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Connellsville elementary schools update computer labs

| Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, 5:50 p.m.
Connellsville Area School District’s elementary schools recently received new computers. Front, from left, are students Brandon Younkin, Haley Barron, Camden Gonzales, Brianna Meade; standing, Director of Technology Bruce Jaynes, IT district worker Mark Barbrow, IT district worker George Furman, and district Superintendent Daniel Lujetic. Rachel Basinger | for the Daily Courier

Elementary schools within the Connellsville Area School District recently received new computers in their computer labs, thanks to the financial contributions of the district's technology department, federal funds, the Falcon Foundation and Scottdale Bank and Trust.

Bruce Jaynes, director of technology for the district, said that some of the computers in some of the computer labs dated to the 1990s.

“At first, we were going to look at replacing the older computers one at a time and lab by lab, but I heard about a lease program that HP (Hewlett Packard) offered and I had our IT department research the program,” he said.

Jaynes found that the program was a three-year lease agreement that would cost $155,000 over the three years.

“Once I knew a cost, I started going around asking different groups for funding,” he said, adding that computers in today's age of technology are vital at the elementary level.

Jaynes said most of what the students are learning, in math, in literacy, have different computer programs that help the students prepare for the PSSA tests.

Superintendent Dan Lujetic said the district needs the students to be globally competitive.

“The only way to do that is to have updated technology on all levels,” he said.

The Falcon Foundation and the Scottdale Bank and Trust, through the Earned Income Tax Credit program, agreed to help fund the initiative.

“The primary purpose of the Falcon Foundation is to back the instructors and teachers at the district to enhance education,” said foundation representative Ken Jaynes. “If new computers will do that then we are happy to help finance it.”

Lujetic said the district is lucky to have a group like the Falcon Foundation and a local business such as the Scottdale Bank and Trust that value education.

“The work the Falcon Foundation does voluntarily is amazing,” he said. “The impact they have with the students in the classroom is phenomenal.”

Bruce Jaynes said Scottdale Bank and Trust has been giving funds to the district for about 10 years and the impact it has made on different programs that would otherwise not have been affordable has been tremendous.

Overall, the district was able to lease 275 computers through the program. The first year's payment was made for $52,000.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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