ARIZONA CITY — Students in the Toltec School District will no longer have to share technology devices in the classroom after the Governing Board agreed to equip each student with either an iPad or a notebook to utilize the new curriculum.
“We’d been working on trying to get to a one-to-one ratio for several years now and I think we’re finally able to pull it off,” said Dave Griffis, the district’s technology consultant and director. “We’re only a few hundred devices short, so what we’re proposing is to bring in enough devices to outfit every student in the district.”
Last year the district implemented a new language arts learning program and will add a new mathematics program this school year, which both have a web-based component.
Griffis told the board at its Tuesday meeting that the structure would change as the second graders will now begin to use a notebook instead of an iPad.
“It makes a huge difference when you’re testing and you’re testing all your kids at the same time instead of rotating them through,” Griffis said. “You can squeeze it into one week instead of stretching it out to one month.”
According to Griffis, the devices will have a four-year cycle and 25 percent of the inventory will be replaced annually.
Business Manager Robert Million told the board that all the new devices are part of the $6.8 million budget that was adopted earlier in the meeting.
During the meeting the board also approved reorganizing the maintenance and transportation departments after the transportation director resigned and the maintenance supervisor stepped down.
Armando Cardenas was hired to take over as maintenance supervisor, but he also has experience as a transportation supervisor.
“With the $35,000 that was the base salary for the transportation director, I’m proposing we reorganize to make our departments a little bit more effective and efficient,” Superintendent Denise Rogers said. “I’m proposing that we confine the departments into one position, we increase Mr. Cardenas’ salary by $10,000 to take on this added responsibility.”
Additionally, a bus driver will be provided a full-time position as the transportation lead and each campus will have a maintenance lead to help Cardenas.
Along with the two maintenance leads, an additional position will be added so that there are two maintenance employees at each school.
“In speaking with everyone that I spoke to, they all believe that this will help us in an area that has been lacking with efficiency,” Rogers said. “So we will have the personnel that we need and we can start operating at a high efficiency.”
Rogers also reminded the board that there will be new school hours for both campuses. Toltec Elementary will run from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Arizona City Elementary will run from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. beginning Aug. 5.