ELKO – Elko County schools have received grant funds to improve distance learning and provide telemedicine to students.
Elko County School District was recently notified it would receive $431,255 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The grant requires an involved partnership between Great Basin College, the White Pine County School District, and Communities In Schools.
Elko County School District Superintendent Jeff Zander said the telemedicine will come in the form of online counseling that will be available to students in Elko and White Pine County.
“Communities In Schools will provide mental health counseling for students. We’re going to be able to use that counseling and it will be distributed to all the high schools and combined in Elko County and White Pine County,” he said. “In outlying areas we don’t have 4-year degreed nurses in some cases, so if they have a child who’s having some issues out there, they can call into here and have a nurse get on the interactive system and diagnose that kid long distance.”
For the distance education portion of the grant, Great Basin College will be able to expand their dual credit programming and high schools in Elko County will be able to expand the number of classes offered for their advanced placement classes.
Zander said the increased bandwidth of the electronic delivery of these classes will benefits the students with classes that operate more efficiently.
“At times we don’t have teachers that can teach upper levels courses, like calculus, in our outlying areas,” he said. “In the past, we’ve had interactive delivery for those classes so we’re going to have better delivery for those classes.”
Both school districts will have to pay for some of the infrastructure to accommodate the equipment for the online classes and telemedicine but Zander thinks it will be a good long-term investment for the school district.
“It’s a win-win deal,” he said. “There is a match, but once we have the equipment in place we’re going to be able to use this for years and years to come.”
[SOURCE:-Elko Daily Free press]