|SCS board gets update on technology initiative|
Salem Community Schools Tech Team updated the school board at its regular meeting on March 13 that the corporation would continue moving forward with the One-to-One initiative.
The initiative will put lap top computers in the hands of every student. The project started as a pilot program within the sixth grade.
The project will include every middle school student during the 2017-18 school year and the plan is to include the high school and upper elementary students for the 2018-19 year.
Superintendent Dr. Lynn Reed said she isn’t sure that the initiative will ever include kindergarten and first and second grades.
“Those grades will use different kinds of technology, but I don’t see those younger children actually carrying them home and spending a lot of screen time,” Reed said. “I am not a fan of the younger children spending a lot of screen time. There is a lot of research on that, and while I don’t know how accurate it is, it does make sense to me that the younger children should spend more time manipulating things and learning how to get along. They will be using I pads and we will continue to investigate what the best technology would be for them to use.”
Reed said there are carts of I pads that those lower elementary teachers share.
The school corporation recently received a $75,000 grant, which Reed said will allow for technology training and exploration.
“Professional development in that area is the key to success for integrating technology into the class room,” she said.
There will also be a technology coach hired who will primarily be at the middle school.
“It’s exciting,” she said. “We are really going to focus on training and allowing teachers to become comfortable. That’s one thing we want to ensure is that teachers aren’t just thrown into something without proper training.”
Board member Mark Abbott agreed and he credited the talented staff at the school corporation that paved the way for the $75,000.
“We are so blessed to have so many talented employees at Salem schools,” he said. “Our tech team prepared a flawless presentation, securing the $75,000 grant. We are committed to improving our technology at SCS, and will strive to supply our students with the best equipment and training that we can provide for their future.”
The grant was directed by Director of Information Technology, Erin Humphrey, and presented by the leadership team of Deb Wrye, SMS Social Studies Teacher, John David Wade-Swift, SMS Technology Teacher, Derek Smith, SHS Principal and Reed, SCS.
The One-to-One initiative isn’t as costly as one would think.
Reed said students are using Chrome Books, which are inexpensive and won’t cost parents any more than some text book rentals cost.
“We’re going to have the students lease the laptops,” she said. “The state allows us to put a lease fee for a computer on our text book rental. I am not sure of the exact cost at this point, but the lease charges are less than some text books.”
The school board approved the Salem High School graduation date. This year’s graduation will be Saturday, May 27 at 2 pm in the high school gym.
The board approved a memorandum of understanding with Lifesprings.
Reed said the memorandum will make things easier on students and families who use Lifesprings.
“They will have space in our buildings to see clients that they already see,” she said. “This just makes it more convenient for our students that have appointments with Lifespings to see them at school. This way their parents don’t have to pick them up and take them out of school. Lifesprings will handle everything as they always have, but this is more convenient for parents not having to take off work and students not having to miss an appointment if a parent can’t manage to get them there. We are very thankful that Lifesprings is willing to do this.”
The board also accepted several resignations and retirements.
Doris Duffy, Salem High School Spanish teacher will retire effective July 30, 2017 ad Judith Howey is retiring from SHS as a Social Studies teacher.
The board accepted the resignation from Kyle England as boys assistant track coach; Ashley Malloy as high school girls’ track coach and Jennifer Morris as SHS girls’ JV softball coach.
RJ Hartsfield was hired as SHS assistant track coach and Kayla Shouse was hired as middle school assistant track coach.
Jana Hayes, Cameron Grigsby and Haley Weedin were hired as volunteer assistant coaches.
The board recognized the following Lion Award winners:
The Bradie Shrum Spell Bowl Team: Chloe Zink, Isabel Tunney, Brooklyn Davisson, Marissa Gray, Jacob Miller, Elizabeth Gilbert, Destiny Cain and Reya Snider.
The Bradie Shrum Science Bowl Team: Evan Carroll, Weston Smith, Logan Tharp, Emily Setser, Ellie Spaulding, Jacob Miller.
Bradie Shrum Math Bowl Team: Les Bowles, Weston Smith, Evan Carroll, Brooklyn Davisson, Marissa Greay, Nick Ingram, Isabel Tunney, Rhianna Perry, Jonny Tally, Logan Tharp, Carolyn Casey, Alex Wilcox, Brady Briscoe, Rylan Godbey, Natalee Wells, Sarah Heightchew.
Substitute teachers: Lesle Leis and Adrienne Livingston.
The board’s next meeting will be Monday, April 10, 2017 at the school corporation’s administrative building.