Valley View School District is buying 280 graphing calculators for $98 each with stimulus money.
The board is using more than $27,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus money to purchase graphing calculators for Romeoville and Bolingbrook high schools.
The calculators will be used by at-risk and special needs students who cannot otherwise afford to purchase the calculators that will be required for the new algebra core classes being instituted this year.
Last spring, the board eliminated the two-year algebra 1 and 2 sequence and replaced it with a new one-year course -- algebra core -- where students would receive exposure to content sooner and in more depth which will help them meet college readiness standards by their junior year.
"These calculators are not typical calculators. They are graphing calculators and perform very advanced calculations. For what they can do, they are very well priced," said Faith Dahlquist, assistant superintendent of education, in an e-mail.
The school board shelved a request to buy a Cloud Computing Services site license with $125,000 in ARRA funds, questioning the expense and the related licensing for up to 20,000 users.
The software would be used primarily by members of the special education department to improve the security to the district's individualized education program database. It would also include increased access to new and existing diagnostic and prescriptive special education software.
"This year it will be covered by ARRA, but next year it has to be covered by the district," said board member Mike Evans after he learned the software carries an annual licensing fee.
The board asked Director of Instructional Technology Don Tufano to look into a reduction in the cost of the software.