Schools prepare to put bond money to work in classrooms

Friday, March 23, 2018 - 12:30pm

Instructional Upgrade bond money brings new technology options

When the 2018-2019 school year starts in August, classrooms in nearly a dozen schools are expected to be showcasing the latest in classroom technology thanks to money from the 2016 Bond Program.

As part of the bond program, each district school was designated a specific amount of Instructional Upgrade (IU) money that they could work with their school community – parents, students and staff – to determine the best possible use to benefit their school. Leaders of buildings beginning bond renovation first have spent the past year studying the best way to use the money.

A common theme that emerged both during staff and parent surveys completed prior to the passage of the bond and as principals began to engage in how to use their IU money was a need for more classroom technology - particularly to replace aging classroom technology including mobile projector systems. 

To assist schools in narrowing their choices for classroom technology, technology packages were developed featuring the latest options in interactive and non-interactive projectors, writeable and reflective white board surfaces, whole classroom audio systems and teacher/student devices.

Equipped with the new technology options, at least eight district schools receiving expansion or renovation work this summer will update a majority of their classrooms to feature the new technology beginning in the 2018-19 school year. A handful of other schools are testing the same technology in pilot classrooms and considering expanding it to their entire building, possibly as soon as this summer. 

Technology upgrades are just one of many avenues that schools can choose to expend their IU money including the purchase of new furniture, learning tools and modifications to building spaces. Leaders of schools, who fall later in the bond program timeline for scheduled improvements, are engaging in the process to learn how to access and utilize their IU money this spring.