County schools approve ebook purchases
by Mark Andrews
Oct 22, 2013 | 929 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bartow County Board of Education on Monday voted to allow Adairsville and Woodland Middle schools to spend about $30,000 each on ebooks and/or other books to support classroom instruction. Superintendent John Harper said the purchases, which will be made through Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant funds, will allow the two schools to have greater flexibility in terms of how it helps students reach academic goals.

“We have a number of programs out there that the schools are using as opposed to me saying, ‘You’re going to use this program.’ If someone believes in a program, they will be more effective with it rather than saying, ‘You have to do this,’” Harper said following the board’s work session and business session. “We’ve trimmed some of those [programs] over the years, but some teachers and principals still like a certain program ...

“As long as our schools continue to show improvement, we continue to support that.”

The board also approved the use of up to $260,000 in SRCL funds to purchase supplemental reading books and/or materials, which may include ebooks and electronic readers.

“Some of our exceptional children function really well with [e-readers],” Harper said. “We had looked at iPads in the past, but the Amazon readers seem to be priced a little bit better for us to get more of those, so although we’re buying Apple products, we’re not set that those are the only [electronic devices] we’re going to buy.”

Over the past year, the system has received more than $4 million in SRCL funds that have been used to supplement reading education, primarily through the use of technology.

“One of the things I’ve said to the media specialists over at our new [school] constructions — Cloverleaf [Elementary School], Emerson [Elementary School], Adairsville [Middle School] — is when refreshing the books in your media center, you’ll have to purchase a certain number of electronic books because ... I certainly believe that’s where it’s all going to end up anyway,” Harper said.

In other school news, Chief Financial Advisor Todd Hooper announced he will be leaving the school system effective Nov. 1. Harper thanked Hooper for his approximately seven years of service and said current Director of Accounting Megan Brown will be take the role of director of finance.

“I’ve got all the confidence in the world in her, and she has all the certifications that [Hooper] does,” Harper said.

For more county school news, read The Daily Tribune News.