The Glidden-Ralston School Board voted Monday to give each of its students in fourth to twelfth grades a laptop computer, at a cost of nearly $450,000.
School leaders plan to buy the computers for next school year. The so-called “One on One” initiative has been adopted by a growing number of school districts that hope to spur student achievement by giving students greater access to technology.
The Glidden board approved the idea to help spend down their general fund balance of $3.5 million.
The board also looked at, but didn’t vote on, installing a new air-conditioning system in parts of the school building in Glidden.
Ryan Hepler, from Bluestone Engineering, said the school will face costs of about $100,000 just to get sufficient electricity to the school to get it air conditioned.
He said the new system in the gymnasium would cost about $325,000.
Currently, the board has sales tax money for this year to pay for new lights at the stadium.
Hepler said if the school wants to start on the project this summer a decision will need to be made at the board’s January meeting.
During Monday’s meeting, the board also heard from Ryan Anderson, the director of Undergraduate Programs for Agricultural Education and Studies at Iowa State University. Glidden’s agricultural education program won a free facility makeover.
Anderson said Iowa State is looking at creating a one-of -a-kind program for the school. The new workshop will include six multipurpose welding machines, a ventilation system and a caged area so students can work on farm machinery during class. Anderson said the caged area will keep expensive machinery safe while students aren’t supposed to be working on it.
The project will cost an estimated $500,000.