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School board members approved the low bid for the purchase of 900 new Chromebooks for students across the district during Tuesday's meeting.

The computers will be used to replace older models that are out of date and add to the district's inventory for the new virtual school, according to Shane Patrick, assistant superintendent.

The school district has had a one-to-one ratio of devices to students for several years and started issuing take-home devices to all students when the covid-19 pandemic began in March.

The new Chromebooks will be touchscreen, which will begin to replace iPads used at the kindergarten level, Patrick said. However, the new devices will be used to supplement supplies at all buildings throughout the district, he said.

CDWG was the low bidder for the contract for the new devices, with a bid of $247,504.50 or $229 per device plus a $24.25 fee for licensing and management. Howard Technology Solutions submitted a bid for $263,128.50 and White River Services and Solutions submitted a bid for $254,993.

In other business, the school board took the following actions:

• Approved a five-page list of personnel who received salary increases of more than five percent compared to the previous year, as required by Act 1120 of 2013. Most of the individuals on the list saw increases for reasons such as going from part-time to full-time work, changing positions, or only working part of the year last year and working the whole year this year, said Terri Raskiewicz, chief financial officer for the district.

• Approved additions to the summer hire list.

• Approved a tuition agreement with Northwest Technical Institute for the 2020-2021 school year.

• Approved Arkansas Department of Education Statement of Assurances for programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

• Approved a resolution allowing the district to do business with Alternative Design Manufacturing and Design, even though the company owner and president Grant Loyd is a school board member. The school district has done business with Alternative Design for a number of years, purchasing custom gates and other metalwork, and would like to use the same materials on future projects, Superintendent Jody Wiggins said. The resolution will go to the Arkansas Department of Education for final approval.

• Approved allowing teachers Jarred Wyatt, Kendra Woodlee and Shea Gregory to work through their preparatory period.

• Accepted the resignation of Russell Johnson, middle school career and technical education teacher.

• Hired Martin Rhodes, middle school career and technical education and engineering teacher.

• Approved allowing one student to transfer from the Siloam Springs School District to the Gravette School District.

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