GODWIN HEIGHTS, Mich. — Godwin Heights Public Schools will try using mini-laptop computers to boost freshman academic performance, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

The district will use about $107,000 of the revenue from a 2008 bond issue to purchase the netbooks, which Superintendent Jon Felske said are intended to help ninth-graders transition to high school, according to The Press.

"We want our ninth-graders to get off to a better start this year," he said, The Press reported. "We're going to dedicate some technology to see if we can increase buy-in from the students."

Freshmen accounted for 36 percent of high school course failures in the final marking period of the 2009-2010 academic year, even though they made up only 29 percent of the student body, The Press reported.

Fifth- and sixth-graders also will use the devices at times, The Press reported.

The Grand Rapids Press, "Ninth-graders in Godwin Heights to use netbooks," July 20, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Online learning can improve Michigan education," April 13, 2010