Grants support elementary's technology

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Roachdale Elementary painted a picture of what was going right with the school for the North Putnam School Board.

Roachdale Elementary Principal Helen Blubaum informed the board during Tuesday's meeting about what technology the school was able to purchase with a patent grant. Because this grant is a continuous grant, the school has been receiving the money for three years.

"We are totaled up in about $80,000 worth of technology," Blubaum said.

Blubaum also said, "We're driven by technology in test results to deliver services to the children in the classroom, but it's also their future."

Before discussing what the school has purchased with the patent grant, fifth- grade teacher Joanie Knapp and a group of students informed the board about their experiences at the Challenger Center in Brownsburg. There, students worked together on different scenarios and situations they might experience on a mission to the moon.

Fourth-grade teacher Jonathan Shannon in-formed the board what the school was able to purchase with the patent grant and through the corporation. Items like projectors, laptop computers, smart screens and student response pads have become quite useful in the classroom.

Shannon said the student response pads get every student involved in the work. "A lot of kids won't raise their hand, they're afraid of the wrong answer. They can sit there and put in the answer all by themselves, nobody knows what they answered, nobody knows if they got it wrong or right, we just move on," Shannon said.

The student response pads allows the students to not be embarrassed by their answers, provides the teacher with instant feedback and captures the students attention quickly.

To demonstrate the use of the pads, Shannon had six of his students work on a couple of math review problems. This showed the board how quickly Shannon knew how the students were answering. "The best part is the instant feedback," Shannon said. "I can stand up there and found it if I need to reteach something."

In other business, the board:

-- Gave certificates of recognition to football players Emmett Boruff, Brayden Dahlstrom, Jake Mullis, Adam Vondersaar and Griffin Dahlstrom, who were named to various all-state football teams. The board also recognized pre-school teachers Julie Lee and Valerie Lenihan with certificates from the Department of Education, and high school football coach Dave Pasch was named Midwest Publications 2A Coach of the Year and will serve as a head coach for one of the Wabash Valley All-Star teams, as well as serve on the coaching staff for the North-South All-Star game.

-- Approved the temporary loan from Tri-County Bank.

-- Approved the Old National Trail Interlocal Agreement. This agreement will allow ONT to become its own administrative center, taking the responsibility away from North Putnam.

-- Learned that the school's Special Olympic basketball team attended a clinic with members of the Ohio State University basketball team at the John Wooden Tradition.

-- Learned about a financial bonding issue with the 1999 middle school bond. Pride told the BannerGraphic Wednesday that this bond was a combination of the 1999 project and the building project. These bonds sold at 5.5 percent interest, but now they are being sold at 3.8 percent interest.

Pride said the corporation has two options when refinancing the bond. They can either take the cash and put it into a project or take a reduction of payments.

-- Approved balancing appropriations to close the 2006 budget.

-- Approved paying any late arriving December bills to close the 2006 budget.

-- Approved to advertise for the 2007 fuel bids.

-- Approved the resignation of middle school instructional assistant Andrea Thompson, Roachdale Elementary instructional assistants Tina Bucy and Barbara McKamey for ONT. The board also approved the hiring of middle school instructional assistant Rae Andreanopolis, Roachdale Elementary instructional assistant Ricki Call, middle school cafeteria workers Donna Adams and Darla Poynter, high school baseball assistant coach Bob Bowman, sixth-grade boys basketball coaches Keith Green and Rusty Stanley, middle school girls track coach Michelle Spencer, middle school volunteer swim coach Todd Schindler and Roachdale Destination Imagination coach David Washabaugh.

Cloverdale Middle School teacher Elisa Garcia for ONT was approved for maternity leave and both Rachael Smith and Randi Alles were approved for the position of student life guards.

-- Said good bye to board member Patricia Baldwin who had served on the board for 10 years.

The next regularly scheduled meeting is set for Thursday, Jan. 18 in the corporation building. This meeting is open to the public.

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