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Lac Vieux Desert Tribe donates funds for new technology to Watersmeet School District

A fund up to $600,000 will be used for technology updates.
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 5:16 PM EDT
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WATERSMEET, Mich. (WLUC) -A new door for technology has been opened, for the Watersmeet School District.

“Education is very important to us,” said the Lac Vieux Desert Tribe chairman, James Williams.

Williams says the tribe has donated a fund up to $600,000 dollars to the district. The money came from the CARES Act and must be used by December.

“This assistance program that we have for the school, it’s open,” Williams added.

The main purchase this year is new technology.

“We are buying every one of our school’s students, chrome books, our teacher’s laptops. Technology within our class would really, really benefit everybody,” said Williams.

The Watersmeet Principal George R. Peterson III, says this donation is huge.

“We should be able to reach every student in our district,” said Peterson.

Over 150 students will receive their own Chromebook. Around 50% of kids will be in the classroom, and the other half have opted in to online at home. Monday was the first day that teachers were back in the building. Tuesday, they will welcome students for the start of the year. This delayed start date was to make sure the technology could be used at the beginning.

The school’s technology coordinator, Brent Besonen, says the shipment should arrive on Wednesday.

“We’ll start setting them up on Friday, hopefully they’ll be in the hands of the students on Monday,” said Besonen.

He says this is perfect timing, as the pandemic has tested the district.

“A lot of the machines we have now, you wait for the machine to boot up,” said Besonen.

Well, not anymore. The principal added, this purchase creates a new learning opportunity.

“The technology that will be put into the classroom, will enable our teachers to reach out to them at home,” said Peterson.

As classrooms are ready for students, the tribe is onboard to help.

“Teachers can put their wish-list, on what needs to be done in their classroom, and we’ll keep doing better,” said Williams.

The tribe says they will continue to add to the assistance program, as the school and students need it.

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