LAURINBURG — The Scotland County Board of Education approved the initial phase of a project to supply teachers and students with computers.
The board this week voted unanimously to spend at least $38,000 provide teachers in the county with the technology.
The “One-to-world” plan focuses on providing educators and every student with a laptop.
Chief Finance Officer Jay Toland said the board has already budgeted the purchase of the teacher equipment. The next step will be supplying high school students with laptops, then middle school students by 2018 and the plan should be completed with grades 3-5 receiving their laptops by 2019.
The program will cost the district between $300,000 and $400,000 each those years. Finding long-term financing for the program was something board members were concerned about during January’s meeting.
The schools expect to purchase new laptops every four years. Each laptop will cost the district $200, according to Rick DeLaunay, director of administrative technology.
The district spent “$281,977 on computer equipment for an average of $31,000 per school” in 2015-2016, Toland said.
Toland said proposed consolidation savings could help cover the new costs.
“So we are going to use the savings, knowing there could be other revenue streams we could utilize?” ask Jamie Sutherland, a school board member.
Toland said there the system could use consolidation savings and Title 1 funds, “o there becomes a strategic cost savings event where we shift money around to not affect the spending power of the schools.”
“We definitely can pay for it,” he said.
Scotland County schools currently get $3.2 million for Title I each year, which is divided among county schools to be used how each principal sees fit. Toland said if the board makes the one-to-world program a district initiative then they could take the money from Title I before it gets distributed to the schools.
In other business, the board recognized;
— Pam Mercer, a teacher at South Scotland Elementary School was the Teacher Feature for February and was also Teacher of the Year at South Scotland during the 2015-2016 school year.
— Robin Pearson, a member of the SCS Maintenance and Child Nutrition Department was awarded this month’s Key Player Award.
— Martina Litty, a Junior at SEarCH was recognized for placing second in English Division II at the 2017 State Senior Beta Club Convention. Litty earned an invitation for the regional Beta Club Convention in Orlando Florida with her performance.
— Three Scotland County students who earned spots on the All-District Band. They were: percussionist Daniel Caudill, percussionist Zane Troublefield and Malia Locklear, who plays the clarinet. The students are eighth graders at Spring Hill Middle School. The Middle School All-District Band Concert will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at Scotland High School.
— Three students from Scotland High School who earned spots on the All-District Band. John Alec Caudill, a junior and percussionist, Sam Poage, a junior who plays trombone and Gregory Regling, a senior trombone player. The concert was Jan. 28 at UNCP.
— Scotland High School band director, Britton Goodwin, who was selected to conduct the 9th/10th-grade All-District Band performance.
Reach Nolan Gilmour at 910-506-3171