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CCS works to reduce printing to buy Chromebooks

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County Schools has started a new initiative as a creative way to find funding for technology.

The Stop Printing Initiative encourages teachers and staff to cut down on the amount of printing they do in order to save money for purchasing more Chromebooks, the school systems preferred laptop.

Technology Coordinator Kim Arrington said the initiative was started in December.

“It just came to our attention how many orders for paper that were being placed,” Arrington said.

School administration found out that 12 boxes of printer paper cost the same amount as a Chromebook. Each Chromebook costs $325. Arrington said this includes the necessary licensing for the device.

Displays of 12 boxes of paper have been set up throughout the school system to remind teachers and staff members that decreasing printing could mean more Chromebooks for students.

“With technology, we see little need to replicate by printing a document that ends up in the trash. The district spends over $100,000 dollars annually on paper, printers and print cartridges. These dollars can be better used for technology in the classrooms,” School Superintendent Tommy Glasscock said.

The majority of Chilton County Schools classrooms have a printer. Each box of paper contains 5,000 sheets of paper.

At the central office, materials for board meetings are now submitted electronically as well as meetings of principals and department heads.

Individual schools and classrooms have begun using Google classroom to share information and resources whenever possible, rather than printing these materials.

“Many of the high school classes have a Google Classroom setup, so a student can log into their Google Classroom account and the teacher can have documents posted,” Arrington said.

Teachers have also used the platform as a place to post reminders, announcements and assignments. The platform can also be used to streamline the process for students working on a group project.

The school system is working toward having a cart of 30 Chromebooks for each classroom. Arrington said each of the major classrooms in ninth through 12th grade have a cart at this point.

“We don’t want wasteful spending, so if you don’t have to print it out or make a copy you can save some money,” Arrington said.” That’s what we are really trying to show the schools if you will just reduce the numbers of copies you make and copies you print, here is what you could get.”

The Chromebooks are meant to be used as a resource for teachers, not to replace them.

“We are not trying to replace a teacher with a device,” Arrington said.

Arrington said the impact of the initiative will not be seen until next year “when we see how much has been spent at the schools.”