By Valerie Werkmeister
North Posey Schools will take a giant leap forward following the school board’s approval to upgrade its technology equipment. Board members heard a presentation by Eric Long, District Technology Coordinator, during their regular meeting Monday, December 10.
Long illustrated the district currently operates using four T-1 lines, but the state’s mandated online testing necessitates big improvements with the district’s current bandwidth. While some may cheer the move that will inevitably allow faster and more reliable connections at all the schools, the accompanying price tag may have some long for the glory days of students and teachers simply using a paper and pencil.
The board agreed to replace the existing wireless from point to point with an ENA fiberoptic cable that ties into the state via the high school. North Elementary (NES) and South Terrace Elementary Schools (STES) would be tied in using a 100 Mb tail circuit.
Long explained this will bump the district bandwidth up from the current 6 Mbs to 15 Mbs. Operating speed. The improvements will cost an annual fee of $8,516 at the high school and $7,332 for the elementary connections for a combined total of $15,848 per year. The current annual fee is $2,256 per year.
The increased bandwidth will allow the implementation of the additional computer equipment acquired from the New Harmony School consolidation. A total of 20 ipads were distributed to NES and STES. In addition, 40 netbooks were given to NES. Approximately 50-60 desktop machines were given to the junior high and the remaining laptops were sent to the high school. It has taken a considerable amount of time to get all the equipment on the same page, technologically speaking. The next step is to increase the bandwidth to support their operation.
Scott Veazey from VPS Architecture delivered a presentation of three large-scale summer projects for the board’s consideration. The first proposal involved re-roofing the high school. It would involve the removal of approximately 850 square feet of the current EPDM material that will be replaced with a more recommended TPO material, a plastic polymer that is heat sealed instead of being glued. The current roof is approximately 20 years old and the new roof will have the same estimated life expectancy.
A new, 4,500-square-foot, three-bus bay barn with a pit is also up for consideration. The current structure is damaged and has rotting roof rafters. It is also too small to accommodate today’s larger buses. Camp explained the corporation can only consider certain types of buses when seeking bids due to their size requirements to fit inside the bus barn doors. They also keep 10-inch tires instead of 11-inch on their buses.
Board members also discussed possible locations for the new structure and whether to keep the old one for district storage or tear it down.
The third project the board will consider is an expansion of the current administration building. There are three employees working in the basement and the expansion would provide for office space on the main floor for these employees as well as an increase in size of the current board room. The proposed addition would be as much as 1,200 square feet.
Camp requested approval to advertise for bids on the projects in order to get an idea of each projects’ cost. The board will consider which option is most feasible after the quotes are reviewed.
In other business, the board approved the following:
• Camp’s request to advertise for the purchase of up to three new school buses to be delivered in July 2013.
• Camp’s request to renew the disaster recovery contract with Komputrol for $450 per year.
• Melissa Mahrenholz’s request to study teaching strategies for students with emotional behavior disorders as part of her requirements to complete her master’s degree at USI.
• Krystle Roudebush’s request to study wellness in the workplace as part of her requirements to complete her master’s degree at USI.
• Tonya Rutledge’s request to take five consecutive leave days for a family vacation.
• Camp’s request to create a memorandum of understanding with Dr. Burkett to provide for the well-being of staff and students.
• A facility use request from the Girl Scouts to use the South Terrace Elementary School (STES) art room for meetings.
• A facility use request from Julie Butler to use the high school gym to conduct a cheer clinic on January 12 from 8 a.m. – noon.
• A facility use request from MSD of North Posey cooks to use the cafeteria for a Relay for Life Fundraiser on January 25-27.
• A facility use request from STES PTO to hold a winter carnival on February 16.
• A facility use request from the baseball coaches to conduct youth baseball camp at the high school gym and baseball field on March 5-7 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
• A retirement request from Carolyn Scheller as the head cook at NES effective January 4, 2013. Melody Patton was promoted as her replacement and Mary Korff was hired to replace Patton’s position as a cafeteria worker.
• A resignation request from Susanne Renshaw to resign as North Elementary Title I instructional assistant effective December 21.
• Jerry Straw’s request to hire Susan Hostettler as a bus driver effective January 3.
• Jonathan Spencer’s request to hire Jeff O’Risky and Corey Little as volunteer assistant coaches in the high school wrestling program.
• Steve Kavanaugh’s request to hire Randy Steirly as a volunteer assistant coach for the junior high girls’ basketball program.
• Terri Waugaman’s request to reassign Jessica South from Title I teacher to sixth grade teacher replacing Donna Nash’s position.
• Waugaman’s request to transfer Danielle Ritter from instructional assistant to Title I teacher.
• Rick LeGrange’s FMLA request from November 19 to January 2.
• Professional leave requests for Danny Ellis and Bernie Goebel to attend a chemical application workshop on December 19.
The next regular board meeting will be held on Monday, January 14, at North Elementary school beginning at 7 p.m.