Guntersville City Schools received about $170,000 in grant money

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Guntersville City Schools received three grants totaling about $170,000, and system officials say the money will put toward a longstanding goal.

Guntersville City Schools leaders have a goal of a one to one initiative. The grant money will buy hundreds of new Chromebooks. "Right now we're estimating somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 to 600 units," said Guntersville City Schools Chief Technology Officer Sean Holmes. The idea is to adjust use as grade levels increase.

There are concerns about internet access availability when students are out of school. "So we've been working with the mayor of Guntersville city, and all of the community centers, we're getting internet access up and running in those spaces so that if the student does not have internet access at home, a community center in their area, that they can walk to, they can go there and have internet access," Holmes said.

School officials are also putting together a section on the school system's website that details places of business that have open hotspots, and a list of providers that offer low-cost internet access plans if you meet certain requirements.

School officials say the one to one initiative helps augment the students' learning inside the classroom and outside the classroom.

"The idea is not to replace the pencil and paper with a more expensive version of a pencil and paper. This is more of a case of bringing the world to the student," Holmes explained, "From a research side, to a technology side, it's just another tool that they have. It's nothing special, it's just part of life, because then they will use it as that. It's not a toy that they play with so to speak."

Holmes added the grant money put the goal in a reachable range.