Coventry School Board debates purchase of Chromebooks

The Coventry Local School Distict is purchasing 150 Chromebooks for Coventry High School.

During the April 17 meeting, the Board of Eduction approved to purchase the Chromebooks from Northeast Ohio Network for Educational Technology (NEOnet).

Superintendent Lisa Blough said the district has about 150 Chromebooks, mostly used at the elementary and middle school. There are about 15 Chromebooks at the high school, mostly used by chemistry students.

Blough said the district needs the additional Chromebooks to cut down on the amount of time it takes for testing.

“The testing schedule is taking longer than one month and that is unacceptable,” Blough said. “It is quite overwhelming for us and our kids deserve better.”

She said the district is getting a good deal on the price. Total cost for 150 Chromebooks, licenses, service setups and adapters is $33,040.

Board Member Josh Hostetler said the purchase was a big one and would have liked to have more information

Board Member Vicki Tavenier said by delaying a vote the district would lose the reduced rate and just kick the cost down the road into next fiscal year.

Blough said this is step one of a three-year plan to purchase additional Chromebooks.

Hostetler cast the only no vote on the purchase.

In other business April 17, the board:

– Heard from Blough about the districts recent inspection from the fire marshal. She said there are two areas that need to be improved, which is an improvement from the past when it had may areas needing to be addressed. She said the fieldhouse fire panel doesn’t communicate to the high school properly and needs to be replaced. The district is expected to obtain quotes for the project which is expected to cost between $10,000 and $20,000. Blough said the fieldhouse issue has been outstanding for a while now. The other item needing to be addressed is repairing a sensor in one of the oven hoods at Coventry Middle School.

– Heard from Blough also about working with the township to address a safety concern near the middle school where students cross the street to meet their parents in a church parking lot. She said the district has a crossing guard in place, who is doing an amazing job, but drivers are still not slowing down as they should be. The township is working with the county engineer and sheriff to see if something can be done to control traffic in the area when school lets out.

– Heard from Coventry resident Kathy Finefrock, who raised concerns about purchasing the Chromebooks. Finefrock also asked when open enrollment is going to be reduced to the levels the State Auditor’s Office suggested. She said the district is still in fiscal emergency and needs to be watching how money is spent. Blough said some of what Finefrock said is not true and the district has reduced open enrollment by 24 percent. Finefrock added that Manchester is looking for a new high school, why doesn’t Coventry share with them. Blough said Manchester is not interested.

– Announced the Lion King production by the PLX drama kids will take place at 6:30 p.m. May 16, 17 and 18 at Coventry Elementary School.

– Entered executive session with no action taken.

The next Coventry Local Schools board meeting will be 6 p.m. May 22 at Coventry High School.

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This story was also published in The Suburbanite. www.thesuburbanite.com