Microsoft will give grant to schools

June 12, 1997


Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp., a leader in computer software, has given an estimated $50,000 grant to the Washington County Board of Education, one of 20 school systems nationwide to receive the gift, school board officials said.

As part of the grant, the corporation is sending 20 school system representatives to a training session at its headquarters in Redmond, Wash., to learn how to use various Microsoft software packages.

The school board is sending resource teacher Leslie Hanks, who is based in the central office, to train in computer programs, including Microsoft Office '97 and the company's reference guides and World Wide Web tools, said John Davidson, supervisor of computer-related instruction for the Board of Education.


When she returns she will be certified as a Microsoft mentor-teacher. She will install Microsoft products in 30 computers to be used to train county teachers and instructors, Davidson said.

"Without staff development, the hardware is useless," he said. "These types of things are very critical in education, and for the teachers in becoming comfortable and integrating technology into the curriculum."

Microsoft also will give the school board $4,000 to facilitate technological enhancements to the county schools.

New computers will be installed in Hancock, Clear Spring, Williamsport and Boonsboro high schools. By next year, Boonsboro, Clear Spring and Springfield middle schools will have updated systems, Davidson said.

He said he has applied to several other companies and organizations for grants to help fund the additions.

The school board had to apply for the Microsoft grant to be eligible for the selection process. Davidson said he believes Washington County's intensive technological planning and wide area networks helped it win the Microsoft grant.

"It's nice to be chosen as one of 20 schools from across the nation," he said.

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