SPARTA, NJ – The board of education moved to support the Google in the Classroom pilot program on Monday night. The vote to approve the three year lease agreement for $140,000 annual payments totaling $405,000. The Hunterdon County Educational Services Lease Purchase Bidding and Financial Advisory Service conducted the bid process. They recommended First Hope Bank with an interest rate of 1.47 percent as the lowest bidder.
The approval of the financing for the chromebooks will allow the initiative to be implemented in September. The program will include one classroom or team of teachers in each building to forego paper, pencils and books, in exchange for the applications that come loaded onto the chromebooks. The suite of educational tools are google doc, google drive, gmail, calendar and more. Each student and teacher in the pilot classrooms will have a chromebook to use in school.
Each building principal will be trained along with the district’s educational technology coordinators Melissa Postorino and Patrick Chodkiewicz. They will, in turn, train others.
With this first step Sparta joins more than 30 districts in New Jersey, along with countless others in other states and around the world, using the google platform to bring education forward into a more digital world.
The tools available through google classroom are not new. They are also used personally and in business.
Dr Daniel Johnson, newly appointed Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Staff Development said, “The Sparta School District is proud to begin our transition to online classroom environments within Google Apps for Educators. It is our belief that this is just the beginning of our efforts to expand our students learning opportunities. We look forward to working with our staff, students, and community during this transition.”