BOE Gets Tech Update

MINSTER — The Minster Board of Education received an update on the school’s technology plan, as well as an update concerning the playground at the elementary building during its meeting Monday night.

Technology Coordinator Greg Berning presented to the board about the three-year technology plan, which began last school year. This plan included upgrading computers, software, printers and copiers, the creation of an additional computer lab, the installation of numerous Smart Boards and an upgraded website.

“Right now, I’m working on implementing mobile technology in both buildings — we just purchased a WiFi network for laptops,” he said. “And when the school year starts, we will be WiFi enabled in the one through six classrooms in the elementary building, the junior high classrooms in the other building, the library in the other building, the cafeteria and a few of the other high school classrooms — mainly the ones that applied for the technology.”

Berning also noted the upcoming implementation of a program that will provide 5 gigabytes of online storage for each student.

“One of the big projects that I’m looking forward to is the implementation of a program called Google Apps,” he said.

“We’re going to start with the seventh to 12th students to start off the school year. Basically what it will allow us to do is not just take the students into the Cloud, but allow them to utilize the work they’re doing here in school and outside of school.”

A bring-your-own-technology incentive is also being considered for the near future, he noted, which would allow students to bring their own laptops or other mobile devices for school use.

During her report, Superintendent Brenda Boeke noted a piece of playground equipment is tentatively scheduled to be added to the facility on Sept. 16.

“It was ordered today, actually, and scheduled for installation in September,” she said.

“And so we will be asking for volunteers to help us install that. We’re still working with the village on the aftermath of that, of the whole playground after-plan.”

Boeke also reported Minster Local Schools is currently rated an “Excellent” school district — and possibly even an “Excellent with Distinction” district.

“At the end of August, we’ll know if we are ‘Excellent with Distinction,’ based on our value-added points,” she said.

“Those results are not out yet. But as you see in the elementary and the high school reports, our kids are achieving at very high levels. And I want to take this time to thank our administrators and our teachers for preparing our kids to achieve so well — I’m very proud of them and I feel they should be commended for the great work that they do.”

In his report to the board, Junior/Senior High School Principal Mike Lee noted orientation sessions for students in grades seven to nine have been set for Aug. 17. Grade seven will meet at 10 a.m. in the large group meeting room at the elementary building; grade eight will meet at 11 a.m.; grade nine will meet at 1 p.m.

Elementary Principal Leanne Keller noted a few back-to-school events that have been scheduled, including an ice cream social, which will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 19, sponsored by the Academic Boosters.

Kindergarten orientation will be from 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20. Aug. 30 is fall picture day.

In other business, the board members:

• Approved membership in Southwestern Ohio Education Purchasing Council at approximately 40 cents per ADM.

• Approved bus routes for 2012-13.

• Increased grade three fees to $60.75.

• Increased grade seven to 12 lunch price to $2.25.

• Authorized the superintendent to waive and reduce fees for those who qualify.

• Approved personnel recommendations.

The next regular board meeting will be held at 8 p.m. Aug. 20 in the large group meeting room in the elementary building.