Crawford Schools receives tech grant
Grant will provide computers to CCHS English classrooms
June 25, 2008
Crawford County High School will receive a major technological upgrade beginning next year, thanks to an approximately $185,000 grant.
The Indiana Department of Education award will provide each English classroom with 30 computers and desks, said Bill McIntyre, the corporation's assistant technology director.
McIntyre, who was joined by Crawford County Junior-Senior High School media director Cheryl Burden, said several people, including Burden and teacher Heather Minton, helped write the grant.
"I want to thank the ladies for writing it because they did a fantastic job," he said.
Burden said the English department is ecstatic about the teaching possibilities that will be offered by the new computers.
"I know the English teachers are just so excited," she said.
Getting the infrastructure in place will take some time, so the computers won't be fully incorporated into the curriculum until probably early 2009, with the major changes coming during the second year of the grant, the 2009-10 school year.
The corporation also voted 6-0 (trustee Donnie Benz was absent) to spend some of its own money — $22,575 — on technology, purchasing software from Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA).
Greg Moe, the new high school principal, said the software, which his former school corporation uses, will allow educators to individually assess students in grades K through 11.
Instead of placing a cap on how well students can perform, like ISTEP and other achievement tests do, Cindy Cain, the high school's guidance counselor, said, the NWEA evaluation exam has no such limitations, because the degree of difficulty of each question is based on whether the student got the previous question correct.
"So, this test really has no limits on letting us know how well that student can do," she said.
Students will be tested at the beginning of the year, with follow-up evaluations during the academic year, so teachers know what skills the students need to work on and how they are progressing, Moe said.
Cain said the evaluation software also is helpful in placing students in the correct level of classes.
In another student assessment software matter, McIntyre and Tony Holland, the corporation's technology director, encouraged the board to switch to Harmony from STI.
Harmony, they said, will be much more conducive because it has been developed just for Indiana schools. In addition, maintenance will be less expensive and will be easier, as only requires backup on one server, instead of seven like STI.
Superintendent Dr. Mark Eastridge said the corporation just got Harmony to agree to a five-year lock on pricing that includes updates.
Holland said the software will enable parents to go online and see their child's daily homework assessments.
Eastridge said the goal is to have the software, which the board voted 6-0 to adopt, in place by December, in time for scheduling of classes for 2009-10.
The software will be free for the second semester of next year, with the school corporation picking up the bill beginning in 2009-10, he said.
The board also recognized a couple of departures from the corporation. Two-term trustee Roger Haverstock, who didn't seek a third term, was honored for his eight years of service with a cake and plaque before the meeting. In addition, the board accepted the resignation notice of Dennie Stroud as business manager, effective June 30.
"I can honestly look you guys in the eye and say you're in good shape, you've got a good board," Haverstock said.
The board voted 5-1 (Troy Wheeler against) to name Debbie Jones, the corporation's assistant treasurer who has worked in the corporation's central office for 32 years, as Stroud's replacement.
In other matters, the trustees:
•Voted 5-1 (Wheeler against) to hire the following elementary school teachers: Crystal Conrad, multi-age at English Elementary; Jana Brelsford, kindergarten multi-age at Marengo; Eric Emerson, third at Leavenworth; and Jenna Beckman, part time at Patoka.
•Approved, 6-0, the following in a single-vote consent agenda:
—Dennie Stroud's notice of his leaving as business manager.
—Jessica Branham's resignation as Milltown Elementary cross country and track coach.
—Nathan Freed's resignation as assistant principal at CCJSHS.
—The board's and principals' meeting dates schedules.
—Handbooks for 2008-09 for Patoka and English Elementary schools.
—Jessica Branham's maternity leave from Aug. 6 through Nov. 7.
—Having Kristin Schenck fill in for Branham.
—J.C. Tucker's contract as corporation attorney for 2008-09.
—Bill McIntyre's contract as assistant technology director for 2008-09.
—The CCJSHS Improvement Plan.
—The quote from Southern Indiana Paving for sealing the elementary parking lots.
—The quote from Southern Indiana Paving for sealing the parking lots at Patoka Elementary and the Administration Building.
—The quote from Hanger Painting for sealing the exterior masonry walls at CCJSHS.
—A resolution for temporary loan-debt fund.
—Approval to seek a Tax Anticipation Warrant.
—The following athletic positions: Greg Moe, varsity cross country coach; Lisa Schaftlein, assistant varsity cross country coach; Jeff Balmer, junior high cross country coach; Alan Cox, junior varsity girls' basketball coach; Chris Moe, freshman volleyball coach; Jimmy Ward, volunteer varsity wrestling coach; Jason Ward, volunteer assistant wrestling coach; Ben Miller, volunteer assistant wrestling coach; and Debbie Ruble, junior high school cheer coach.
—Sarah Funk as a math teacher.
—Danelle Manship as the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America chapter sponsor.
—The bonds for Martha Stroud, corporation treasurer, and Debbie Jones, assistant treasurer.
—The elementary school improvement plans.