Tech Equipment and Textbooks Get Lost in Transition Between School Years

Maya Brunell | News Editor

Over the summer, between the 2016-2017 school year and the 2017-2018 school year, items such as document cameras and textbooks went missing from Livermore High School.

Credit: Maya Brunell

Tiara Johnson, an English teacher, wasn’t around her classroom over the summer. When the end of the school year came, Johnson realized she couldn’t leave her projector and document camera in her classroom because the only cabinet she had with a lock, was broken.

Another English teacher, Lydia Sarraille, offered to store the projector and document camera in her own room because it had locking cabinets. About two days before school started, Johnson went to go get her supplies but found they were no longer there.

As a result, Johnson received a loaner projector, but it had been rendered useless because she didn’t have the attachment for her MacBook laptop. She also hadn’t received a loaner document camera, making it impossible to project worksheets and other papers. So instead, she had to write her lessons on the whiteboard.

“When [the school district] want[s] you to use technology in the classroom and you start gearing your lessons towards that and all of a sudden you don’t have it, it makes it really challenging,” said Johnson.

Stephanie Bogetti, the Library Media Specialist, also had to deal with missing items over the summer. From the 2016-2017 school year, there was $31,000 lost in missing textbooks.

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Students often take books from a class set when they lose their own, which gums up the gears of the library. The computer system would show the book to be with the teacher, but it actually wasn’t.

Teachers often have enough books in their class set in the beginning of the year, but find that some go missing by the end.

Bogetti had to send emails and make phone calls to all the students who had overdue books. She started with 379 students on her overdue list and got it down to 27 after school started.

Bogetti said, “Having to find the books taken from the classrooms is like finding a needle in a haystack.”

Rachel Martin, an English teacher, spent the three weeks before school helping other teachers find their missing equipment, even though Martin wasn’t missing anything herself. Within those three weeks, teachers often would come back to school to find their equipment gone.

Some teachers even had their rooms set up like they wanted, and came back to find even furniture missing. The furniture is school property, so when a faculty member needs an extra desk, for example, they can take it for their own use.

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There was no communication to the teachers that these items were going to be moved, resulting in staff not knowing where their things had gone.

Martin said, “[Administrators have approached the teachers] to suggest that sometimes when summer school is held here, it’s hard if some [summer school] teachers bring their own stuff and some teachers don’t and then it’s unclear what belongs to who.”

Header Credit: Maya Brunell

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