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Poplarville School Board approves grant applications

The Poplarville School Board held a meeting Thursday to approve grant applications for funds from the CARES Act, which will allow the district to purchase over one thousand laptops.

Superintendent Konya Miller said the Legislature set aside some funds through the Mississippi Department of Education to provide technology and expand Internet access and infrastructure in school districts through the 2021 Equity in Distance Learning Act.

The district will receive $531,861, and then have a 20 percent match, which is $122,522. The matching funds will come from a separate set of CARES Act funding, the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds.

The technology funds will be used to purchase 1,260 Chromebooks, while the match funding should make it possible to purchase an additional 290 Chromebooks for the district.

Distance learning has been going well, said Miller, although the district is still working through some attendance issues.

The Board also approved the application for the 2020 Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, which is the other set of CARES Act funds.

The funding will be approximately $434,000. While $122,522 will be used for matching funds, the rest of the funds have gone to water fountains, backpack sprayers, face masks, teacher computers and kindergarten tablets.

In a separate matter, the Board approved a contract for streaming services from Diamond Productions, LLC for the 2020-2021 football season. Seating capacity at football games is expected to be 25 percent, said Miller.
The streaming service will offer fans an opportunity to watch the games from home, and hopefully provide revenue to the athletics department.

Typically game tickets are $15. Viewers will be able to stream a game to one device for $15 or buy a season subscription for $125.

The season is estimated to have 10 games.