During their regular meeting, the trustees voted 4-0 to approve the purchase of 500 Google Chromebooks at a cost of $174,135.08.
“We will be ordering them in the next couple of days,” Lammersville Superintendent Kirk Nicholas said. “The first day (of school) we’ll be passing them out.”
He said the laptop computers represented a change in the district’s instructional strategy from the traditional model of books and lectures to technology that uses the Internet as a project-based learning core.
The Chromebooks are also expected to play a big part in the district’s transition to the required Common Core state standards.
Common Core is a new learning process designed to develop a national standardized testing method. It’s been adopted in 49 states, including California. That makes it easier for a student to move to another state and not fall behind because of different curriculum and standardized testing methods.
Tests will focus on a student’s critical thinking, as opposed to memorization and multiple-choice answers. The objective is to make students ready for college or a career at the conclusion of high school.
Nicholas said district leaders recognized that some courses will still require textbooks, and so teachers will use an online curriculum text. He said the online process would make it easier for the district to adapt to curriculum changes, as opposed to purchasing new books.
Before the trustees approved the purchase Wednesday, Nicholas told them that district officials had formed a partnership with El Capitan High School in Merced. He said El Capitan’s school district had also purchased Chromebooks, and officials there suggested that Lammersville upgrade its recommended model, which would have been $30 less expensive.
“They said if they could do it over, they would have started at this level,” Nicholas said.
Lammersville trustee Shane Nielson said his sixth-grade daughter was looking forward to never carrying another book at school or tripping over a backpack full of books again.
“This is good stuff,” fellow trustee Matthew Balzarini said. “I’m really excited.”
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.