The new interactive display boards that replaced the aging Smartboards in classrooms at Helen Keller Middle School are among a list of purchases and repairs the Easton Board of Education approved earlier this year.

Many of the repairs and purchases were completed during the summer. For example, Samuel Staples Elementary School received a hot water heater and other small repairs in June.

“Keeping our beautiful school in good working order is so important,” said Kimberly Fox Santora, principal of Samuel Staples Elementary School. “Our students, staff, and taxpayers deserve it. I am most grateful to board members for approving such repairs.”

Helen Keller Middle School Career Day. Photo by CJ Calcinari.

The list of repairs for the elementary and middle school were based on a Facilities Committee recommendation. The costs for repairs included $15,000 for a hot water heater at the elementary school, $4,999 for a new gym door at the middle school, $12,600 for a boiler, and $15,000 on gutters at the middle school.

The new ViewSonic Display Boards, purchased for $275,000 for Keller and Staples, are compact, vibrant LED screens that use less electricity, contain high quality sound, and allow for wireless projection from computers or smart devices, said Principal Steve Clapp.

“The VSBs replaced our collection of Smartboards, some of which were ‘original’ and dated back to 2008 and required expensive bulb replacements annually,” said Clapp. “We are still learning about their full capacity to impact teaching and learning, but so far the image and sound quality alone represent huge improvements.”

Clapp said the middle school is nearly 60 years old, and that repairs are a regular part of their operations.

The Board of Education allocated $4,999 for a new gym door at the middle school because Clapp was concerned about egress routes and the ability to secure the building. But the door was not needed, Clapp said, because he was able to replace the lock and latch system, which saved taxpayers thousands.

“As a nice consequence, the gym teachers can now use that door to both exit the building to access the outside court and soccer field, and to reenter, which saves them a trip to one of our main doors, ultimately resulting in more instruction,” said Clapp. “Even one minute per day adds up to nearly an hour and a half of more PE.”

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