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Swedeborg reopens student computer lab with new equipment
SWEDEBORG, Mo. (Feb. 11, 2009) — Members of the Swedeborg R-III School Board spent much of their Monday night meeting focusing on ways to improve computer technology for the district. While several visitors attended the board meeting regarding personnel matters, that discussion took place exclusively in closed session.

District Administrator Ryan Warnol told board members that the Swedeborg school now has 16 functional computers with antivirus protection installed, which he said should be enough for the small K-8 district. The lab is currently being used by students from third grade through eighth grade with students going to the lab once every third day.

“Our computer lab is up and running,” Warnol said. “(Computer consultants and teachers) have been working diligently to get us up to date and get that lab up and running.”

Board member Alexis Roam, who has been a strong supporter of the school district’s technology program, said she’d like to have board members take a tour of the computer lab so they can learn more about what is offered to the students.

“I’d be more than glad to show that to you,” Warnol said.

Board members also reviewed the district’s technology plan and made some amendments which Warnol said scaled back plans to more realistic levels for a smaller district.

“To be quite honest with you, the prior plan had a lot of agenda items on there that were not addressed, and in actuality we are addressing this year,” Warnol said.

Warnol said the original plan called for implementation of a district-wide e-Mints technology program. That’s been downscaled to implementing e-Mints at one level to start with plans for expansion, he said. A technology committee continues to make recommendations to the district for hardware, software, curriculum and building wiring issues.

Related to the technology program, Warnol presented and board members adopted a series of recommended policies on student discipline produced by the Missouri School Boards Association that are used in many Missouri districts.

“It adds a couple of other things on there, specifically dealing with some of the new issues schools are facing — technology issues, cell phone usage, obscenities, how to handle that,” Warnol said.

In other business:

• Warnol said property adjacent to the school building on which a now-demolished house once sat has been cleaned up.

Responding to questions from board members, Warnol said he didn’t know if numerous old tires on the property had been removed but other board members said the tires, which had raised concern about mosquito hazards, have been removed.

• Additional recent maintenance work near the school including grading and general cleanup of the school’s gravel parking lot has been completed, board president Chris Black noted.

• Board members agreed to approve a sick leave pool policy for the district allowing teachers and staff members to donate unused sick leave time to a pool that would then be used to pay employees additional sick leave if they exhausted their available sick leave days. According to the policy, full-time employees will be entitled to one sick day per month of work or 12 days per year and can donate unused time to the sick leave pool.

There’s already been a need for the policy, Warnol said, due to a school employee who exceeded available sick time.

“We had as situation this year where staff wanted to go ahead and to donate those days if they could,” Warnol said.

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