BETHEL – The SAD 44 board on Monday unanimously approved a new graduation requirement that calls for community service from all students.

The 60-hour requirement will go into effect for the class of 2013.

Superintendent David Murphy said classes already in Telstar High School will also be required to fulfill some community service. He said advisors and guidance counselors will oversee the students to make sure the type of community service is suitable.

Such service must take place after school or during vacations.

“All of us believe in the need to put something back into the community we live in,” Murphy said.

Community service can sometimes show students an area they may be interested in pursuing as a career as well, he said.

Also on Monday, the board approved the purchase of state-owned surplus laptops to make them available for the public to buy.

The district will use so-called e-rate funding, which comes from technology fees assessed to telephone bills, for the purchase. Murphy said the district plans to buy about 100 Apple iBooks and 100 MacBooks.

“This is getting a massive bang for not a lot of money,” he said. “It can help a lot of people.”

The laptop computers should be available later in the summer.

In other matters on Monday, the board approved reassignment of Crescent Park Elementary School kindergarten teacher Barb Sabin to a combination kindergarten-grade 1 position at Andover Elementary School. The position was previously held by Kim Tyler. The board also officially eliminated one English teacher position from Telstar High School. With that action, the number of English teachers went from 3.25 to 2.5 positions.

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