USD?410 board tests ?Viritual Board Room?

Unified School District 410 Board of Education held its first meeting using a ?Virtual Board Room? at Monday evening?s regular meeting.

Superintendent Steve Noble briefly introduced components of the virtual room to board members, who each sat around the table with a laptop computer.

Available via Blackboard, which is a learning management system used in the classrooms, the virtual room enables board members to access materials and communication electronically prior to and during the meeting.

Also, the agenda, appendices and other public documents can be projected onto a screen and viewed by others attending the meeting, including the press.

Through Blackboard, Noble said, he can communicate to all seven board members, but board members cannot communicate with each other.

?This allows us to meet open meetings rules,? Noble said about the technology.

Meetings and agendas will be archived electronically, Noble added.

Bruce Major gave a presentation during Learning Showcase?a feature recently added to the board?s regular meeting agenda. Major, who teaches math at Hillsboro High School, demonstrated Voice Thread, an audio and visual computer program that enables him to present instructional material online that students can access at any time.

He can also monitor students? progress in understanding the material.

Activities Director Robert Rempel presented the board with two options for the 2010-11 calendar. The board spent some time discussing the options, with the key differences being the start of the school year and the number of student contact days.

Noble said he would like the board will approve the official calendar at the March meeting.

In other business, the board:

? listened to a request for five FCCLA officers and adviser Monica Leihy to attend the national competition in Chicago in July. The group requested $2,094 for Leihy?s hotel, registration and meals, plus transportation expenses for a vehicle and fuel for the group.

The board said it would let them know about their request at next month?s board meeting.

?We?ll put together a financing plan so we know how (the expenses) will be paid for,? Noble said.

? was introduced to the proposed technology plan for the district, which includes assessing for abilities and the effectiveness of the technology in student learning.

?We?ve got some reading to do,? said Eddie Weber, board president, about the materials.

? heard that litigation dues for USD 410 joining Schools for Fair Funding?at $1.10 per student?will total $643.03.

? approved disposing of cell phones no longer used by the district. Noble proposed the disposal through a sealed-bid process. Phones not purchased, he said, will be donated to charity.

? approved a rollover year for contracts of principals Greg Brown, Max Heinrichs and Evan Yoder, maintaining the two years of their contracts. Compensation is yet to be determined.

? approved the resignation from Renee Lambert, preschool and Head Start instructor at Hillsboro Elementary School.

? heard a budget report from Jerry Hinerman, USD 410 business manager, regarding the stadium project at a cost of $4.19 million, an amount shared equally with Tabor College.

? heard from board member Mark Rooker, who attended the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce dinner earlier that evening, that USD 410 and Tabor College received the Members of the Year award for 2010.

? met in executive sessions for matters of personnel, acquisition of property and negotiations. No action was taken.

Board member Rod Koons was absent from the meeting.

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