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Three U-46 proposals primed for board vote

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 is set to vote on three expenditure proposals totaling $673,241 at its upcoming meeting on Monday, Sept. 9.
  The items were presented to the board at its Aug. 26 meeting. Board member Melissa Owens was absent.
  Included is a three-year contract renewal with Blackboard costing $494,766 which will be paid for out of the education fund if approved. The cost is up from $478,990 over the last three years.
  “This three-year contract provides web hosting, mass notification and our ParentLink Mobile App through a single, established vendor that we selected after competitively bidding the website hosting work six years ago,” the proposal states. “All three items help us maintain vital, rapid, and mass communication with our families, staff, and community through an established partner.”
  Sue Kerr, the board’s president, asked if this includes ConnectED which Mary Fergus, director of school and community relations, said: “That’s one of the components… as well as the website and the app.”
  Board member Kate Thommes asked if this contract includes course management software offered by Blackboard which Fergus said it did not. U-46 CEO Tony Sanders said “typically we’re using Google classrooms.”
  The final two proposals are for the purchase of technology which will be paid for by the nation’s taxpayers through grant funds if approved.
  In one proposal, the district is asking to purchase 41 interactive boards from Dell at a cost of $92,250 and 41 balance box carts from Pace at a cost of $50,225. The technology purchases are coming at the request of eight Title I schools in the district which will be able to request more technology in January according to the proposal.
  “While we are continuing to provide additional technology components in a phased-in model, many of our Title I buildings are seeking investments in technology-based hardware and software to increase access to their students in advance of the district’s timeline,” the proposal states.
  The 41 technology items will include nine to both Streamwood’s Tefft Middle School and Elgin’s Lords Park Elementary School, eight to Elgin’s Huff Elementary School, six to Elgin’s Larkin High School, three to both Streamwood’s Heritage Elementary School and Elgin’s Ellis Middle School, two to Streamwood’s Ridge Circle Elementary School and one to Elgin’s Ellis Middle School.
  The district is also proposing to purchase an additional 16 interactive boards from Dell at a cost of $36,000 for special education.
  “The purchase of 16 interactive boards with a mobile stand supports special education instructional goals and increases student engagement and learning,” the proposal states. “This technology provides an ever-expanding number of resources for Special Education teachers.”




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