School board opens communications for corp.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The South Putnam School Board met Monday and discussed the pending completion of communication towers that will place South Putnam students smack into the 21st Century.

In his report to the school board, South Putnam Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt announced that construction on the long awaited point-to-point communication towers will be completed by December 15, allowing all South Putnam School Corporation students to access the Internet.

To date Reelsville Elementary, Fillmore Elementary have no Internet access and the Superintendent's office is working on a dial-up connection.

According to the superintendent's report, teachers throughout the school system are developing new lesson plans designed to integrate the new technology into their class rooms, and the school systems expects to receive additional grant money from the state to buy new equipment to implement those plans.

The project has been in planning stages for three years, said Bernhardt who added that funding for the towers came from a $1 million technology loan that was also used to upgrade computers.

"We are trying to be frugal and use our dollars wisely because they are few and far between," said Bernhardt. "But our students deserve to be in the 21st Century like everybody else."

Technology drove the public discussion at Monday's meeting as several community members complained about South Putnam's Website. One citizen pointed out that information about an upcoming play on the site was more than two years old.

Both the superintendent and board members suggested that the lagging web site should improve with the planned hiring of a new technology assistant.

In other business:

* In a 4 to 1 vote, with Nancy Wells as the only dissenting vote, the board approved a motion to accept a personnel report including the following resignations: Tabitha Clark, part time custodian at Central; Sara Parks, Instructional Assistant at Central; Jennifer Pannell, High School food service; Shirley Knauer, part time custodian at Central; and the following new hires: Tabitha Crank, part time custodian at Central; Monty Rader, custodian at Central; Shannon Smith, part time food service at Central; Annett Hull, high school Food Service; Jessica Roseberry, Instructional Assistant; Kathy Hendricks, bus driver.

* In a unanimous vote, the board voted to accept the textbook adoption committees at Fillmore Elementary, Reelsville Elementary, Central Elementary and South Putnam High School.

The committees, formed of parents and teachers, will spend the next semester evaluating various Language Arts textbooks and make recommendations for purchase.

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