By CARL SMITH
The Starkville School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a lease program Tuesday which will provide laptops to teachers and set a districtwide technology standard for the future.
According to the Synergetics DCS Inc. bid accepted by the board, the district will receive 360 Lenovo E540 ThinkPad Notebooks at a cost of $1,232.49 per laptop during the three-year lease. The total cost of the agreement is approximately $443,000. Funding for the laptop lease was earmarked during budget discussions this summer.
SSD Superintendent Lewis Holloway said the district will return the laptops at the end of the lease’s time frame and pursue another agreement, thereby maintaining a state-of-the-art technology standard for educators.
“Probably one of the most exciting things is for the district to have a (technology) standard,” he said Tuesday before the board voted to accept the Synergetics bid. “Teachers can take these home, do lesson plans and other work. If approved today, we might start seeing these (in the district) by the time we go home for Christmas.”
Existing district computers, Holloway said, will be redistributed to schools on an as-needed basis.
In other business, the board also amended a number of district policies in order to comply with state-level changes made by the Mississippi Legislature. The board also held a first reading on a policy which covers dyslexia screening.
Under Policy IEBA, the district will ensure students receive dyslexia screening in the spring of kindergarten and the fall of first grade.
If a student fails the screener, the child’s parent or legal guardian will be notified of the results, and subsequent evaluations may be conducted. Dyslexia diagnosis can be used for determining a student’s eligibility for placement within a therapy program with the school or a Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy scholarship for placement in an out-of-district program or school.
Holloway said Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing would be used by the district to help with screening.