West Hancock Community Schools received a $20,000 Casey’s Cash for Classrooms grant, which will be used to update classroom projectors.
West Hancock High School Principal Dan Peterson said in a release that after updating staff laptops last fall to allow for enhanced remote teaching options for its e-learning program, the school found that the new laptops often would not work well with existing and aging classroom projectors.
This project will help ensure the classroom technologies in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade are up to date, improving both in-person and remote learning for teachers and students.
“We are so grateful to receive a (Casey's) Cash for Classrooms grant,” said Peterson in the release. “We stretched our COVID funds as far as we could to enhance our ability for remote teaching. When we upgraded our staff computers it caused some communication issues with some of our existing projectors. It seemed we took a step backwards after taking a step forward.”
So, the school district immediately applied for the Casey's grant. The resulting project at West Hancock involves making sure each classroom and teacher has an up-to-date, high quality classroom projector that works well with teachers’ new laptops.
According to the release, the new projectors will also be a high enough quality that the image should also present well enough for a student in remote learning to see both the teacher and the board at the same time through Zoom. The project is expected to be completed by April.
The school district purchased the classroom projectors from Rick's Computers, Inc. in Danbury, which has state consortium pricing for schools. Rick’s Computers submitted the $14,840 low bid that the West Hancock School Board approved on Feb. 15.
For the greater majority of students, West Hancock Schools has had in-person learning all year. Peterson said the most visible change is an extra laptop or small webcam that is in the classroom for teaching remotely to students who are home ill, in quarantine, on vacation, or out of town.
They can participate in the lesson that day. For West Hancock students who are e-learning, the change will be substantial in some cases, but only visible to them on the remote end.
“Our teachers and students are excited for these projectors to be installed as they’ll make an immediate impact in the educational process,” said Peterson.
More information on Casey’s Cash for Classrooms grant program is available at www.caseys.com/community/cash-for-classrooms-grants. The 2022 grant program will open in the fall.