The Webster City Community School District is making its first steps to rolling out iPads across the district.
At the Monday meeting of the board of directors, technology director Mark Murphy said the iPads arrived slightly ahead of schedule. He oversaw several test runs of a new laser engraver that will identify the mobile computing devices and presented them at the meeting.
Software and other applications are being preloaded on those iPads and will be given to staff starting tomorrow. Murphy said the introduction of those iPads will continue until Feb. 18 to staff. That gives staff a week to get comfortable with the devices before a professional development training day that will focus on the new devices.
Murphy, along with curriculum director Linda Williams, presented the board with a rundown of the professional development day. About 25 speakers will present on a range of topics, such as how to use various apps and how to use mobile computing technology in a classroom.
"It's not really about the device at all," Murphy said. "We don't want it to be about what we're doing with the device, but how we're using the device. This is the start of a journey, not a destination. It's the start of more stuff to come."
The board approved a contract for Elizabeth Hubbell to present a keynote address and will host six breakout sessions during the professional development day. She has authored several books about integrating technology in the classroom, including "Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works," "The Future of Schooling: Educating America in 2020," and "Classroom Instruction That Works."
Superintendent Mike Sherwood said it will be a busy summer for the district with plenty of remodeling work to be done. He said preliminary work is being done, such as schematics and designing, for projects at Sunset Heights and Pleasant View. He expects that work to be done by the end of the month. Those designs will be reviewed by staff in March, and Sherwood said he expects bidding on the project the week of April 27.
Proposed projects at Sunset Heights and Pleasant View include renovations of several classroom wings, removal of non-compliant walls with glass, replacing student cubbies with lockers and more. Sherwood said between $500,000 and $600,000 left over from the gym renovations will be used to help fund those projects.
The board approved an agreement that will continue to allow student teachers from Buena Vista University to be placed in the district. The agreement will extend through January of 2015.
The board set a date for bargaining with the Webster City Educational Services Association. The board will meet with association representatives tomorrow.
Sherwood said that the Webster City High School class of 1965 has donated over $3,000 towards the victory bell. He thanked them for their contribution.