TCSS Board approves purchase of 100 Chromebooks

Published 10:45 am Saturday, January 23, 2021

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The Troup County School Board voted to approve the purchase of 100 Chromebooks and to solicit bids for a food truck during Thursday night’s meeting.

The 100 Chromebooks were not discussed during Tuesday night’s work session, as staff expected the total cost to be under $30,000, which wouldn’t have required board approval. 

However, the cost ended up being $36,495 for the 100 Chromebooks, meaning the board needed to approve the purchase. It was passed unanimously.

Assistant Superintendent Chip Medders said the majority of the laptops are for new students. 

Medders said the school system is at a “critical” shortage and that the 100 laptops were important to ensure every student had a Chromebook.

“We were at that point where we were concerned we wouldn’t be able to supply a Chromebook to a kid, a new kid or one of our existing kids in the system,” Medders said.

 “To summarize, all 100 will probably be passed out in the next couple of days.”

Medders said TCSS currently has about 300 Chromebooks that are in need of repair.

“We are trying to make sure, especially right now with situations like we have with Gardner Newman or Berta Weathersbee, that when the kids leave in the afternoon, if we’re going to close down, that every student has a Chromebook,” he said.

Superintendent Brian Shumate noted that the school system has students using more than 12,000 Chromebooks, which he said aren’t extremely durable. 

“They are a good piece of technology but they aren’t something you can bang around a whole lot,” Shumate said. 

Also during Thursday’s meeting, TCSS approved soliciting bids for a catering and transport vehicle for food services. 

The purpose of the vehicle is to ensure no student is left without a meal, regardless of whether or not they live in a remote location on the outskirts of the county.

The TCSS nutrition program received grant funds from “No Kid Hungry,” and those funds will be used purchase a vehicle to support virtual learning students, summer meal services, school field days, senior Olympic days and others.