Cherokee Co. schools using COVID-19 relief funds on air purifiers, new classroom tech

Local News

CHEROKEE CO., S.C. (WSPA) – Cherokee County School District is making an effort to enhance its students learning with COVID-19 relief funds.

Each classroom will soon be equipped with new interactive technology and air purifiers.

“There’s a lot of different things that we were able to do with that money that we weren’t able to do before,” said Superintendent Dr. Dana Fall.

With a portion of the district’s COVID-19 relief money, more than 1,100 air purifiers are now in place in an effort to create a cleaner atmosphere.

“Every single classroom has one, every office, every big space, gyms and media centers, they will have one. Every single area is covered,” said Dr. Fall. “It was probably one of the most important things we wanted to do, because air filtration was so important because of this virus.”

Plus, every classroom will feature brand new technology with the addition of Promethean ActivPanels. District officials said they purchased more than 500 in order to successfully fill each classroom in its 17 schools.

“With this panel, it’s going to be a lot easier if we did have to go out, because the students still are going to be able to interact with the teacher in the classroom, as well as get the lesson live instead of having to watch a recording,” said Stacey Smoke, District Technology Integrator for Cherokee County Schools.

With the new panels, students will interact in class with hands-on learning and have the ability to sync their computers directly to the screen while at home. This will allow the teachers to continue live interaction with its students.

“To have some of the latest and greatest [technology] that the teachers and students are going to be able to use, has been wonderful,” said Smoke.

According to Cherokee County Schools, the money they spend on these tools now, will later be reimbursed from their COVID-19 funds.

“The tough part for school districts is that money is reimbursable. So, it’s not like we get a pot of money sitting there and we can just pull from. We have to have the funds up front to pay and then reimburse ourselves through the esser money,” said Dr. Fall.

According to the district, the air purifier project expense totaled an estimated $1.6 million, while the Promethean boards cost nearly $1.7 million. The total combined estimated cost for the project is $3.3 million.

This district says its new air purifiers are up and running in its school buildings and they are in the beginning phases of installation for the Promethean boards.

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