USD 410 board chooses to go ?paperless?

Unified School District 410 Board of Education has decided to ?go paperless,? beginning in February.

Superintendent Steve Noble introduced the idea to the board at the Jan. 11 meeting and board members agreed.

Rather than working with a packet of photocopies distributed prior to the meetings, members will receive the agenda and supporting materials as electronic documents, and business will be conducted using laptop computers. Noble said Jason Henry, technology director, will make laptops available in the board room as needed.

In addition to reducing costs associated with producing multiple paper copies, board members will follow the lead of the district?s teachers and students in their use of technology.

Darrel Knoll, who teaches English at Hillsboro High School, demonstrated ways he uses Blackboard in teaching at Monday?s meeting. Blackboard, available to the district through TEEN and ESSDACK, is a learning and content-management software system used especially for classroom instruction.

Knoll said through Blackboard he posts assignments, uses a journal portal for one-to-one conferences with students, gives tests and posts PowerPoint presentations.

?I use it a lot,? he said.

Blackboard has capabilities for use by board members, Noble said. Consequently, they will be issued passwords to use Blackboard to access posted documents. He assured the board that Blackboard is secure, and it would be used in compliance with open-meeting policies.

After meeting in executive session, the board voted to add a rollover year to Noble?s contract, thereby maintaining the district?s two-year agreement with the superintendent.

The board also approved contracts for Justin Moore as assistant HHS baseball coach and Teal Stutzman as assistant Hillsboro Middle School wrestling coach.

The board spent considerable time discussing financial challenges facing Marion County Special Education Cooperative, including the impact of possible staff cuts on state aid.

Board member Debi Geis, who represents USD 410 and chairs the MCSEC board, said at last month?s meeting the Peabody district stated its intention to withdraw from the cooperative because it wants more agility and cohesion in educating its students.

USD 410 board members agreed the Hillsboro district benefits from being a part of the cooperative.

?We?re coming to the table with some options to keep the coop operating for fiscal year ?11,? Noble said.

The board decided not to purchase a fourth-page ad for $135 to promote the district in the Marion County Resource Guide. Board member Rod Koons said he thought the money would be better spent enhancing the district?s Web site.

Noble suggested naming January as ?Board Appreciation Month,? and invited the board members to attend the Trojan Classic Tournament, where he would recognize them publicly.

The board met in executive session for negotiation but no action was taken.

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