Netbooks for 09-10

by Coy Holcombe.  

A few days ago, in the summary of regular July board meeting, I mentioned that the Board had approved the purchase of 600 Asus netbooks for the 09-10 school year. A netbook computer is similar to a laptop computer, only smaller. EISD has been looking at netbooks for over a year. The netbooks that we will purchase are certainly a far cry from the first netbooks that we received as demos.

Most of the first netbooks that we looked at ran Linux, contained limited RAM, and had no hard drive. They did contain a solid state drive for storage, but it had limited capacity. The keys on the keyboards were extremely small. The screens were not only small, but had limited resolutions. Finally, the limited size for the batteries meant that it was unlikely that a full charge would last through the school day. However, at the time, they were affordable and offered a unique solution to providing enough computers for students.

Over the past year or so, EISD has purchased several different models of netbooks to try-out in the classrooms. The student feedback on these computers has been overwhelming positive. Certainly, there were limitations with what these first netbooks could do; however, in recent months, these limitations have diminished significantly.

The Asus netbooks that were approved in July really blur the line between a netbook and a full scale notebook computer. Here are some of the specifications of these netbooks:

Screen size and resolution: 10.1" ; 1024 x 600 LED screen
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Drive: 160 GB  
Battery Life: 10.5 hours
OS: Windows XP
Camera: 1.3 megapixel (built in)
Speakers: Built in stereo speakers
Weight: 2.81 pounds
Cost: $355.00

Each student in the High School will receive a netbook. Each grade level at the Middle School and Intermediate will receive one classroom set of 25. The older demos that were purchased will be utilized at the Primary School.

Computers and technology will never take the place of good teaching and good teachers. However, they will enhance the education that students receive. No longer will students have to go to a computer lab to work with computers. Computers and technology will become a seamless part of everyday instruction. A special thank you goes out to the EISD Board of Trustees for providing the leadership and means to purchase these computers. Also, a special thank you goes out to our technology department for the countless hours they have spent researching and testing different models. Our technology department includes: Gene Myers, Rusty Meyners, Wade Morton, David Johnson, and Robert Cook.

 

Proposed Tax Rate

by Coy Holcombe.  

Last night, in a called board meeting, the EISD Board of Trustees voted on a proposed tax rate. The proposed rate for the 09-10 school year is exactly the same as the tax rate for the 08-09 school year: $1.04 M & O rate and $0.218 I & S rate. The proposed tax rate is not yet the official tax rate. In order for the district to publish the required documents, the Board must adopt a proposed tax rate. The district then publishes a Notice of Public Meeting to Discuss Budget and Proposed Tax Rate. The proposed tax rate is used in this publication. The Board will then hold a public hearing in which the budget and proposed tax rate are discussed. It is anticipated that this public hearing will be held before the August regular board meeting on August 18. There is no action taken during the public hearing. Action on the budget and tax rate must take place in a separate board meeting. The public hearing and board meeting may occur on the same day, but must be separated by an adjournment of the public hearing and a call to order of the board meeting.

A school district’s tax rate is made up of two components: the M & O rate and the I & S rate. The M & O rate is used to fund the daily operation of the school district. The I & S rate is used to pay for voter approved bonds. Not every school district will have an I & S rate. Combined, the M & O and I & S rate make up the total tax rate for the school district. As we progress through August, we will talk more about the overall procedure of adopting a budget and a tax rate. If at any time you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

 

 

Middle School Cheerleading

by Coy Holcombe.  

Congratulations to the Middle School cheerleading team on their performance at the NCA camp. This was the first time that the Middle School attended an accredited camp and the team came away with many awards. Among those awards were:

Nominated for All-American: Meagan Gunter, Shelby Marcom, and Samantha Crocker.

Named All-American: Meagan Gunter

Team Awards:

Game Day Top Team Trophy
Most Improved All-Around Trophy
S. P. O. T. Certificate
Bid to Nationals
Spirit Stick
2 Excellent Ribbons and 2 Superior Ribbons for team evaluation

The following students are members of the 09-10 Middle School Cheerleading Squad: Meagan Gunter, Shelby Marcom, Haley Coffey, Peyton DiBari, Kirby Grimes, Chelsey Everitt, Samantha Crocker, and Haley Compton.

Also, a special thank you to Kim Purselley, the Middle School Cheerleading sponsor/coach for all her hard work and dedication.