Dave O'Bryant. Both said the computers will see use when the district starts giving all-online exams, as schools across the state make the switch this school year. They'll also give students a chance to use Macintosh systems, different than the PCs found throughout the school.
"I'm just glad that we have at least one of these labs so kids get to experience both, especially before they go to college, because you don't know what they'll have to use depending on what they go into," Xenakis-Makowski said after the meeting.
The high school broadcasting program currently uses a 12-computer Macintosh lab, Xenakis-Makowski said. By doubling the number of systems, it'll accommodate a full class, both throughout the school year and during online testing. O'Bryant said the yearbook class could use the new lab as well.
Board members had some concerns that students and teachers would have trouble adapting to the different systems. O'Bryant told John Krajenta that while there are some compatibility issues between Macs and PCs, having more Macs allows the district to train students on more graphics and design programs. The differences are negligible when giving online exams, O'Bryant said, and Xenakis-Makowski pointed out the district has staff who can train teachers on the different system.
Money for the expanded lab will come from the district's technology bond fund, Xenakis-Makowski said. There's about $30,000 to spend over the course of the school year. After that, board members will need to decide how to fund the district's technology needs.
"All of these devices will need to be kept up as well," she said, referring to computers and other technology throughout the district.
In other business:
Eric Moltane is the new junior varsity football assistant coach after board members approved giving him the position. O'Bryant recommended he get the job, and he's already completed the necessary background checks.
the district will sell an 11-year-old bus to Millington Community Schools for $2,800.01, the highest of three bids submitted, board President Michael Marx said. Xenakis-Makowski said the money will be used to repair two older buses in the district fleet.
board members approved two fundraisers, one for the high school band program to sell products from Century Resources, and another for Close-Up Washington's 2015 trip to the nation's capital.
the Birmingham Concert Band donated $500 to the school band program to purchase a new instrument, Marx said. A few members of the city band are Rogers City High School alumni, and the band typically raises funds to schools around the state for the same purpose.