San Benito adds more tech for students

SAN BENITO — It’s like Christmas for the Career and Technology Program.

First, the program received approval to purchase a new ambulance simulator and greenhouses last month.

Now, program officials are requesting new laptops.

Last week, the CTE Director Hector Rendon approached the finance committee with the request to purchase about 76 new laptops.

The laptops, which are already budgeted for, would serve three classes: anatomy and physiology, law enforcement and automotive collision.

All the laptops will be equipped with the latest software and curriculum the CTE program uses. The price of the laptops wasn’t immediately available.

San Benito CISD has a history of updating technology based on student needs.

The current and future purchases are just that.

“We want to make sure the kids have the latest technology, especially for CTE,” Superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega said.

This decision will be left up to the board at the next regular board meeting.

Last month, the board approved the purchase of several pricey projects — an ambulance simulator and two greenhouses.

The two greenhouse projects, which have already been budgeted for, will cost the district approximately $62,000.

The ambulance simulator and its included features will cost the district about $67,000 of already budgeted money.

The simulator and greenhouses are just an added bonus to the students.

Enrollment in these programs has also increased.

“These projects will enhance the specific instructions related to their respective essential knowledge and skills,” Rendon said.

The new ambulance purchase will benefit the students who are required to obtain clinical hours or experience before successfully graduating from the EMT program.

Rendon said prior to program changes, students were required to obtain 36 hours of clinical work. Now they are required to have 48. The students, who are considered the largest class so far at 14, will also be able to stay locally for testing.

The simulator will be used by students after school and on weekends.

Among its features are emergency lights and siren activation, as well as vehicle movement to simulate driving conditions such as bumps and turns.

“This will give the students the knowledge and confidence that they need in real life emergency situations,” Rendon said.

Green Thumb

While the EMT students practice saving lives, the agriculture students will be working on improving their green thumbs.

The current greenhouse that sits on the high school campus is about 25 years old. To adapt to changing times, Rendon said the current greenhouse requires upgrades and modernization. The changes will start on the greenhouse located at the high school first.

Due to the enhanced activity, the greenhouse will be expanded to fit more students, making it easier and more accessible to high school students.

“It will be adjacent to the existing agriculture science classroom. It shall have a cooling wall with exhaust fans measuring 30 feet by 72 feet by 8 feet,” said Rendon.

The second greenhouse will be built near the Sonny Brazil Agriculture Complex.

The new 30-foot by 48-foot structure will be utilized by the students at Veterans Memorial Academy Ninth Grade Campus.