By Rick Palsgrove
A small piece of land has been removed from the Groveport Madison school district.
At its April 10 meeting, the Groveport Madison Board of Education approved transferring a 4.1 acre parcel located at Rickenbacker Airport to Columbus City Schools. The land is in the southern portion of the airport at the site of the old control tower near the runways. The parcel is contiguous to another parcel that is already within the city of Columbus.
According to Franklin County Auditor records, the land is owned by the Columbus Municipal Airport Authority. Also according to the county auditor, the site’s current market value is $1.1 million, which includes $432,800 for the land and $704,700 for improvements.
However, Groveport Madison Treasurer John Walsh said the land is exempt from property taxes because it is within the Port Authority.
“The property is non-taxable so Groveport Madison Schools will not lose any revenue,” said Walsh.
New Chromebook computers
The board approved the purchase of 1,200 new Chromebook computers at a cost of $269,124 for student use. The purchase will be spread over two fiscal years with 600 purchased in 2019 and 600 in 2020. (Fiscal year 2020 starts July 1.)
The new computers will replace existing, older Chromebooks and will be paid for out of the district’s technology budget.
Groveport Madison Chief Technology Officer Peter Dotson said Chromebooks become outdated after five years.
“These new Chromebooks will go primarily to sixth grade and ninth grade students next year,” said Dotson. “That will leave around 200 to fill in for new students and other replacements in grades 7, 8, 10 and 11.”
Dotson said the district has provided Chromebooks for each student in grades K-12 for two years.
“We have had students using Chromebooks since 2013, but they were a shared resource in each building,” said Dotson. “Now every student kindergarten through 12th grade has a Chromebook assigned to them (approximately 6,000). We also keep from 15 to 60, depending on the building size, loaner devices at each building.”
Dotson said students in grades six through 12 are allowed to take the Chromebooks home with a signed agreement.
“We are also piloting take home at three elementary schools,” said Dotson. “Sedalia and Glendening allow take home for students needing intervention when they use an online intervention program. Groveport Elementary is piloting take home with their fifth graders. We also have online summer school opportunities for all grade levels using online tools and our teachers. This is the second year for the summer school program.”