Audio amplification systems to be installed in District 11 classrooms

The Anoka-Hennepin District 11 School Board has approved some of the first technology purchases made with funds from the voter-approved technology levy.

Audio amplification equipment will be purchased for use in all of the district’s 700 classrooms at its elementary, middle and high schools.

The cost including purchase and installation of the equipment totals some $1 million.

First Tech will supply the equipment and Olympic Communications will do the installation.

The number of systems purchased at each building will vary based on existing levels of systems as well as principal input, said Joel VerDuin, chief technology and information officer.

The audio amplification systems include microphones and speakers in classrooms which allow students in the back of the room to hear equally as well as students in the front of a classroom.

Some of the benefits of these amplification systems include helping younger, elementary school age children learn reading and language arts concepts.

Research also shows, according to VerDuin, that students in classrooms with audio amplification systems spend less time off task and there are lower referral incidents as well.

“This is high impact technology,” VerDuin said.

Most of the systems installed at the middle school level will be in math classrooms, while social studies and science classrooms will be priority at the high school level, he said.

Much of the work installing the systems will be done during the summer.

Funding for the purchase of the audio amplification systems comes from the technology levy passed by voters in November 2011. This levy provides $3 million a year for 10 years beginning in 2012 for technology purchases.

Kelly Johnson is at [email protected]