ASHLAND — Ashland City School District’s Board of Education approved the purchase of 1,525 new Chromebooks for the district at its meeting Monday night.

New computers are necessary because some of the district’s current Chromebooks have reached their end-of-service dates. The large number of computers needing to be replaced is due to the pandemic and virtual learning, district technology coordinator Philip McNaull said.

“When COVID hit a couple of years ago, there was a huge demand for technology. Google came along and said ‘Hey, we’re gonna take everything that expires in 2021, we’re gonna extend it one year to 2022’,” McNaull said.

“So for us that means we didn’t have any go out last year but now we have twice as many this year.”

A batch of 1,250 of the new computers are coming from SHI International Corp. based in New Jersey. These 1,250 computers, known as HP Chromebook 11 G9 Education Edition models, will be used by students up until grade 10.

The remaining 275 computers, Acer Chromebook 514 models, are coming from Insight Public Sector, Inc., based in Arizona. These computers are larger than the HP Chromebooks, and will be used by 11th- and 12th-grade students who may need more screen space for advanced work, McNaull said.

The new computers and accompanying licenses will cost the district around $240,000. The district used a bidding process to field potential suppliers, and is receiving the computers at a considerable discount from normal online retail prices.

Members of the board praised the technology department’s existing experience with Chromebooks. School board president Zack Truax compared the technology department’s work space to an automotive shop, and board member Brandon Wells described the technology department as “Chromebook ninjas.”

The school board also voted to revise the superintendent and treasurer’s contracts, modify the school calendar, approve resignations and new hires, and approve a new lease for the district’s copiers.

The Education section is brought to you by Ashland Family YMCA.

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