8/21/2014 10:49:00 AM Chisago Lakes School Board gets BYOD update and adopts contracts
BY DENISE MARTIN
Chisago Lakes Middle School Principal Jodi Otte told the School Board last week she thinks Chisago Lakes is “in a really good spot” as the school prepares for the grade 8 digital devices rollout. The district is requiring all students entering eighth grade next month, to utilize electronic learning in a new program dubbed BYOD or Bring Your Own Device.
Otte said the teachers are wholly behind this; whereas paperless initiatives at some other districts not embraced by instructors, have encountered problems.
BYOD is a work in progress, Otte added. The school will be checking in with parents later into the first part of the school year, to see how the program is working for their student and for the family.
Otte said she’s mainly aware now that parents might need tech support to keep up with their eighth grader’s work output and class lessons, which will be stored on Chromebooks-style devices the students bring. There was an information night sponsored Tuesday this week, for parents to learn more.
A student advisory team will be named by staff shortly after school begins. This group of five to seven kids will be allowed input on using the devices.
The district underwrites the cost of acquiring a device for students whose family qualifies for free and reduced lunch plans. Families pay what they can to “rent” devices from the district and as of last week 50 had been handed out. The district’s enrollment in free and reduced lunch is 22 percent, so this middle school participation rate is about what was projected, the Board heard.
The Chisago Lakes website has a factsheet for BYOD on the Middle School page, see “Parents-- BYOD resources.”
In other business: the Board approved a lease increase with Fairview for about 1,000 square feet of space at the Chisago City clinic campus used for special educational programming. The lease is for 2015 and 2016 and in 2016 it will increase by 25 cents. It’s currently $15 per square foot.
~ The Board did the first reading of the state mandated anti-bullying policy, and expects to adopt the wording at the next meeting.
Costs to implement legislative requirements are unknown, but shouldn’t be very much extra, Supt. Joe Thimm said, because Chisago has been “ahead of the curve” when it comes to taking bullying seriously. Chisago Lakes has had anti-bullying “Olweus method” lesson plans (distributed through Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation) in use for years.
The new state mandates call for naming a “designated report taker” for each building to be responsible for documenting a reported bullying incident, and there’s report forms the district needs to print and the policy will be posted.
Staff gets brought up to speed and trained on fine points within the bullying policy at the August 21 all-school welcome back breakfast.
~ A female student enrolled in Wolf Creek distance learning charter school was approved for cooperative soccer program participation. ~ School Board members Tom Lawlor and Mark Leigh are soccer coaches for the district and they were approved for hire for this year. They abstained on the motions.
~ Three stand alone non-instructional contracts were adopted unanimously by the Board. Basic details of multi-year contracts are: for the associate principal at the middle school, Eric Stang; Heide Miller Business Sevices Director and for Bob Meyer, Community Ed Director: Meyer’s wage is at $111,044 and at the end of the three year contract his wage is $117,235. Miller is paid $137,889 and after year three this goes to $144,162. Stang’s new contract is for $85,490.
~ Board members volunteered for a policy book overhaul and review effort. Each member took three policy areas to help go through and update, which are divided in categories by the numbers 100, 200 300, etc. to the 900s.
Chisago Lakes Board meetings for Sept. 11 and 25 were called off. The Board will meet Mondays-- September 25, and October 20 instead. Some candidates who filed to run for school board were in the audience last week. See election filings update page 1.