Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Who needs 60 days to get 60 Chromebooks?

ONE day! We met our goal...excuse me...we exceeded our goal of $11,000 in one day! (We were so good at contributing yesterday, PledgeCents, the online site which facilitated the donations, gave $3500 to our cause bringing our grand total to over $14,000!) This level of support is humbling and exciting. It is indicative of how much our community supports WLPS. Believe me, when high school aged students are telling teachers they feel like people care about them and are excited about an academic initiative, we have just sent a really important message. What a great day to be a Trojan.

Beyond the excitement, I have been fielding some really practical questions today that I wanted to share:

1. Are we done collecting donations?
Not yet. We are keeping the site up and encourage any donations throughout the remainder of the campaign. We will, however, move to get the 60 Chromebooks into our classrooms immediately. With continued contributions, we will likely be able to add another set of 30 Chromebooks.

2. Can we do another campaign and get more computers?
Yes, but the existing wireless infrastructure is being run with old equipment. When you add all the district's wireless devices, plus all the smart phones and iPads being used in our facilities, the system is strained. Our next big purchase should be a completely new server and wireless system. This cost is in the range of $200,000 - $250,000. WLPS is working with the county, state and private companies to bring this cost down. WLPS would like to do more fundraising to offset this cost AND the Board of Education wants to invest in our schools and community. These technology upgrades are at the top of the investment list. If you are interested in donating to this project, let me know.

3. Where will the Chromebooks be used?                                                               
We will use the two (possibly three) banks of 30 Chromebooks as mobile labs. As such, the Chromebooks go to classrooms so teachers don't have to wait for an open tech lab with stationary machines. This is especially true at the elementary building, which only has one tech lab. Ideally, if we can purchase another set of 30, we can assign machines to each building, saving on the wear and tear of moving them from building to building as needed.

Thank you again to the 80 generous donors who invested in our schools and our students to increase access to technology. You can check the status of the project and donate HERE. I look forward to seeing where we end up after the 59 days are up.

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