LCD projectors, digital cameras and other computer equipment are among the new technology items North Putnam students will see when they return to school in the fall.
A new three-year lease the school has entered into with Covenant Financial will guarantee that new computers and other equipment are replaced before warranties end and software is outdated.
After reviewing bids from Dell and Hewlett Packard, school officials have chosen Dell as the provider of the new ceiling mounted projectors, laptop and notebook computers, digital cameras, and office equipment.
The Dell bid came in at $380,058 total cost for all the equipment, while Hewlett Packard said it would take $465,206 for them to seal the deal.
At a North Putnam School Board meeting Thursday, board member Jon Buser asked technology director Sandra Aker why the bids had been so different.
"I think it is marketing. They are practically giving us this stuff so that when it comes time for kids to go to college, they think, "I need a Dell," Aker said.
Previous technology plans for the school have run on a four-year basis. Supt. Murray Pride said this means three-year warranties on equipment are usually expired when the they are replaced, and software is often well behind the times.
Concerned with the monetary aspect of the deal. Board President Dale McGaughey asked whether all the new equipment will need to be replaced after three years.
"We want the best, but we still need to be financially responsible," he said.
The school corporation will still be able to keep any technology items they are not ready to give up after three years, Pride said.
Also, under the deal, the financial firm will take away the old items and auction them, an ordeal which school staff used to have to deal with. Board members voted to accept an option where the school will receive a set amount, $37,322, no matter how much money the auctioned items bring in.
In other business at the meeting, board members Dale McGaughey, Carl Blau, Mark Fordice, Jon Buser, Patricia Baldwin and Charlie Boller approved:
-- Advertisement for bids on milk, bread, food and supplies.
-- Advertisement for bids on a temporary loan from July 1-Dec. 31 in the amount of $4.2 million. The loan will cover cash flow until funds are dispersed to the school.
-- School officials to apply for gifted and talented grants and Title I and other federal grants.
-- Student handbooks.
-- The following North Putnam personnel items: Retirement of instructional assistant Barbara Goode and bus driver Jack Wright; resignation of NPMS physical education teacher Brett Motz and bus driver Tom Chandler; employment of Kristine Homler, custodian; transfer of Brent McColgin from volunteer to paid track coach; employment of extra-curricular staff Jennifer Porter, Jim Crosley, Ross Dahlstrom, Mark Smith, Jason Chew, Kevin Lutes, Allie Davis, Wes Peek, Kevin Smith, Kenny Kerns, Brittany Pierce, Joan Knapp, Patricia Schreiber and professional growth leave for Jane Albright, Helen Blumbaum, Julie Black, Char Coffman, Susan Wilcox, Joan Knapp, Valerie Lenihan, Rita Anderson, Jennifer Simpson, Mary Lee Rippy, Nancy King, Carrie Stain, Cathy Proctor, Linda Jones, Deborah Denny and Debra Myers.
-- The following Old National Trail Special Services Cooperative personnel items: Resignation of speech and hearing pathologist Chris Eldred, Lavonna Miles and instructional assistants Sara Campfield, Kim Nichols and Stephanie Cooper.