NEWPORT — The Newport School District received $9,000 in computer equipment from Dartmouth College last week.
The equipment was badly needed and is being put to good use in Towle School and Newport Middle High School, said Newport School District’s new Director of Technology Viki Bridge.
The 21 HP compact desktops and nine laptops come from a dismantled call center for the college’s Information Management System and New Media department, Bridge said.
The desktops went to Towle School upper elementary for 5th and 6th graders and replace old computers used by students.
The laptops went to Newport Middle High School for the Computers on Wheels or COW cart that are available to students as needed.
Bridge said the donation amounts to about $9,000 in equipment. Without the donation, she would have asked for the equipment in next year’s budget, she said.
Students today need access to computers not only to write up English papers, but to access online programs that are now part of the curriculum, Bridge said.
“Especially since so much more of their curriculum is online. We have a new reading program in the district that has an online component to it,” Bridge said.A math program used by the district that keeps track of students’ progress also requires online access, she said.
The district that doesn’t have a one-to-one initiative is a bit behind the curve in terms of technology, Bridge said. Replacing the classroom desktops has been on the back burner for several years, she said.
The Newport School District has been without a technology director for several years, said Bridge, who joined the school district in August.
“I’m doing a lot of catch up and just trying to reallocate devices throughout the district where they are going to be used most,” she said.