District to review software, student device use

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The USD 480 school board will have a wide variety of topics to discuss durings its first meeting of the 2018-19 school year Monday evening starting at 6:30.

Up first for the board will be the revisiting of student athletic and accident insurance. The board had approved this at the Aug. 20 meeting and Monday evening the board will be discussing some of the different options, according to the agenda information. After next discussing the Microsoft software renewal for the 2018-19 school year, the board will be discussing the large backup system.

“We will be seeking bids on a large backup system for the district and the estimated cost is $120,000,” the agenda information noted. “This system will allow us to do daily backups of our servers and automate the process which is currently manual.  It will also increase our recovery time from when a server goes down or is compromised to being fully restored and operational.”

Also up for discussion will be iPads for kindergarten and first grade students and MAP testing.

“Currently we have 720 students in grades K-1. iPads are used in the classroom at these grade levels along with the MAP testing app from NWEA for assessment testing,” the agenda information noted. “NWEA has released new system requirements for their products stating that as of July 2018 IOS 9 will no longer be supported, and IOS 9 will not be permitted to run MAP starting November 2018. This means as of right now the testing software runs on our current Gen 2 iPads but will receive no updates or patches to fix any issues that may occur because of the operating system. Once we reach November, the software will no longer install or run on our current Gen 2 iPads.  iPads Gen 2, Gen 3 and iPads mini (gen1) are not compatible with operating systems past iOS 9. The iPads we are looking to replace were purchased in 2012, we have only recently run into compatibility issues.  Using this data we would advise putting new iPads/tablets on a five-year rotation schedule. iPads have been suggested for this replacement because that is what currently is being utilized at this level along with specialized apps at certain schools.  iPads are also a better fit at the K-1 level because keyboarding classes start in the second grade. The total estimated cost is $290,160 and includes 720 iPads with a three year Apple Care plan ($268,560) and 720 iPad Cases ($21,600).”

The board will also be discussing the replacement of cafeteria delivery doors at Liberal High School and will also be asked to approve the purchase of Gallup Strength Codes for LHS.

“Liberal High School would like to purchase Gallup Strengths Codes for each student,” the agenda information noted. “In the years to follow, codes will be purchased only for freshmen and new students. The Gallup Strengths assessment is a thorough set of 75 questions that identify individual’s unique set of strengths and talents.  Once students complete the assessment, they receive several reports that give them insight into their top five strengths and how they can best utilize the to be successful. The information gained from the reports will be used for students’ Individual Plans of Study as well as for various activities and discussions with students as a way to increase student engagement, confidence, and self-efficacy.”

The board will also be discussing the asbestos abatement for the former Washington Elementary School and McDermott Elementary School buildings as well as a board vacancy resolution.

“Matt Durler is resigning his position on the Board of Education effective at the end of the board meeting 9/10/18,” the agenda information noted. “USD 480 is required to publish a notice in the paper of this vacancy and cannot make an appointment of this position until no sooner than 15 days of the date of publication.  This appointment will be until January 2020.  At the next general election, there will be a 2 year position to be filled. The Board of Education will need to provide a date of how long applications or resumes will be accepted for this vacancy.”

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