New Bloomfield schools receive major upgrade of computers

The New Bloomfield R-III School District has received a major upgrade in its computer hardware.

Superintendent David Tramel told the Board of Education Thursday the school applied for and received a grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to provide 25 new computers for the high school computer laboratory.

In addition, Tramel said Ameren Missouri has donated 50 relatively new computers to the school district at no cost. “They are a major upgrade to computers we now have, and many of our current computers are no longer usable,” Tramel said.

Tramel said Midwest Comptech has compiled a list of the school district’s computers and equipment that are broken beyond repair. The firm agreed to pick up and recycle the 105 computers, 50 monitors, seven printers, 17 laptops, three projectors and one video cassette recorder. The firm will wipe the hard drives clean at no cost to the district. The board declared all of the designated equipment as surplus property.

To operate the school district’s 75 newly-acquired computers, the board approved an $11,600 bid from Quality Network Solutions of Sullivan, Ill., for two new Dell servers with Intel processors.

Tramel said the current computer operating system will continue to be used by the new PC hardware.

“I am elated at the high-quality new computer system we will have at relatively modest cost. I am so thankful for the state grant and the Ameren donation,” Tramel said.

The board also approved a proposal to increase the price of school lunches by 10 cents for elementary, high school and adult categories. New prices will be $1.85 for elementary students, $2.10 for high school students and $2.60 for adult staff and teachers. No changes are made in breakfast prices.

“This price change is mandated by the federal government,” Tramel said. “Failing to comply will risk loss of federal school lunch subsidies.”

At the request of board president Gracia Backer, the board authorized Elementary Principal Julie Gerloff to check into the district’s participation in the Buddy Pack program operated by the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.

To make sure needy students have food during the weekend, they are given a pack of nutritious nonperishable food to take home during the weekend.

The food bank is now asking for volunteer Adopt-a-Buddy donations from Callaway County residents to help fund the program.

To participate in the program, the school would need to have volunteers to unload a food bank truck each week with Buddy Pack supplies and assemble individual packs for students participating in the program.

Tramel said the district’s financial condition has improved greatly during the last year. Severe budget cuts were made last June. At that time, the district had only 9 percent of its total budget held in reserve.

“The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,” Tramel said, “ wants each district to have from 15 to 20 percent of their budgets held for reserves. I am pleased to announce today that our district now has 16 percent of its budget in reserve.”

Tramel said the budget cuts made last year and continued conservative spending resulted in the district’s improved financial condition.

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