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Chromebook computers approved for middle school students

Middle school students will have the opportunity to use new Chromebook computers this fall, following the board approval Monday night.

The Nevada Community School Board approved the purchase of 460 Chromebooks for middle school students. Students can use the computers at school and home, with parent permission. Parents will be required to either purchase insurance on the computers or sign a waiver to pay for the computer if the equipment is damaged, lost or stolen. The computers, cases and management console license purchase was approved for $171,800.

The board requested more information from Kevin Cooper, agriculture and mechanics instructor and FFA sponsor, on the proposed addition of a greenhouse and an ag-mech lab expansion. The greenhouse would allow for lab space and more in-depth study of plant breeding, seed technology and pest management, as well as many other areas of study, Cooper said. The ag-mech lab expansion could allow for stronger partnering with Des Moines Area Community College for a welding academy, according to Dr. Steven Gray, superintendent. Cooper agreed to bring more information to the next scheduled board meeting. The expansions could be paid for with funds from the high school expansion project.

Board member Dave Sutherland expressed approval for the project idea, as the classes offered could provide “life-ready” skills for students.

The board approved a possible partnership with the city and the booster club to build a concession stand, crow’s nest and concrete work at the SCORE soccer area. Board vice president Laura West suggested the addition of a drinking fountain to the project, as the soccer area does not have an outside water source. Estimates for the entire project are $176,000, with the board putting a cap of $60,000 on the school’s share of the costs. The final project will need approval by the city and the boosters before going forward.

The new digital school sign will be installed near the auditorium, following board approval. The approval followed consideration of a breakdown of pros and cons of various locations by Susan Morrical, NHS administrative assistant. Estimates to update the middle school sign will be obtained.

Board member Tori Carsrud commented on the summer Food for Thought program being a positive experience. Carsrud, who has volunteered to serve lunch during the program, recommended the volunteer experience.

Marty Chitty, board president, thanked Nancy Port, director of school improvement, for her service to the district.

The board approved the bid from Campbell Oil Co. Inc. for purchase of unleaded fuel and diesel fuel during next school year.

The next scheduled board meeting will be July 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.

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