The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 22, 2012

E-B-F board takes a look at capital projects

Board also updated on use of computers, iPads in district’s schools

EDDYVILLE — The Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont School Board received several reports this week on topics ranging from technology and curriculum improvements to capital projects.

Superintendent Dean Cook reported to the board that the recently completed maintenance project at the Blakesburg Attendance Center cost the district just under $429,000.

The Capital Projects Committee has identified three new projects to consider in the near future, including a kitchen addition in Blakesburg, improvements to the high school track and some type of multipurpose building project for the buildings and trades classes to undertake.

The projects will be researched and prioritized. If the board decides to proceed with these, Cook plans to look into bonding against all three utilizing one-cent sales tax revenue.

Administrators told the board that both teachers and students have embraced recent technology improvements. However, with close to 1,000 machines (computers and iPads) running in the district, there have been a few issues that are being worked out.

Fremont Principal Joellen Harding-Breon added that iPads have proven to be a valuable resource for elementary students.  

“The teachers continue to amaze me with the ways they are incorporating technology to enhance the instructional program,” she said.

Harding-Breon also noted that iPads have been especially helpful when students are absent due to illness, because they are able to complete assignments and quizzes at home, returning to school with very little if any make up work to do.

She also discussed the new curriculum, saying, “We are extremely pleased with how teachers are implementing Everyday Math.”

Cook added that with Everyday Math, “We are getting parents more involved working with their kids at night on math. We are teaching kids to do more in-depth thinking. They are looking at math differently.”

Junior/Senior High School Principal Matt Johnson said that with Everyday Math, elementary school students are doing more problem solving instead of rote memorization.

“It is really going to open up more higher level math for our students,” he said.

In other business, Cook reported on the results of the district’s recent audit

“It was the best audit we have had in 20-some years.  (The board secretary) has done an excellent job,” he said.

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