The focus of the District No. 2 school board meeting held on Oct. 10 was elementary school technology. Second grade teachers Krystal May and Jodi Strom demonstrated how their students are using the new iPads they received earlier in the year. The hands-on demonstration allowed board members to experiment with some of the programs the students are using in the classroom.
Strom described how students were “pulled completely into their studies” when using the iPad technology.
“You give a student a book and their eyes wander around the room. Give them the iPad and they are pulled into it,” explained Strom.
Strom and May gave a detailed presentation showing how the iPad is being used to enhance reading, science and math lessons.
“One of the things we are really excited about is that there are apps on the iPads that directly correspond to the curriculum we are using in the classroom,” said Strom. “It provides a different format for student to focus on the skills they are learning in the classroom. The kids are really tuned into the technology and it has been a really good interactive way for the kids to practice the curriculum.”
May talked about how the children are treating the equipment “respectfully” and how much the children look forward to their “iPad time.”
“They want it to last and they take really good care of them,” she said.
The teachers are also taking advantage of some of the technology like “turning point,” a program that allows the teachers to show the student instant results to their quizzes. The teachers are also using application programs to randomly select students from a list of names to answer questions during classroom sessions and software that simplifies the grading process and saves time.
In other matters, Nancy Cerroni discussed how administrators and staff are using assessment results from tests to improve the curriculum in all three schools.
“All of the buildings are pouring through PAWS data and are trying to determine areas of need so they can design an action plan to address those needs and improve the curriculum,” said Cerroni.
Cerroni expressed her disappointment that this year the “parent report” did not provide as much detail as it has in previous years.
Board members continued their review of board governance policies. The board reviews different policies each month and allows members to comment on the policy. Very little comment or discussion was made on the policies reviewed this month.
The board acknowledged Holly Wilkerson who was recently selected by the staff at Lovell High School as Student of the Month. They also acknowledged Leanne Winterholler for a special sportsmanship award she received at the volleyball tournament held in Worland in September. Curriculum Director Cerroni was acknowledged for her work helping school administrators meet their accreditation goals.
Lovell High School student body president Leanne Winterholler gave the board an update regarding student council activities. Student council members will be attending a special convention Nov. 7 – 8. She also announced that the students will be holding a Christmas wreath fundraiser. Students hope to raise enough money for a new marquee that will be used at the school.
Supt. Dan Coe gave an update on the progress of facilities projects. He announced an upcoming meeting of the school facilities commission to discuss projects that have been completed last summer and to review major maintenance projects that need to be completed in the future.
He discussed how he is “keeping an eye” on the school’s $5.5 mil remodeling budget that is now working its way through the legislative session. Coe has talked to some legislators and continues to solicit their support for the approval of the budget as it moves through legislative channels.
Board chair Judy Richards recognized the “home school” programs in the district and noted that each home school family has to report the number of students and the programs they are using to the school district each year. Board members received a copy of the report, which was not read out loud to protect the privacy of the students.
The board also reviewed a new policy regarding service animals for compliance with relevant disability laws. The policy was approved with very little discussion.
The board received a recommendation to hire Jacob Bassett as assistant wrestling coach at Lovell High School. The board accepted the recommendation.
The board accepted a letter of resignation from paraprofessional Lindsay Lindsay, who has accepted a position as director of the North Big Horn Health Coalition.
By Patti Carpenter