Students will have interactive digital televisions when they return to school in August.

Crews are removing the old "smart boards" and repainting classrooms before installing the new technology this week, said Fort Gibson School Superintendent Scott Farmer.

"It will take us into the fall to do this districtwide, but we are bringing in interactive flat panels into each classroom just to be a tool for teachers to use in lieu of projectors and smart boards," Farmer said. "They are interactive TVs, touch capable, so it will sharpen the image in every classroom and continue to help us grow our engagement virtually and in person. We will be able to deliver education through multiple mediums."

The interactive TV also can be tied to students' and teachers' computers, Farmer said.

"It's got a lot better clarity. It's a 75-inch interactive TV, interactive board, so you can see it better in the classroom," he said. 

Users also can write on the TVs, use keyboards or move screen elements like on a touch-screen computer.

Students on virtual learning also can tie into the interactive screens, Farmer said. This year, students and parents work with school principals and apply for virtual learning, Farmer said. 

School crews are to finish installing the new technology at Fort Gibson High School, Middle School and Intermediate Elementary before school starts on Aug. 12, Farmer said. Screens will be installed at Early Learning Center this fall.

Early Learning Center Principal Shelly Holderby said the interactive TVs will be great.

"Just with Internet activities, music, dancing, reading," she said.

Farmer said several students can be at the screens at the same time. 

Fort Gibson also is addressing a problem outside the buildings by adding an access lane from Ross Street to the Intermediate Elementary parking lot.

"We have long had an issue with traffic on Ross Street getting bottlenecked. This is step one to start alleviating that," Farmer said. "This week we should be pouring concrete to get that going before school starts."

He said the lane will ease traffic on Ross when parents drop off or pick up their children at the IES.

"We think it's going to be a good safety feature for the school district," Farmer said.

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