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Woodlands MS Thankful For New Computer Lab

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - This year, the Woodlands Middle School students are happily typing away on new computers in a different and more convenient room after recently opening a new computer lab.

Not only did the school purchase 26 refurbished computers, but the lab is now on the same floor as the rest of their classes. In past years, the middle school's computer lab was located under the main level while their other classes were on the third floor.

"It caused our students to have to go up and down the stairs with these big book bags," said Mike Chambless, principal of Woodlands Middle School. "It was a chore, to say the least. This is a better fit. The students don't have to travel so far."

The new computer lab lends itself to inter-disciplinary projects. For example, the math teacher can assign a project for the students to work on in their educational technology class. As the two rooms are now side by side, the teacher can drop in to answer questions.

"The students are so much happier," said Jodi Manne, the middle school's educational technology teacher. "It's right there. They don't have to share the room anymore [with the high school students]. And if they need to print something quickly for a class, they always can."

While the Greenburgh Central 7 School District is currently on a contingency budget after the proposed budget was defeated in both May and June, the Woodlands Middle School had to make creative use of its space to open the new computer lab. The current lab used to be a math classroom. That room was moved next door, which had been a large storage room. Buying refurbished computers, instead of brand new ones, saved the school money, Manne said. In addition, the room was already wired for computer and Internet use.

"We are asked to make certain things happen, but with very little resources," said Chambless. "People say to do more with less. But that doesn't happen. You usually get more with less. Necessity was the mother of invention in this case."

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