Fundraisers pay for new technology

For Jana Thomas, another day is another fundraiser.

The Waterford Elementary School principal reported to the Wolf Creek Local Schools board of education Monday night that a recent sale of pepperoni rolls got her school $3,500, boxtops got another $1,500, and that leaves $500 to go for another 30-unit cart of Chromebooks for her students.

The electronic devices are gradually removing the need for her students to go to computer lab, she said, and her goal is to get all 430 or so students at Waterford Elementary their own electronic devices to keep in the classroom. So far, her efforts have bought two carts of Chromebooks, with 30 each, being used by grades 3 through 6.

The latest fundraising push, she said, will get the devices into the seventh and eighth-grade classrooms.

“You start at one place, and build on that each year,” she said. “I will fundraise until my kids have what they need.”

Thomas, in her second year as principal, said the computers in the school’s three labs are adequate but the idea of shuttling kids into a lab from the classroom to their digital work is a model that’s becoming obsolete.

“Society is moving toward integrating technology into everything, and we need sets that come into the classroom,” she said.

A Chromebook is similar to a laptop computer but uses the Google Chrome browser as an operating system. They come in a variety of sizes and configurations, ranging in cost from $100 to $500 or more.

The younger kids, 1st and 2nd graders, have aging iPads that will soon need to be replaced, she said.

The Wolf Creek board welcomed its newest member, Scott Lang, who was sworn in at the start of meeting. Lang was chosen from seven people who expressed interest in becoming part of the board after the November election failed to yield a candidate for the open position.

In other business, the board:

¯ Approved about $25,000 in compensation for 14 paid athletic coaches, and approved four others who are volunteers.

¯ Approved the 2018-19 school calendar, which will have classes beginning Aug. 22.

¯ Approved minor revisions to 10 items in the policy manual and three new items to bring the manual into line with state guidance.

¯ Approved purchase of a new school bus for $88,887.

Superintendent Doug Baldwin told the board that including Monday, school has been out of session for nine days so far this year because of weather conditions.

Baldwin also said the district is considering a grant application to add counseling services and hopes it might be funded through the Washington County Behavioral Health Board.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 12 in the Waterford High School library.

Wolf Creek board of education

¯ Approved compensation for 18 coaches in football, track, volleyball and baseball

¯ Approved a list of seniors graduating this year subject to completion of courses

¯ Approved a 2018-19 school calendar

¯ Approved minor amendments to the policy manual to comply with state guidelines

¯ Approved purchase of a new school bus for $88,887