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Education: Laptops will arrive this spring with bond funding

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

The first tangible benefits of November’s $165 million school bond referendum will arrive in plastic and silicon rather than brick and mortar. The Georgetown County School District plans to provide laptop computers to all students in grade three through 12 over the next three years. Grades three, six and nine will get theirs this spring.

“The time is right. The price is right,” Superintendent Randy Dozier said.

The district bond proposal includes $19 million for technology of which $6.3 million was for laptops. The rollout this year will cost $550,000, said Lisa Ackerman, the district procurement director.

The school board got its first look at the laptop proposal this week. It will come up for a vote next month. But district staff have already set a schedule for training teachers.

Students in elementary and middle school will get Chromebooks, made by HP and running the Google operating system. “They are faster, lighter,” said Keith Brown, a technology coach. High schools will get Dell laptops with the Windows operating system.

Brian White has used Chromebooks in his social studies classes at Waccamaw High for three years. The Google Classroom software provides more collaboration, he said. As an added benefit, “we’re not using any paper,” White said.

Grades four, seven and 10 will get laptops in the fall. The remaining grades will get them in the fall of 2018.

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