By CRISTINA JANNEY
The Hays USD 489 school board voted to approved the purchase of new computers for Hays High School students and kindergarten-through eighth-grade staff.
The district plans to apply for Federal Emergency Connectivity Funding to purchase 900 student computers and 200 staff computers.
The federal funds will cover $400 for each student and staff computer. The savings will be $440,000. The district's cost will be $296,000.
Scott Summers, district technology director, said the district's vendor anticipates the cost of computer chips and the devices that contain them will continue to rise.
Summers said he is trying to get the order placed before the next price bump.
The school district has a computer replacement schedule, which calls for replacing student computers every four years. Staff computers are replaced every five years.
All of the computers that will be purchased with the federal funds were scheduled to be replaced at the end of the coming school year. This will allow the computers to be replaced six months early.
Summers said the computers will have an upgraded processor and more RAM.
With the computer chip shortages, the district is not anticipating the computers will not be delivered until November or December.
Summers said he hoped to have the computers rolled out by the second semester.
Tammy Wellbrock, newly elected board president, and Mike Walker, board member, both thanked Summers for his work to save the district money.
The computers that are being replaced will be sold. How much the school district receives for each computer will depend on its condition.