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Future plans

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 1:46 PM

On Monday night, the board looked at the infrastructure improvements, technology, safety and security that they say would meet the district's needs. The board is looking at funding the endeavors through two possible bond proposals to put before district voters.

Superintendent Keith Konarska said the items would occur through a 10-year plan. He said it’s “difficult, if not impossible,” to fund the items given current state funding levels.

"This is a critical component right now," Konarska said.

Konarska said the first proposal would mean no increase to taxpayers because the school district's current bond debt is falling off.

The proposal would raise $35.5 million, and it would pay for improvements related to technology, safety and security, and facility equipment. Some of the items the proposal would pay for include roof replacements, buses, secure entrances, asphalt replacements, technology components and student learning equipment.

Doug Start, the district’s technology director, said 1-to-1 technology is a large component because it increases student engagement and enhances collaboration, and it has a growing role in today's workforce.

For the past year, a committee has looked at technology options and visited Zeeland Public Schools, Fraser Public Schools and Holland Christian Schools to see how their staffs and students work with the technology. Start said the visit to Holland was a "jaw-dropping" experience as they watched staff and students use devices that they’ve had for 10 years.

Although the proposal would provide 1-to-1 technologies, Start said there will still be a need for analogue tools in the classroom.

"It's still going to take quality educators and motivated learners," he said.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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