ACS adding hundreds of Chromebooks, computers

The Alabaster School System is adding nearly 400 Chromebook laptops to elementary classrooms this year. (Contributed)

The Alabaster School System is adding nearly 400 Chromebook laptops to elementary classrooms this year. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster City School System soon will add hundreds of new pieces of technology into the system’s classrooms, as the city’s Board of Education approved the additions during an Aug. 9 meeting.

The board voted 3-0 in favor of a lease-purchase plan to add 382 new Chromebook laptops and 46 new computers to the system’s schools for the 2016-2017 academic year. School Board President Adam Moseley and board members Derek Henderson and Ty Quarles voted in favor of the plan, while board members John Myrick and Linda Church were absent from the meeting.

As a result of the vote, the school system will add the Chromebooks to classrooms in Creek View Elementary School, Meadow View Elementary School and Thompson Intermediate School, said ACS Technology Coordinator Anthony Kingston.

Of the 46 new computers, 26 will be used in the system’s “Project Lead the Way” classrooms, which are focused on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics offerings. The remaining 20 computers will be used by ACS employees.

By acquiring the new devices through a lease-payment plan, it will allow the school system to get the devices in the classrooms sooner than it would be able to if it waited for the next budget year to begin in October, Kingston said. The total cost of the devices included in the plan approved on Aug. 9 is $162,511.80.

Kingston said last year, the system added five carts of Chromebooks to its schools, which proved to be highly popular among students and teachers. By adding 382 more Chromebooks, the system will have at least two in every core grade-level classroom at MVES, CVES and TIS.

The Chromebooks will be added to the 386 iPad devices the school system added in late July, meaning all core grade-level classes at the three schools will have at least two iPads and at least two Chromebooks, Kingston said.

“We’ve taken a lot of older computers out of those schools this summer, so we’re looking to have at least four mobile devices in all rooms,” Kingston said after the meeting. “We hope to have them ordered tomorrow.”