410 board OKs IT position

Vera Isaac receives a plaque of appreciation from USD 410 board president Eddie Weber marking 22 years of teaching at Hills?boro Elementary School. Isaac completed a 25-year career in public education when she retired last May. Courtesy photoThe USD 410 Board of Education approved the addition of an assistant technology position during its Oct. 13 meeting.

The vote followed Superintendent Steve Noble?s PowerPoint presentation justifying the classified position after the board had met in executive session with Brad Just, current IT?director.

In the board discussion after Noble?s presentation, board member Deb Geis expressed the tension she felt as she acknowledged the need but also the concern regarding the cost of filling the position.

For the past six years, despite increased use of computers, technology and software in the classrooms, the district has operated with only an IT director.

Nearly 15 years ago, three full-time information technology employees worked for the district, Noble said. But over the years, that number decreased from three to two, then two to one.

To continue being innovative in its use of technology to promote student learning and college and career preparedness, Noble said, the district must provide adequate IT support.

Noble proposed the position would require an eight-hour work day year round and be paid $12 to $15 per hour. Any overtime would require administrative approval.

Playground report

Representing the playground committee for Hillsboro Elementary School, Erin Beavers presented the proposal to address safety concerns and cosmetic and water drainage issues on the playground.

After conducting research and meeting with a consultant, Beavers said the committee is proposing a $150,000 funding goal to replace ground surfaces and purchase equipment. The committee has raised just over $30,000, which includes a recent Hillsboro Community Foundation grant of $25,750.

Beavers said the plan is to apply for additional grants and talk with local businesses about contributing. The timeline, she said, would be to have the money raised so installation could be done next summer.

Board President Eddie Weber said he recently visited the playground and the pictures in Beavers?s presentation ?don?t do justice? to the poor condition of the playground.

?It?s embarrassing,? he said about the play area. ?Something needs to be done.?

HES site committee members Rachel Hein and Mitchell Frantz also attended the meeting. Frantz urged board members and the community to view the situation for themselves.

Weber said the board would discuss whether the district could assist with any funding at next month?s meeting.

Other business

In other business, the board:

? recognized Vera Isaac for outstanding service as a teacher in the district for 22 years.

? approved resignations by Matt Hiebert as activity route bus driver and Robert Haude as assistant high school boys? basketball coach.

? approved supplemental contract for Sharon Loewen as academic detention supervisor.

? approved work agreements for Tanner Lacy as HES lunch supervisor and Charlene Pschigoda as Chums bus route driver.

? heard from Noble the official enrollment count of 566 students for Sept. 20, which is eight less than the number on which the budget was built.

Once weightings are taken into consideration, Noble said the financial impact is $56,241 less than the published budget.

?Our enrollment didn?t quite come in as we hoped,? he said. ?This is pretty typical, actually. This is more manageable (than last year?s decrease of 50 students).?

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