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$506,000 approved for laptops at FWCS

To assist with online testing

– The Fort Wayne Community Schools board approved the purchase of more than 700 laptop computers to help the district prepare for online standardized testing mandates.

FWCS will use two low-interest, short-term loans to purchase 724 laptops for about $506,000, along with $75,000 for software and licensing. The board approved the purchase unanimously at its meeting Monday night.

The laptops will be placed on mobile carts or in labs in various elementary schools throughout the district, said Pam Musick, elementary area administrator.

The district will disperse the technology to meet requirements for online testing. The state Department of Education is moving toward administering the ISTEP+ state standardized test strictly online for students in grades 3-5, Musick said. Outside of testing windows, the laptops will be integrated into the curriculum for students who will use them for projects and other online learning activities Musick said.

Jehl joins board

In other business, the board welcomed new member Glenna Jehl, who started her first term on the board, replacing John Peirce, whom she defeated in the November election. Jehl said she’s excited to join the board and hopes to make a meaningful contribution.

The board also elected members to serve as officers. Mark GiaQuinta will continue to serve as the board’s president; Steve Corona and Julie Hollingsworth will serve as vice president and secretary, respectively.