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Quaker Valley computer labs could see upgrade

| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

As Quaker Valley School District administrators work to prepare a 2014-15 budget, two computer labs in the high school could be on target for new machines, district administrators say.

Computers in the labs are outdated, making it difficult to use newer software and applications on those devices, academic services Director Jillian Bichsel said.

“We do know that we need to upgrade,” she said.

Labs are used for art courses, computer-aided drawing, Web design and other technology-related classes. In addition, some students who take online courses use the labs.

“They take a beating,” Superintendent Joseph Clapper said. “It's not like one individual on a computer. It's kids coming in from one period to the next period to the next period beating on a computer for eight years. I'm really surprised they're still here.”

Computers would be replaced through a lease, Bichsel said.

Last year, district leaders spent $559,500 on a four-year lease for 1,173 computers, and purchased 500 Chromebooks and accessories.

Leased computers include 490 Dells, 428 MacBook Airs, 205 MacBook Pros and 50 iMacs. Quaker Valley had used mostly Apple computers since about 2001.

Most of the MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros and iMacs are used by staff and administration.

It's unclear what other new items or programs could be part of next school year, Clapper said.

“We'll have to take a hard look at what we can afford to do and then prioritize,” he said. The district's budget is roughly $42 million.

“We already told the principals and administrators that the budget's flat. So they're not supposed to turn in any increases in their budget over the previous year.”

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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