Friday, April 24, 2015

Board Meeting Recap

April 2015 Board Meeting Recap

All documents are available on Board Docs and you can view a video on the Board website.


+ Presentations and Recognition
+ Trimester Proposal for Elementary Schools
+ Technology Update: LMS Implementation and 1:1 Initiative
+ Delayed High School Opening Proposal
+ Budget Update

Presentations and Recognition

The venue for this month's meeting was "Happy" Hillendale and the first hour of the meeting was truly a celebration filled with recognition of student and staff achievement.

It began with a presentation from Hillendale's Principal, Steve Dissinger, who talked about the Hillendale Stormwater project and showed a video developed by the students. The students who worked on the project received recognition - watch the video - scroll to minute 18 - about 2 minutes.

Watch the video developed by the students - approx. 3 minutes

Mrs Massanari recognized 3 outstanding high school students whose science projects have won honors - watch the video - starting at minute 20

Teachers retiring this year were honored by their principals.  

Two UHS department heads, Sue Thomas and Sharon Kittle were honored - watch the video - starting at minute 26 - apprx. 10 minutes.

Forty year veteran and UES Instructional Support Teacher Perk Musacchio was also honored - watch the video - starting at minute 49 - apprx. 10 minutes.

Long term support staff members are also recognized at retirement.  

This month Bonnie Eroh, Head Custodian, was honored for her forty years of service (all of that time spent at CFES).  The presentation illustrated how many lives Bonnie has touched and also highlighted the important impact all members of the UCFSD staff have on the lives of our students - watch the video - starting at minute 37 - about 12 minutes

Trimester Proposal for Elementary Schools

The Board voted to approve a trimester schedule for elementary schools starting in the fall ( 2015 - 2016 school year).

Trimesters have been found to be more efficient by reducing tests.  Administrative overhead related to issuing report cards is reduced as well.  Kathy Do reported that it will lead to more teaching - less focus on tests needed for reporting. This type of schedule has been adopted successfully in other districts. Teachers in our district helped drive this initiative and reviews by the Curriculum Council and the public were all positive.   

Review the original proposal

Technology Update: LMS Implementation and 1:1 Initiative

Decision made to incorporate an LMS into classroom instruction

The district will be moving ahead next year with its plan to implement a Learning Management System (Canvas is the system we will be using) across the district for grades 6 - 12. The implementation will be phased in over several years.  Next year about 60 teachers be trained and will incorporate this tool into their instruction.

Decision made to explore ways to have a personal device for all students (1:1)

One outcome of this year's technology pilot program is that teachers want students to have devices available to use, when appropriate, in the classroom. Our experience with Chromebooks this year has been positive. They are seen as a practical device with lower costs and easier support when compared to laptops and iPads.

The next step is to evaluate how best to develop a 1:1 model that it is affordable and sustainable.  Next year one 6th grade team will be provided Chromebooks for daily use.  In the second semester students will be able to take the Chromebooks home.  Parents will be charged a $50 tech fee to help cover the costs of the devices. In addition to the 1:1 pilot at the middle school, additional Chromebook carts will be purchased at the high school and assigned to selected teachers.

Watch Mrs. Do's update - apprx. 3 minutes - scroll to minute 1:20
Review the Technology Plan

Delayed High School Opening Proposal

UCFSD has made a proposal to the IU to study the viability of having high schools around the county adopt a later start time in the morning.  Students from Mrs. Grilliot's psychology class had studied the impact of sleep deprivation on teenagers.  They also evaluated solutions.  This led them to approach the Board.  

The students, with Jeff Hellrung took this information to the IU Board.  Our students made a presentation to the Board and Jeff made a proposal for a county-wide, student-led initiative to evaluate this opportunity.  The IU Board approved the proposal unanimously.

Review the Proposal and Timeline
Review the Student Presentation to the IU
Read about it in the Kennett Paper

Budget Update

The next phase of the budget cycle involves public review.  All residents are encouraged to attend the public hearing scheduled on May 4th; at that time, the administration will present the plan for 2015 - 2016.  

The budget as it stands right now calls for an increase in expenditures of $548,000 and a tax increase of 2.89%.

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