BOE inquires about students' technology availability
By JUDY SHERARD
School might be dismissed for the summer, but Hays High School students are going to be asked to fill out a survey about the type of computer they have at home.
The Hays USD 489 Board of Education is exploring the option of having students bring their own device for school use rather than providing them with laptops.
"Just to get a feel for what's out there, we're asking them to comment or tell us what their device is," Brian Drennon, technology director, told the board Monday night.
Students will be given the necessary computer specifications required to participate in BYOD (bring your own device), and asked if they have a computer that meets the specifications or would be willing to purchase one.
The surveys will be emailed to students this week, and district officials will follow up with a phone call.
Summer also means a change at Rockwell Administration Center, said Tracy Kaiser, executive director of finances and support services.
Administrative offices will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and closed Fridays to conserve energy.
The Learning Center, which is located in the building, will be open Fridays, Superintendent Dean Katt said.
Calculating an average daily rate, the district hopes to save $20,000, Kaiser said.
In other business:
* The board voted 6-0 to use up to the full amount, $394,005, of the contingency reserve fund.
"Based on the situation we are in, we are going to use a majority of that to cover our bills and salaries the rest of this year," Kaiser said.
* The board voted 4-2 to purchase Edgenuity at a cost of $25,000 per year for a three-year commitment. The online curriculum is used at the Learning Center, Westside Alternative School, KVC Wheatland, Hays High and Hays Middle School. BOE president Greg Schwartz and Lance Bickle voted against the purchase. Danielle Lang was absent. Bickle said he's in favor of the program but wants to see all of the budget numbers before approving specific items.
* The board voted to move the budget overview presentation to the June 16 work session and ask district administrators and directors to attend.
* A 45-minute executive session for attorney-client privilege, personnel and negotiations took place.
* The BOE accepted resignations from Matthew Eckhart, special-ed para, Hays High School; Lauren Torline, special-ed para, Wilson Elementary School; Victoria North, human resources assistant, Rockwell Administration Center; Maria Schmidt, Lincoln Elementary School para; Angela Cook, Hays High preschool para; Tanya Boeckner, Roosevelt para; Ryan Hill, Wilson after-school care; Diana Montoia, Hays High cook; and Marei Hinzman, Wilson para.
* The board approved retirement for Debra Weatherbee, Hays High teacher; Kirk Maska, Hays Middle School teacher; Barbara Leo, HMS teacher; Vickie Rupp, Washington Elementary special-ed para; Carolyn Fuller, HMS teacher; and Kim Moore, Washington special-ed teacher.
* The board approved transfers for Cindy Compeau, Washington teacher; Kerri Lacy, Lincoln teacher; Jessica Butte, Hays High teacher; Gabriela Schmidt, RAC human resources assistant; Marla Wasinger, Lincoln teacher; Desirae Kinderknecht, HMS teacher; and Jenny Johnson, Westside School teacher.
* The BOE approved employment for Erin Wagner, special-ed co-op speech-language pathologist; Tom Smith, special-ed co-op speech-language pathologist; Stephanie Stremel, Russell Connections lead teacher; Bryce McClung, Hays High head tennis coach; Fred Winter, Westside special-ed teacher; Lindsey Sandquist, Roosevelt Elementary, Early Childhood special-ed teacher; Kim Pfanenstiel, KVC Wheatland special-ed teacher; Melinda Davis and Chelsea Greenough, Hays High assistant cheer coaches; Komoss Creamer, Hays High head cheer coach; Sarah Smith, Washington teacher; Betsy Forinash, Lincoln teacher; Erin Flax, Wilson teacher; Leslie Karlin, Wilson teacher; and Allison Kitchen, HMS teacher.