The West Bloomfield Schools Board of Education at its Monday, Aug. 27 meeting approved purchasing over $115,000 in new calculators from Underwood Distributing.
West Bloomfield High School, Oakland Early College, Abbott Middle School and Orchard Lake Middle School will be the recipients of these new calculators.
Pam Zajac, the district’s public relations and marketing coordinator, said the calculator purchase is to help the students meet the expectations of the state’s new Common Core Math Standards that will be enacted in 2014.
“We recommended the purchase now so students can familiarize themselves with the new calculators,” she said. “Teachers may have calculators as a requirement, but students may not always purchase them or they may buy a different brand or style. We began purchasing calculators 10 years ago. We can’t charge a fee for a required class. It’s against the law.”
Zajac said the money for the calculators came from the district’s 2011 Capital Projects Fund.
“The bond was passed in May of 2008,” she said. “We sold $15 million of the bonds in 2010 and $9 million in 2011.”
West Bloomfield High School’s portion of the purchase includes a total of 740 Texas Instruments TI Nspire calculators, while Oakland Early College will receive 60 Nspires.
Abbott and Orchard Lake middle schools will each receive 200 Texas Instruments TI 84-Plus calculators and 40 Nspires.
The Nspire is a graphing calculator with different feature levels and can be used on the ACT and SAT tests.
In a letter to the school board, Math and Science Curriculum Specialist Margaret Hendrickson and West Bloomfield High School Math Department Chairman Dr. Joseph Brandell said that the district’s TI-83 calculators purchased over 10 years ago have lived beyond their practical usage.
They also wrote that the purchase of new technology that is still geared to be effective in eight years and can meet curriculum changes is important.