Computers, Building Use, and More

Thursday’s regular meeting of the Galion Board of Education included a number of reports and other discussions in addition to the recognition of teachers and other staff.

Among items reviewed or discussed were the following:

5TH GRADE PILOT PROGRAM – Larry Dawson, 5th Grade Teacher, shared some enthusiastic words with the Board concerning the recent 5th Grade Pilot for the District’s new One to One Computing Program. Dawson expressed thanks for the efforts of the District’s tech crew, which he credited with leading to the success of the program. As for the students, he shared that “…it has been really amazing to see how quick, how easy they have taken that on.” The children have shown great care with the equipment, Dawson said.

In response to a question from Board Member Jennifer Kuns about whether iPads might be a better fit for this level of student versus the MacAir laptops currently being used, Dawson said that MacAirs are better because of the extended suite of features, such as iMovie.

Fifth grade teacher Sue Jarvis, who is one of the three teachers at that level with the pilot program, told the Board that the students had taken a survey just that afternoon about the pilot program. One of the questions on the survey was, “Why would this program not continue,” a question which the students “hated.” “They were totally stressed to say they didn’t like it, because they did,” Jarvis added.

ADVOCATES FLEXIBILITY IN BUILDING USE – Galion parent Scott Carpenter addressed the Board on the issue of the new Building Use Policy, and the possibility that the policy has a detrimental impact on the number of Galionites who choose to be educated in other districts.

Carpenter referenced a recent article or articles by Superintendent Kathy Jenney which appeared in one or more local print newspapers about why Galion children are leaving the District. One disincentive for local students, Carpenter said, had to do with the fact that because of the Board’s building use restrictions, students have to travel out of the District to practice – and pay $4 a gallon for the gas to get there. Similar restrictions do not exist in Bucyrus, Ontario, Lexington, and elsewhere, he continued, and some parents actually have building keys for off-hour access.

“We all helped pay for these (buildings),” Carpenter said, “but when we want to do something for our children, we can’t! Think about the kids… This is nuts, and we don’t look well in the community.”

OTHER MATTERS – Other items of discussion or presentation included the following:

  • The Board will hold a Special Meeting on Thursday, May 22 at 5:00 p.m., beginning with a walk-thru of the District’s Heise Park facilities, and continuing with a meeting at Galion Middle School. This meeting is expected to include announcements of significant staff reductions.
  • A technology showcase will be held at the school on Wednesday, May 16. This will occur after early release that day.
  • Superintendent Jenney announced that two representatives of the Ohio Department of Education had reviewed the District’s financial records as per the discussion at the last Board Work Session. These representatives felt positive about the accuracy of the District’s five-year forecast, Jenney said, and are “confident in those numbers.” Results from an ODE staffing analysis will be available at the June Board Meting, she added.
  • Among a battery of actions taken, the Board approved joining the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the coming school year, and set 2012-2013 breakfast and lunch prices as well.

Photo: Courtesy of Galion Schools

Author: GalionLive

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