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Teachers offered used computers

Poverty simulation event scheduled

POSTED March 14, 2017 7:51 p.m.

Employees at Great Bend USD 428 can purchase used desktop and laptop computers as they are replaced with new ones. Prices range from $75 to $100 for five-year-old computers.
Interim Superintendent Khris Thexton said the computers are kept on a five-year rotation, which saves money on repairs and keeps software up-to-date. Staff members have been allowed to buy the used ones for several years, and the school board on Monday approved the next cycle, along with the purchase of new models.
The purchase of 55 laptop computers for teachers and 79 desktop computers was also approved, at a cost of $106,526.
Thexton said employees continue to buy the used computers, but they aren’t selling as quickly as the used to. There were already some unsold computers available from last year.
“It’s a good offer for our staff,” he said. The computer software license for Microsoft Office is transferable to district personnel.

Curriculum Day
The next Curriculum Day for teachers will be on Monday, April 17, Assistant Superintendent John Popp said. While students take a day off, teachers will spend half of the day learning how to get more out of the Discovery Education services that the district already subscribes to, and half of the day in a Poverty Simulation.
Discovery Education is a comprehensive digital resource for student instruction and professional development courses. Teachers can go to its website to find materials such as “A Math Slam Dunk,” that combines math problems with NBA and WNBA footage and stats.
The Poverty Simulation event will help staff understand the difficulties children face in poverty, and some of the choices they must make.
Popp and Tricia Reiser, USD 428’s federal programs director, worked with trainers to bring the programs to Great Bend.

Minigrants
The USD 428 Education Foundation has selected its minigrant recipients for the 2017-2018 school year and began notifying the recipients on Tuesday. Teachers apply for grants to purchase items that aren’t in the budget. This time last year, the foundation awarded 33 minigrants totaling more than $24,000. Grants funded purchases such as robots that teach coding and stability balls to provide alternative classroom seating.
Close to $22,000 in minigrants will be awarded this week, Thexton said.

Upcoming
• Spring recess is next week, March 20-24.
• The school board will hold its next meeting at noon on Thursday, March 30, at Great Bend High School. The director of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) is scheduled to attend.
• The next interest-based bargaining (IBB) meeting is set for 8 a.m. on May 3 at the District Education Center.

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