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Published February 21, 2012, 10:12 PM

Money saving winter leads to major changes at Detroit Lakes schools

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - Aside from the recent snowfall, this winter has been fairly mild. That's saving cities and schools money - so much money one local school system is making some major changes in the classroom.

Aside from the recent snowfall, this winter has been fairly mild. That's saving cities and schools money - so much money one local school system is making some major changes in the classroom.

This is what winter typically looks like in Detroit Lakes, but until this week it was dry and relatively warm.

Doug Froke – Detroit Lakes Schools Superintendent: "Low heating costs. Obviously fuel is less costly than it was a year ago at this time."

Detroit Public Schools allotted $225,000 for heat, fuel and snow removal expenses. So far, it's used about $52,000. Administrators expect to have a $150,000 surplus at the end of the year as long as the weather cooperates.

Doug Froke: "These are one-time expenses saved. We'll use it on a one-time project so very fortunate."

That project involves installing wireless internet at the middle and high schools by the end of the school year for $130,000. DL's two elementary and alternative schools already have WiFi.

Steve Fode – Detroit Lakes High School Teacher: "As a kid goes around in my lab, they could collect data on a computer wirelessly, I could put it up on a board wirelessly, and look at class data versus individual data."

Mr. Fode already has some wireless in his classroom. These student response clickers, which came with a receiver, allow students to answer questions anonymously off the smart board.

Steve Fode: "I can I can see 22 of my kids are, 2 of my kids aren't. I can go back and talk to that kid, maybe redo the lab, maybe redo the assignment again."

Going wireless would allow him to continue to stay on the cutting edge of technology in his classroom. Administrators hope to decide by April 1st whether or not they'll have enough surplus money for the wireless project.

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