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$6 million Internet plan eyed in Chambersburg

May 22, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Every classroom, library and computer lab in the Chambersburg Area School District will get Internet access under a $6 million proposal reviewed Wednesday by the Board of School Directors.

The technology plan has been in development since December and the board is scheduled to vote on it in July, according to Robert Watson, an assistant principal who has been on temporary assignment to help draft the plan.

Extending the Wide Area Network throughout the junior, middle and high schools and 19 elementary schools would cost about $3 million, Watson said. He said it's possible the board could approve something short of that, such as Internet access to just libraries, or a classroom or two in the elementary schools.

The schools now have the network in administrative offices and teacher workstations, according to Watson.

In the 1998-99 school year, Watson said the district will evaluate how the technology can be used to best advance the curriculum.

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The purchase of new computers, software and training would cost about another $3 million, Watson said. The plan would be implemented over a three-year period.

Watson said Business Manager George Fike will be examining options for how to best pay for the technology plan. The preliminary budget for the 1998-99 budget includes one mill of real estate tax dedicated to laying the groundwork.

One mill equals about $175,000, according to Watson.

The final budget vote will take place June 10, a month before the board votes on the technology plan.

The aim is to give students the skills they need when they leave school for a job, the military, college or technical school, Watson said.

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