News and Tribune

March 6, 2013

Greater Clark moves toward 1:1

Each student to have a computer by 2013-14

By JEROD CLAPP
jerod.clapp@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE — Steps toward putting computers in the hands of every student in Greater Clark County Schools were taken at the corporation’s board of trustees meeting on Tuesday.

The board also got a proposed timeline for implementing a 1:1 computer initiative for the whole district, with projected completion for grades six through 12 by the 2013-2014 school year.

The board voted unanimously to approve the purchase of 10 Google Chromebook computers and management service through Agosto Inc. for each member to see if they’re the devices they’ll use districtwide.

The computers cost $249 apiece. 

Brett Clark, director of technology, said the management service, which will cost $30 per device including the five Chromebooks the district already owns, will allow the district to set which applications go on the machines. Some other devices do not have top-down management capabilities.

Tony Hall, board member, was recently appointed to chair a committee to investigate cost savings in purchasing iPads en masse for the four school districts in Clark and Floyd Counties at the last joint school board meeting.

Hall said he wanted to make sure the district wasn’t leaving out other devices in the path to a 1:1 initiative, but also said iPads make sense because teachers already have them in their classrooms.

“To me, it would seem this should have been done before we gave teachers the iPads,” Hall said. “It could be confusing for an educator being in the classroom, ‘Alright, I’m ready to go with my iPad, but now I’ve got to switch to this other device.’”

Clark said students may go from Greater Clark to a college that has devices with a different operating system than what they dealt with in their K-12 career or teachers may go to other districts or jobs with different software and hardware platforms.

He said in that instance, variety is helpful to everyone.

“We live in a society today that lives off multiple devices, multiple platforms,” Clark said. “It’s important to have a consistent device, I think it’s also important to have as many types of devices in the hands of our teachers, in the hands of our students, so they have experience with all these things.”

Also, during a presentation from strategic planning committees, Travis Haire, assistant superintendent, said his facilities and technology committee set a goal to have a 1:1 initiative the beginning of the next school year. The board will vote on the entire strategic plan at their next board meeting.

 

MENTORING PROGRAMS

A consideration for a program trial aimed at mentoring at-risk males in three middle schools was passed 6-1, with Hall opposing.

Andrew Melin, superintendent, said the program, Men Building Men, would work in three schools to address the disproportionate number of suspensions of black males.

Hall said he was concerned that the program didn’t reach New Washington or Charlestown middle schools, and doesn’t include at-risk females in the same age group.

Melin said the ultimate goal is to get a districtwide mentoring program that reaches all students who need it, but the trouble is getting volunteers and training for those people who want to participate. 

He said it’s been done in districts he’s worked previously, but it takes time to get the programs on their legs.

The agreement with Men Building Men, a Louisville-based program, would cost the district $3,600 through the end of the year, but Melin said getting the program running completely would take at least until the next school year. 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

• The board unanimously passed a summer school program with the new balanced calendar system to initially give high school students the opportunity to go through credit recovery or get remediation on their state End of Course Assessments.

• The board unanimously approved paying two keynote speakers and one spotlight speaker for an eLearning Conference the district will host on July 25. Each keynote speaker will receive $2,000 plus expenses, and the spotlight speaker will receive $500 plus expenses. 

• The board unanimously passed a summer food service program to feed eligible children in the district breakfast and lunch during the summer recess. The meals come at no cost to the district.

• The board unanimously passed a contract to have an architect perform a study for the roof of the Jeffersonville High School auditorium. The facility’s roof leak has been determined as a fundamental flaw in the structure. Kovert-Hawkins will study the best design for a new structure at $3,500.