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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 leaseâ€™s time frame and pursue another agreement, thereby maintaining a state-of-the-art technology standard for educators.
â€śProbably one of the most exciting things is for the district to have a (technology) standard,â€ť he said Tuesday before the board voted to accept the Synergetics bid. â€śTeachers 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.â€ť
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 childâ€™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 studentâ€™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.