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Dillon Foundation to donate $1.2M to school

Money will provide MacBook Air computers for high school students

STERLING – Starting next year, Sterling High School will be a little more tech savvy.

Sterling Public Schools Superintendent Tad Everett announced a $1.2 million verbal agreement with the Dillon Foundation to pay for a 4-year lease on approximately 1,100 11-inch MacBook Air computers – enough for every student in the school.

The agreement was 5 years in the works, Everett added, and will be in place next fall, much to the disappointment of the current seniors in attendance during the Wednesday night Board of Education meeting.

After 4 years, Everett said the high school will hopefully have raised enough money to continue or even expand the program.

“Between today [and the end of the agreement] – which is actually 4 1/2 years from now – what we will be doing is working with the Sterling School Foundation to help fundraise for that,” he said. “But there’s also going to be cost savings affiliated with that, because we are no longer buying textbooks.”

Sterling Public Schools approached the Dillon Foundation 5 years ago with the idea, and since then has slowly been preparing the high school – like increasing capabilities – for the possibility of the agreement coming together, Everett said.

Not every class will be paperless, but the school is heading in that direction, Everett said, adding that the students will be able to take the computers home with them.

“[We’re] excited about the opportunities for our students and our teachers for what they will be able to accomplish with not just a tool, but a change in how we teach and learn,” Everett said.

Also Wednesday night, the Board of Education set the date and time for a public meeting about the district’s desire to withdraw from the Bi-County Special Education Cooperative.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. Monday at the Sterling High School library.

The meeting was called to give information about the decision, dispel some rumors and solicit questions from parents.

The school could potentially save $190,000 a year by withdrawing from the cooperative and providing the same special education classes to its own students, Everett said.

Everett also announced that in November, the Board of Education will vote on adding a countywide 1 percent sales tax referendum to the April election ballot. After the next meeting, a committee will be announced to campaign in favor of the tax.

“Their job will be to persuade individuals in the community of why this is an appropriate and effective way to fund school projects,” Everett said.

The money raised through the tax would go to the schools’ facilities funds, he said.

The November Sterling Board of Education meeting will be held the third Wednesday of the month instead of the fourth because of Thanksgiving, Everett said.

To attend

The Sterling Public Schools Board of Education will hold an informational meeting at 6 p.m. Monday Oct. 28 at the Sterling High School Library.

The meeting will be to inform parents and the public about the decision to withdraw from the Bi-County Special Education Cooperative. The meeting will also be recorded and posted online.

The Board of Education's next regularly scheduled meeting will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Sterling High School Library.

For an agenda or for more information, go to or call 815-626-5050.

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