County schools to benefit from technology grant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Two Shelby County schools have received funds for technology, according to

Shelby County School Superintendent Evan Major.

Major reported on the receipt of the grant as well as the accomplishment of Oak Mountain Middle School’s Toys for Tots record-setting fund-raiser during last Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

According to Susan Poling, technology coordinator for Shelby County Schools, the federal Enhancing Education Through Technology grant will be for more than $140,000 and will be used to focus technology on math.

She said the funds will be used to provide collaborative graphic screens that for math instruction and hand-held polling devices with which students can respond to lessons on the screen.

Poling said teachers will be able to tell instantly how many of the students understand the concept with the technology.

She explained that the devices would be spread between 13 fourth and fifth grade teachers at Thompson Intermediate and Montevallo Elementary School.

Poling said the funds would provide unique instruction and training for teachers to emphasize math and capture the students’ attention.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Shelby County Schools have received an EETT grant.

Major expressed excitement about the incoming funds.

While he said the grant could be used only at two schools now, he said he hoped in the future the technology and software involved would prove to be of benefit to all Shelby County schools.

He also said the school system would welcome any extension of the grant.

Major also reported a milestone for Oak Mountain Middle School.

OMMS had the largest school donation in the country for Toys for Tots, he said.

According to Cindy Warner, public relations supervisor, OMMS students raised a record-setting $37,335 for the Toys for Tots program.

The money is part of the school’s annual campaign, which has raised more than $126,000 since 1999. This year’s donation far surpasses last year’s total of $25,846.

Bill Grein, national vice president of the Toys for Tots Foundation, said OMMS’s donation set a record for the largest school donation ever raised in the U.S.

The Oak Mountain Toys for Tots project is led by the National Junior Honor Society.

And just this Monday, the students spent the money on new toys at the Brook Highland Wal-Mart, combining their shopping and math skills to benefit children in need.

According to Warner, the U.S Marine Corps, which sponsors Toys for Tots, was expected to pick up the toys on Tuesday, Dec. 20 during the school’s Christmas assembly.

Major also recognized Ethan Delcambre of Helena Elementary for his participation in the 2005 Holiday Card contest for U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus.

In another matter, the board unanimously approved a Trane agreement in which Trane will begin a comprehensive study of potential facility improvements and operating cost reductions at Thompson High, Calera Elementary, Chelsea Middle, Elvin Hill Elementary, Helena Elementary, Montevallo Elementary, Vincent Middle/High and Vincent Elementary.

The study is to be completed in two months.

Among other actions, the board also approved out of state field trips with Dr. David Nichols opposed