The Commerce Journal

December 22, 2012

School Board to purchase new computers for school district

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — The Commerce Independent School District School Board of Trustees discussed the possibility of instituting a drug testing program for middle and high school students on Monday.

Commerce ISD Superintendent Blake Cooper detailed the ramifications for students who fail a drug test if implemented.

“The first offense is being banned for 60 days from extracurricular activities,” he said. “The second is one year from activities and the third is banned from extracurricular activities for the remainder of their school career.”

Cooper said the drug testing system would be completely random and would help kids to think twice about doing drugs.

“It is truly random,” he said. “There are no names listed. The system only goes through student numbers. The purpose of it, personally, it gives a student a reason not to do drugs.”

If passed, the program would begin in the fall semester of 2013.

Al Shipp, director of technology for Commerce ISD, said he would like to use a portion of the funds remaining in the Instructional Materials Allotment Fund to purchase new computers for the schools.

“There is $170,000 left in the IMA fund for the year,” he said. “We can upgrade several of our computer labs within the district.”

The upgrades would include 129 PC’s and 48 iPads for Commerce High School, at a total cost of little more than $109,000.

Shipp said the new computers would be beneficial to students and the remainder of the money would be used in case of emergency.

“This will help some of our other campuses to be more electronic capaple,” he said.

In the final meeting of the year, the total attendance for the schools is down 19 students from the previous. Cooper said that needs to change next year.

“We’ve got to get that enrollment up,” he said.