CISD trustees at Monday’s board meeting approved district-wide technology upgrades for all campuses, including iPads for the two middle schools.
Trustees first discussed and approved spending out of the state funded Instructional Materials Allotment. The IMA took the place of what was once textbook funding.
“Instead of the state adopting the books for us, they send us the money,” Assistant Superintendent Tammy Bright said.
Dr. Chris Jackson, director of secondary education, discussed what needed to be done to ensure all classrooms were at a technology base level: classrooms should have a computer capable of effectively running all necessary instructional software, an LCD projector for everyday instruction and a document camera. The upgrades are being called “phase one” of an extensive technology upgrade.
“Although these items are in most rooms in the district, I can’t say they are in all rooms,” Jackson said. “Jerry [Smith, director of technology,] and I did a survey to make sure all rooms were accounted for. We wanted to know what was in each classroom. We got 450 responses and cross-referenced with campus maps, visited classrooms for which no survey was received. We have a very good snapshot across the district for what we have currently.”
The IMA balance as of Monday was $925,000, and upgrades are expected to cost about $196,198. Upgrades include projectors, lamp bulbs, document cameras, computers and RAM upgrades.
The available IMA funding must be spent by Aug. 31, or the district could lose it, Bright said. It is unsure whether the money would roll over or if the state will give another IMA.
“The state didn’t give us any guidelines until about January or February of last school year,” Bright said. “They kept changing what was allowable, what was not allowable. We started talking about [what we needed to buy] but we didn’t know what we were able to do. We have to spend all of this money by Aug. 31 in this allotment, and hopefully the state will give us another allotment.”