Wakefield-Marenisco School District’s federal money at work

Funds go toward new technology and curriculum for 7th to 12th graders, as well new school windows
Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:17 PM EDT
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WAKEFIELD, Mich. (WLUC) - New Chromebooks sit on desks for students in 7th through 12th grades at Wakefield-Marenisco Schools. This technology upgrade came after the district received at least $900,000 in federal coronavirus relief money.

“The first round of funding that we used, we used last year when our teachers were teaching virtual and in-person,” said Superintendent Jason Gustafson. “We used some of it as an extra incentive for them for all of the extra time they were putting in.”

A bulk of that first round also went towards sanitization.

The new Chromebooks can help students work at home.

“Even just the day-to-day operations, their classes are online as well,” Gustafson said. “If a student misses class, they can still technically not be engaged in the live class, but they can still see what their assignments are and everything like that prior to even coming back.”

Some of the third round of relief money has paid for new textbooks for 7th to 12th graders.

“All of those textbooks have strong online components to them,” the superintendent explained. “Those textbooks cost over $100,000 combined. Textbooks are very expensive.”

The remaining half-million dollars of relief money will be used for new windows around the building.

“Years ago, we had a study done basically on how to serve energy, and the solution was to caulk all the windows shut,” said Gustafson. “The windows are also old, so that is something that will benefit everyone for basically decades to come.”

Gustafson says the rest of the funding will be received during the middle of the school year. He also says a new set of reading textbooks for grades K-6 will arrive before next fall.

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