BY RYAN MERARD
After being given 100,000 dollars from the Safety, Music, Arts, Athletics, Renovations and Technology (SMART) program within Broward County Public Schools (BCPS), CCHS has been attempting to find a reasonable way to appropriate this money. These funds are intended to be used to improve the learning environments of each BCPS school. From discussions held at School Advisory Council (SAC) meetings to now, voting on options for how this money will be distributed to enhance CCHS has been a recurring topic across staff and faculty.
In one of the previous meetings, it was approved by the SAC that 65 percent of this bond would be spent on the library and the rest would be spent on technological advancements, such as upgrading teacher’s laptops. After more evaluation, the SAC decided to expand on this choice and allow teachers and all parents with students enrolled at CCHS to have a say.
Over the past few weeks, emails were sent out to teachers and parents allowing them to choose between two options on how to spend the $100,000. The first option is the original proposal, where the school would spend 65 percent of the bond on library renovations and the rest for technology. The second option is more flexible, with only 50 percent being used for the library and the other 50 percent being used for specific technology to create more digital-based classrooms. This would include the purchase of Smart Boards and new laptops, in addition to standard technological advancements.
“It’s all about enhancing technology for schools across the district,” Behavioral Specialist Dwayne Dixon said. “Most schools are pushing for [a] one-to-one ratio for technology for students because it is known that many of the assessments are moving online and we don’t have enough technology for every student to take a test at the same time, so it creates schedule challenges for us.”
“It’s all about enhancing technology for schools across the district.”Behavioral Specialist Dwayne Dixon
With technology being a prevalent feature in today’s society, it would be likely to see that the second option is the one that would gain the most votes. That holds true as of now, with the second option currently having the most votes among teachers. However, there are also a number of teachers who are voting for the first option to give the library more money, due to various reasons.
“There really shouldn’t be so much money put into something that many teachers do not actually use the way they are supposed to be,” sociology teacher Steve Franzone said. “Many use [Smart Boards] just for PowerPoint slides that you could use projectors for, when the boards can do so much more. I voted for the [option] with more money in the media center; I would’ve liked more information on what classrooms were getting the new technology.”
An error was made during the emailing process, however, leading to only teachers receiving the email to vote and leaving out some parents. The deadline for voting was supposed to be March 6, but because of this complication, the deadline was moved to the following Friday for parents only. By March 13, all votes should be in and the winning option should be known.
This 100,000 dollar school enhancement bond has been in the works for five years now, in addition to the 800 million dollar bond that was nationally approved in 2014. Most schools across the country have finally received their promised money.
“There really shouldn’t be so much money put into something that many teachers do not actually use the way they are supposed to be.”Sociology teacher Steve Franzone
After coming up with ideas on how to spend the funds, CCHS’s SAC created a ballot with two options for others to vote on. The option that comes out with the most votes is the plan that the school will take. Most of the renovations that will take place hope to be completed by the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
“[After multiple years,] we finally got the money– it’s not like we’ve been sitting on the money since 2014,” Dixon said. “[As] soon as we got the money, we jumped right into the process to be able to spend it effectively.”
Photo by Sydney Katz