by Linda Sheridan
Orcas Island School District, School Board President
The school board members of the Orcas Island School District unanimously voted to place a Capital Projects and Technology Levy on the ballot for the upcoming special election. Ballots are due back to San Juan County Elections by April 27.
During the past year, the students and staff at the Orcas Island School District have relied heavily on technology for their day-to-day classes and assignments. The pandemic required all of our students to begin learning online in March of 2020 – with most doing so for at least 9 months. The teachers, the students, and the administrators have done an amazing job making sure everyone was able to stay connected and be part of classes throughout the pandemic. As challenging as it was, learning still happened, and assignments still got done. Chromebooks were given to any student who needed one and the school district made sure that all students had access to the Internet with the help of Rock Island.
During the pandemic, our students, teachers, administrators, and even the school board relied heavily on online access for classes, meetings, and assignments. Platforms such as Google Classroom and Google Meets were learned in order to connect and learn. Face-to-face meetings were able to happen online and students still got to see their teachers every day.
When you think of technology you mainly think of computers; however, this Levy will support more than just the repair and replacement of the overused equipment from the last year. This technology levy will help replace the electronic security system on campus, it can help pay for electronic doors to make our buildings more accessible, and can even be used for staff training. This Levy will also cover the upgrade of the software for the district’s HVAC system which will allow for a more efficient and cost-effective heating and cooling system of the district buildings.
The school board members have agreed that in order for our students to have a quality education we need to put this Levy to a vote. If you’d like more information please go to the frequently asked questions page on the school district website: http://www.orcasislandschools.org/tech_levy_f_a_q
I urge you to vote in this very important election.