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Tech loan for classes wins OK at FWCS

– The Fort Wayne Community Schools board approved a short-term loan application to purchase technology for classrooms.

Each year, the state’s School Technology Advancement Account provides money for school systems to buy computer technology for classrooms. This year the district is requesting $608,200, a figure based on a state guideline of $500 for each 25 students in the district.

FWCS will use the money to help fund individual schools’ technology and learning plans. The money can be used for any technology need in a classroom, said Krista Stockman, FWCS public information officer.

The funding will be a low-interest loan, although school officials Monday were unsure what the interest rate will be. The previous $616,420 loan from the program came with a 1 percent interest rate. The district will repay the loan with money from its debt service fund beginning in 2015.

The board also approved the district’s student Code of Conduct, which outlines behavioral guidelines for the coming school year. Board member Lisa Olinger expressed concern about the way student-owned technology is handled in that it’s up to the individual school to accept it.

FWCS Superintendent Wendy Robinson said the district hasn’t determined how to best implement and fund a one-to-one system of technology and if that includes allowing students to use their own personal devices. She said the curriculum, technology and academic departments are researching the issue.

A plan couldn’t be implemented in time for this year, but Robinson said the Code of Conduct covers penalties when students misuse school- or student-owned technology. She said students are coming to school with personal technology on a regular basis.