Education Roundup: School district to order 1,100 more netbooks |

Education Roundup: School district to order 1,100 more netbooks

Dylan Silver

To round out its netbook program, the Lake Tahoe Unified School District will order 1,100 more of the machines from AT&T this week. This will allow the district to provide every student between third and 12th grade with one of the small computers.

“It doesn’t replace teaching, but it’s a tool teachers can use,” said Joe Pfeil, the district’s technology trainer, who helps teachers and students understand how to use the netbooks for education.

This 1,100 is on top of the 1,550 the district ordered over the last year and a half. Each of the Dell Mini 10 netbooks costs $19.99 at AT&T’s discounted rate, but the district must pay sales tax on the item’s original value of around $449, bringing this order’s total to more than $60,000. The amount will be paid for with Title 1 federal education funds from the district’s budget.

Superintendent Jim Tarwater said the savings from reduced paper use and electronic books will eventually pay for the hardware and the $5.67 monthly service charge per unit.

Students will use the computers for a variety of subjects. They will be able to do research, complete assignments and communicate with teachers, Pfeil said. They can also help teachers. Testing programs in math and language arts can determine each individual student’s level of understanding, which can help teachers tailor their lessons more specifically to their students, Pfeil said.

“The data shows it will improve standard testing scores,” Pfeil said.

AT&T has installed 3G towers near the high school to increase service in the area. The netbooks can access the Internet on both 3G and wireless networks.

The district is installing security limits on every computer so students can access only certain websites.

The high school students have a little more, like YouTube,” Tarwater said. “There’s more education matter on there (for them). The middle-schoolers and elementary students don’t have that.”

The Lake Tahoe Community College math club is offering to tutor kindergarten through 12th-grade students, starting Sept. 26. Tutoring services will be available from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The service is free, but parents must attend with their child during tutoring sessions. Students should bring their math textbook, class notes, homework assignment, worksheet or study guide. For more information, contact Larry Green, LTCC mathematics co-chair, at or 530-541-4660, ext. 341.

South Tahoe Quarterback Club will host a fundraiser for the South Tahoe High School football team at Tep’s Villa Roma from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 5. The cost is $15. In addition to dinner and desert, there will be a raffle and silent auction.

The Lake Tahoe Educational Foundation will hold the annual Food Fest on 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 8 at Harrah’s Convention Center. The event will feature food, beer and wine from a variety of restaurants, breweries and wineries. Tickets are $35 and are available from Angie Keil, 530-541-2850, ext. 225, Fox Gas Station or any elementary school office. Tickets are also available at the door for $40. The event is for people ages 21 and older.

The South Tahoe High School boys soccer team will host a fundraiser Oct. 6 at Ernie’s Coffee Shop. Tickets are $10 and are available from all team players. For more information contact Bill Spicer at

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