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MV sees tech changes
June 28, 2013 · Ann Gruber-Miller

The Mount Vernon School Board has approved purchasing MacBook Air laptops for the seventh and eighth grades for the coming school year, and every four years thereafter, as part of the new one-to-one program.

Purchasing 262 MacBook Airs will incur a one-time cost of $298,315 rather than spreading a total lease cost of $299,555 over four years, for a savings of $1,241 every four years.

Purchasing the MacBook Airs will also allow the district to keep about 75 percent of them at the end of four years, according to technology director Sean Flockhart. They could be repurposed for classroom use or for carts, or could be sold for $300-$400 per machine, so 196 machines could be sold back for $58,000-$78,000. The district would also have the flexibility to switch from purchasing to leasing the computers in the future if it desires. The district is also undergoing changes in its technology crew. Technology director Shawn Driscoll submitted his resignation from the position, effective June 28.

With his departure, Flockhart, previously the technology systems administrator, will transfer to the technology director position. The school board authorized the transfer at a recent meeting. Salary for both positions is $55,187.

The school district is advertising for a new technology systems administrator to start on or after July 1.

This summer, two student workers who worked for the technology department last year are helping the department get ready for the 2013-14 school year. The district is also advertising for an additional adult to provide summer technology help, at up to $9,000.

Flockhart told the school board that despite the department's current staffing changes, his goal is "still to get the equipment into the hands of the teachers by August."

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