With the school year barely a month old, Hays USD 489 teachers already are praising the new technology purchased and implemented during the summer.
Hays High School teachers Melanie Folkerts and Johnny Matlock illustrated their use of technology at the board of education meeting Monday night.
Board members Danielle Lang and Mandy Fox were absent.
Folkerts teaches English and foreign languages, including a blended learning class of Latin. Blended learning has a connection between the traditional classroom and online learning.
Audio is important in foreign language, she said.
“With Canvas (learning management system), my kids can listen to something that I give them,” she said. “Then they can record it and listen to their recording. I can listen to it and send comments back. Being able to record that back to them is amazing.”
Folkerts thanked the board for the one-to-one initiative, Surface Pro 3 device and “forward thinking in administration that says we’re going to try something new.”
“It’s great to see the hands on, how this technology really works,” board member Luke Oborny said.
Matlock, HHS choral director, also uses Canvas to build a site for the HHS musical that includes the rehearsal schedule and what will be rehearsed.
“This is their connection to what’s going on. I can put video up, (and) rehearsal notes. Kids can do things outside of class,” he said.
Matlock also rents specialized computer programs for rehearsing the score of the production.
Cast members “can hear the music playing their part. They can learn their part outside of rehearsal, and we can schedule multiple rehearsals. When they’re here, they’re busy,” he said.
A rented digital sound board and light board program helps manage those areas.
“I get excited about what we’re doing,” Matlock said.
In other business, the board:
• Recognized Abbie Norris, fourth-grader at Wilson Elementary School, and Rusty Lindsay, building and grounds director, as September’s best of the best.
• Discussed combining district goals to move forward with plans of action.
• Had a 15-minute executive session to discuss negotiations.
• Accepted resignations from Jackie Baxter, O’Loughlin Elementary School computer lab aide; Komoss Creamer, Hays High head cheer coach; Cameron Rieth, Hays High assistant cross country coach; Payton Strecker and Diana Young, ECC-Munjor teacher assistants; Brenda Urban, Lincoln Elementary School migrant education parent liaison; Kristi Luetters, Hays High para; Benjamin Hamilton, Roosevelt Elementary School para; and Joan Winter, ECC special ed para.
• Approved retirements for Tammy Schoenthaler, Rockwell payroll assistant; Rae Smith, ECC grants assistant; Melea Kraemer, payroll coordinator; and Francis Hammerschmidt, building maintenance technician.
• Approved termination of Monica Stecklein, copy center/operations secretary; and Cheryl Shubert, accounting director. After the meeting, Superintendent Dean Katt declined to say why Shubert was terminated because it is a personnel matter. He said the position will be filled, but the responsibilities might be revised.
• Approved transfers for Shirley Keegan, transfer from Washington secretary to Lincoln, O’Loughlin and Roosevelt rotating each week; Myrna Lecount from Hays High special ed para to GPS para; Cassandra Staab from Washington ECC to Hays High cook; Amy Beckman from payroll clerk to payroll coordinator; and Sharon Younger from dispatcher to payroll assistant.
• Approved employment of Jessica Voss, Lincoln after-school assistant; Kaci Sharon, Wilson after-school assistant; Kayla Jobbins, Hays High assistant volleyball coach; Kristy Rhoden, ECC Ellis, teacher assistant; Misty Garrison, Hays High Stuco sponsor; Whitney Herrman, Roosevelt recess sponsor; Trey Davis, Hays High director of game films; Corina Beam, Hays High assistant cross country coach; Chelsea Greenough, Hays High head cheer coach; Jenna Witteman, Hays High assistant cheer coach; John Hubschman, Hays High assistant cook; Jessica Herrman, copy center/operations secretary; Mariah Legleiter, payroll assistant; Benjamin Hamilton, Amanda Lawson and Cheyenne Ellard, Roosevelt special-ed para; Alexis Feik, Lincoln special-ed para; Sierra Archer and Brandi Mathis, ECC special-ed paras; Alyssa Balandran, HMS special-ed para; Amber Hernandez, Ellis High School special-ed para; Codi Fenwick, migrant parent liaison/data; Katherine Rathburn, substitute cook; Kristen Osborne, ECC Munjor lead teacher assistant; Lida Howard, transportation dispatcher; and Starla Gano, O’Loughlin computer lab aide.