The Jackson County Board of Education is moving forward with its goal of expanding technology in county classrooms.
During a meeting last week, the board voted to ad 450 iPads to classrooms throughout the county’s eight elementary schools, superintendent of schools Blaine Hess said.
Every high school student already has an Apple Macbook and middle-school students all have iPads. While not every elementary school student has an individual iPad, the board has now added nearly 1,000 of the devices to elementary classrooms since last year.
“We don’t have one per student, but we’re working to expand the numbers,” Hess said. “It’s part of our work to provide cutting-edge instruction, so we’re really pleased to keep that moving.”
Also during the meeting, Hess updated the board on ongoing professional development, including additional training being provided for teachers on a new math curriculum that has been implemented statewide.
“This is the first year of the new math series that has been adopted in all schools statewide. We did our initial training with teachers before school started, but we developed additional training that we are providing,” Hess said.
“Any time you get new material, you want to make sure your teachers are well versed in how it works,” he said.
In other business:
• Lady Viking softball coach Ken Swisher spoke to the board about plans for new batting cages at Ripley High School. The cages would be used by both the softball and baseball teams. Administrators are looking at several sources of funding and are requesting that the board consider contributing funds for the project.
• Hess updated the board on the replacement of the gymnasium floor at Ripley High School.
A sprinkler malfunction over the Labor Day holiday weekend caused a portion of the gym floor to become saturated. The school board’s insurance company is paying for a floor replacement, but the completion date for the project will be delayed because the concrete under the hardwood needs to be resealed.
The project originally was set to be completed by Dec. 10, but now won’t be finished until Dec. 20, Hess said.
The Viking and Lady Viking basketball teams are practicing in the auxiliary gym as a result of the construction work. The delayed completion date will affect the start of the teams’ schedules. The first few games of the season will have to be played on the road.