Textbooks out, notebooks in for LCHS pilot program
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[January 18, 2012]
The Spanish and French classes at
Lincoln Community High School will begin to study in March with
computer-generated material replacing traditional textbooks, in a
pilot program coordinated by the school board's technology
committee. Reatha Owen, committee chairwoman, has updated the board
at monthly meetings as plans have unfolded. She presented final
details at the school board meeting Tuesday night.
Sixty-five Dell notebooks and two storage carts are being ordered
for use by juniors and seniors in the Spanish and French classes.
The notebooks will come with appropriate software. The cost of each
unit is $279, with Windows SP Professional installed. The total
price tag for 65 notebooks and two storage carts will be $20,446.91,
to be covered with grant funds. The computers will be used for the
pilot program that will begin in March and run through the end of
this school year. Regular use will be implemented for the 2012-2013
In previous board meetings Mrs. Owen has encouraged spending more
on technology, specifically the implementation of computer textbooks
to allow students to stay in touch with the most up-to-date
information and material.
According to Owen, the technology committee requested a volunteer
from the teaching staff to trade textbooks for computers for the
pilot program. Foreign language instructor Kathy Stoyak suggested
that the junior and senior year students be allowed to test the
program and offer input.
"Textbooks on computers are cheaper," Owen told the LCHS school
board. "It will eliminate paper publications that are outdated in a
few years. When material needs to be replaced, the programs are a
few dollars. It will be a much more affordable system than buying
all new textbooks."
Superintendent Robert Bagby asked the board to consider dropping
the district's association with Salt Creek Academy. There is a
$3,000 annual fee that allows LCHS to send students to SCA. The
facility accepts students with disciplinary issues. In addition to
the flat fee, every district must pay tuition for its students
enrolled at SCA. A truancy grant previously used to pay the tuition
is no longer available. Savings in transportation costs was over
$14,000 per school year.
Bagby said that no student has been sent to Salt Creek Academy
for two years, since LCHS initiated the alternative classroom. The
class has satisfied the needs of students with discipline problems,
dropout risks and other issues that would make them candidates for
Salt Creek Academy. It is unlikely any students will be sent outside
the district as long as the alternative classroom is open. The
superintendent said that other schools have contacted him and
offered tuition for their students to attend the alternative
program. The board took no action on the SCA affiliation.
A graduation ceremony for the Class of 2011 graduates of the
alternative high school program will be on Jan. 31, from 5 to 6:30
p.m., in the auditorium. There are 16 students graduating.
Bagby met with superintendents of the feeder schools to
coordinate calendars for 2012-2013. A consensus from administrators
and teaching staff scheduled the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off
and allowed two full weeks of time for the Christmas and New Year's
holiday break. The next Education Cooperation Committee meeting is
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Poelker -- Jake Olson was the Student of the Month for December;
guidance counselors will visit the feeder schools soon to speak
with incoming freshmen; staff has begun the scheduling process
for next school year.
Principal Rhonda Hyde -- Enrollment was 835 at the end of
December, and the number of disciplinary actions has fallen.
Parents who have moved, changed phone numbers, etc., should go
to the school website and enter their new information on the
Skyward Family Access. Early dismissals, school closings,
canceled athletic events and other announcements are sent via
the School Reach System, and contact data and other information
should be as current as possible for the system to be effective.
Questions should be addressed to Mrs. Hyde at 732-4131, ext.
LTEC Director Bret Hitchings -- A
lawyer has been consulted on the procedure and documents to use
for a bidding process for the building trades house on North
Sherman Street. Building trades classes during the next school
year will work at the "twin sisters" houses on Pulaski Street.
Additional projects are being considered to give students the
same set of skills acquired from new construction. Plans and
details are coming together for a cosmetology class for next
school year. A proposal will be ready for the March school board
The next LCHS school board meeting is at 7 p.m. Feb. 20, in the
[By MARLA BLAIR]