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WCHS hoping for $25,000 grant to fund new computers
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Warren County High School could be the recipient of $25,000 to purchase Chromebooks if a grant is obtained by the Joint Economic and Community Development Board.
“We do qualify for a ThreeStar $25,000 enhancement grant,” said McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley, who is chair of the board. “There are several counties that will be competing for this. There are ten $25,000 grants. We have two options: put the $25,000 to ART (Advanced Robotics Training), the Mechatronics program, or buy Chromebooks for the high school to help facilitate the state requirement online testing. The high school is very deficient in the ability to do online tests because of the lack of Chromebooks because most of the title money goes to elementary schools.”
The board voted to pursue the grant for the high school. A grant of $25,000 can purchase approximately 75 Chromebooks the school can use during online testing.
According to Director of Schools Bobby Cox, the high school does not get federal money to purchase those items.
“We don’t get federal money for the high school. It all goes to the elementary schools. If we spread that out, it does cut what they get. We only get one allocation for that. Most of the time, high schools are not involved in that. Technology money comes from local funds, school-driven funds. A lot of times, in the past, they were able to use money from fundraisers and that type. Since the changes in school nutrition guidelines, we can’t do the same things vending-wise we once did. That cut about $60,000 out annually that we were going to have.”
Warren County School System is going paperless by attempting to purchase Chromebooks for each of its incoming eighth-graders with each passing year. However, those books are used by each individual student for homework and classwork purposes.
Cox says this grant will purchase Chromebooks for online testing the state requires.
“The amount of money we have to purchase computers and things of that type are limited,” Cox said. “We are to be able to purchase Chromebooks for the coming year, hopefully if our budget passes. That would give them some more but those are designed for each individual student use. These would be used for online testing the state requires. We aren’t having to do online testing this year but we will have to do it next year. If we can get this money, it would be greatly appreciated and used.”
Last month, the School Board voted to fund $45,000 in matching grant funds for the ART project if the task force committee over that project obtains a $715,000 grant it is applying for from the Appalachian Regional Commission.
An application for a ThreeStar $25,000 grant will be submitted, said Haley, but due to the number of communities vying for one of the 10 available, there’s no guarantee it will be given to Warren County.