BROOKVILLE — “We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,” Superintendent Erich May told the Brookville Area School Board Monday night.
“Our focus now is getting ready for next year,” he said. “Things could look a little different and we need to be prepared for that. We have to be in a position for students to continue their learning.” He said the district must be prepared if there is a delayed start or another wave of the coronavirus comes through later in the year. “We have to be prepared if something like this happens again.”
May said to have a successful program, “we are going to have to buy Chromebooks for students in grades 3 to 12 and some kind of tablet for students in grades K to 2. It will allow teachers to organize and deliver their lessons online.”
Funding for the computers is proposed through The CARES Act. The district’s allotment is anticipated to be around $300,000. May said it was determined “on the same formula used to award Title I funds. We could have done better, but we could have done worse.
“We are planning to use this one-time emergency aid to purchase the hardware we need to get up and running with a computer program that serves as a safety net to allow education to continue if the buildings remain closed or if another wave of the virus forces another closure,” he said.
When questioned why the district would purchase new computers for all students when many students have been using their own devices, May said, “They would all be related to what is happening in the classroom. When students bring their own devices into the building, a fair amount of time could be lost in getting things to work.” With the new computers, “they will all have the software that the class requires.” He said that everyone having the same kind of devices will provide additional security and ease of instruction.
May commended the district’s athletic coaches for projects they are working on. “The coaches, our athletic director and our student athletes are joining forces to do community service,” he said. Some of the projects in the planning stage are for the football team to clean up the cemetery behind Northside Elementary School, the golf team assisting at Pinecrest Country Club, the wrestlers have offered to work on a walking trail in Clear Creek State Park and the girls’ basketball and softball teams will lend a hand at the food bank.
“Even when they’re not practicing they are working together as a team and their coaches and athletic director are leading that charge,” he said.