Members of the Bellwood-Antis School District gathered for their monthly meeting in the high school cafeteria on Tuesday, April 5. The majority of the meeting was spent discussing the budget for the upcoming 2022-23 school year.
During his presentation to the board, district technology coordinator Mike Lingenfelter proposed that the district add esports as an intramural program.
“Even as an intramural starting point,” Lingenfelter explained, “it would be a great place for our students to learn the appropriate skills.”
Lingenfelter cited several studies that show that students who are part of a school video game team have better GPAs and better attendance. He suggested that BASD’s esports program be offered to students in grades three through 12.
According to Lingenfelter, if the board goes along with his idea, the technology budget for the 2022-23 school year would include an additional $5,000 to purchase the hardware and software needed to start an esports team.
The board approved Lingenfelter’s idea, along with several others he proposed in relation to the technology budget. One is to decommission a middle school computer lab and purchase new computers for two high school computer labs, all at an estimated cost of $45,000.
Additionally, for an estimate of $55,000, the budget includes the cost of replacing laptops for high school faculty.
For the price of $1,500, the district also agreed to replace the need for streaming services like Hulu and Netflix with Swank K-12 Streaming. The service offers exclusive access to a collection of over 30,000 films and documentaries that teachers can use for educational purposes.
Kitchen aide Jen Weaver presented the BASD nutrition group’s 2022-23 budget plan. She suggested that there be a 5 cent increase in the price of lunches for elementary and secondary schools. The board approved the proposal and agreed to charge $2.30 to elementary school and $2.40 to middle and high schools.
On other district matters, the board accepted the resignation of Travis Martin as head coach of the high school junior basketball team. They also approved the hiring of Maria Wagner, who is currently an assistant at BASD, as a maintenance replacement for the summer.