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Technology replacement plan detailed for Lanesville school board

Reports on school technology took up most of the Dec. 18 Lanesville Community School Corp.’s board of trustees meeting, with updates given by Paul Hancock, technology coordinator, and Scott Benson, maintenance director.
Hancock detailed the technology replacement plan which he said was mostly routine, except for one notable addition of the school’s wireless network.
He said future projects for the school could involve the installation of the einstruction CPS systems, or what’s known as the ‘clickers’ in the classroom. This hardware, once installed, allows every student the use of a remote-control-like device to answer questions displayed for the entire classroom. The benefit of this is that students who normally wouldn’t be vocal, and therefore teachers wouldn’t know how well they are understanding and comprehending, can answer questions without embarrassment. Data is then available for the teacher to show who answered how many questions correctly.
‘Teachers seem to like it,’ Hancock said.
That particular project will be partially funded by the Harrison County Community Foundation, with a matching grant of up to $24,000. The school has still $12,000 to allot for this project.
Other technology due to be replaced within the schools is the first portable lab, teacher laptops and potentially the PA system.
Benson reported to the board that the current HVAC monitoring system, TAC’s Network 8000, which was installed in 1994, is slowing down.
‘It’s got a mind of its own,’ Benson said.
Capabilities the program used to have, such as at-home notification for Benson if, for example, the boilers stopped working, are a thing of the past, and progress reports printed from the system are well over 100 pages long.
Benson suggested ACCO, a rival systems company, install a replacement over the summer, but the board of trustees wondered if it might be risky to wait, considering boiler malfunction could likely cancel school if not caught early enough.
With the announcement of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ plan to reorganize school districts under 2,000 students, board member Robert Schickel thought it would be best to get their figurative ducks in a row.
‘With looking at reorganization, consolidation, if they see something like this, that’s just gasoline on the fire,’ he said. ‘I’d be in favor of looking at this soon.’
In other matters at the meeting, the school trustees:
‘ Heard interim superintendent Sam Gardner’s report to the board concerning the Streamlining Local Government plan released by Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform and Gov. Daniels. Gardner pointed out that Lanesville has the lowest tax rates but with some of the best graduation and college attendance rates.
‘Let’s get back to the business of educating kids, and leave the guys who are doing it well alone,’ Gardner said.
‘ Heard principals Janet Page and Marsha Himmelhaver’s report concerning ISTEP test scores, some of which dropped in the last year. They both cautioned that with such a small number of students taking the test, even one or two who don’t perform well could skew the results. Plus, Page said, a student-to-student comparison shows that results were actually quite similar for the past two years.
‘We didn’t backslide as a school,’ she said.
‘ Approved facilities-use requests for two community groups: use of the gym and commons area for the Girl Scouts, for Brownie Try It Day on April 12, and for Troop 1458 for meetings; and use of the gym, cafeteria, concession area and parking lot for local churches for the Thrive teen event on April 11.
‘ Approved the following personnel items: intersession contracts for teachers Robin Wolfe, Nancy Rupp, Lindsay Davis, Brian Book, Jerry Geswein, Lisa Hammond, Jeff Hammond and Bethany Miller, and the appointment of Jon Rusty Cecil as freshmen girls basketball coach. The board also approved the payment of after-school tutors and payment of intersession peer tutors and bus drivers.
‘ Approved the renewed appointment of Ron Wolfe as the Lanesville representative to the Alternative Education Board of Harrison County.
‘ Approved the following pieces of equipment be deemed obsolete and subsequently destroyed: a Telex Stereo Copyette and RCA Pro-edit Video Camcorder.
The next school board meeting for the Lanesville Community School Corp. will be Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Carl Uesseler Corporation Office.

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