Students at Dutchtown High School finally will be able to reap the benefits of wireless technology in the classroom.
The school, and others within the Dutchtown school cluster, will be among the first in the Henry County School System to receive wireless upgrades, with funding from the revenues generated through a one-cent sales tax for education.
Henry County voters approved the retail sales tax referendum, known as Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for Education, last November. It allows the continuation of SPLOST as a revenue source projected to generate up to $225 million over a five-year span, beginning in January 2013.
School officials said the school system is using those anticipated revenues to pay for building repairs and classroom additions and renovations. Funds also are being used for school bus replacements as well as technology improvements like those in the Dutchtown school cluster.
The school cluster includes Dutchtown High, Dutchtown Middle, Dutchtown Elementary, Red Oak Elementary, and Pate’s Creek Elementary.
The schools are slated to receive new computers, which will require a wireless set-up in order to operate as mobile computer laboratories, according to J.D. Hardin, communications specialist for Henry County Schools. He did not specify when the schools would receive their upgrades.
“Pate’s Creek’s computers were upgraded more recently then the other four, so they will not be included in this first upgrade,” said Hardin.
Hardin said schools in the system currently have limited wireless capabilities. However, the goal with the SPLOST funding was to give all schools improved wireless capability.
“They will all have this, but it will be rolled out in phases, starting with four of the schools in the Dutchtown cluster, which happen to have the oldest operating computers in our system,” he said. “Four schools in the Dutchtown cluster [excluding Pate’s Creek Elementary] are getting the upgrade first, due to the age of their current operating computers.”
The communications specialist noted most computers within the Dutchtown school cluster are the oldest in the system. Some date to the 2004-05 school year, when the schools first opened.
“Dutchtown High is grateful for the SPLOST funds that will be used to upgrade the school,” said Dutchtown High Principal Dwala Nobles. “The wireless school environment will allow for more technology in the classrooms and will create greater flexibility and efficiency for the faculty and staff.”
For more information, visit www.henry.k12.ga.us.