School Board elects officers for 2015

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Diana White
Diana White
Kory Demun
Kory Demun
April Nowak
April Nowak

The Edmonds School District Board of Directors selected its officers for 2015 at last week’s meeting.

Diana White was chosen as President, Kory DeMun was tapped as Vice-President and April Nowak takes over as legislative representative.

White was first elected to the Board in 2011. White and her husband Steve are parents of four children in the Edmonds School District.

DeMun also was elected to the Board in 2011. He is an operations manager for a local firm. DeMun and his wife have four children.

Nowak was appointed to the Board last May. She also currently serves on the board of directors of a local non-profit and has four children; three in the Edmonds School District.

All three Boardmembers’ terms run through November 2015.

During the Dec. 9 meeting, District staff reported on a survey of principals that indicated strong support for sound enhancement systems in the classroom. The survey asked about the use of capital dollars to enhance student learning in the classroom.

Twenty out of 25 principals who responded indicated that they would add sound systems to their class if they could do something in their school using District capital dollars. The only other multiple response was more Chromebooks, which had three.

District staff indicated that in the schools that already have sound systems, teachers are saying they need more and would like new systems for their schools.

The Board seemed supportive of the District taking money already budgeted for sound systems in the capital projects plan and purchasing portable rather than wired systems. As for additional funding for all classrooms in the District, the Board took more of a wait and see attitude. Boardmembers wanted to at a list of proposed projects and then would determine the priorities for the District.

Funding for sound enhancement systems does not involve the General Fund. The District would use available resources without taking from other areas.

The Board also heard feedback on the Chromebook pilot project from several teachers at Alderwood Middle School.

Those who spoke before the board, including one teacher who was online, were extremely enthusiastic and supportive of using Chromebooks in the classroom.

Teachers reported that having textbooks online enabled students to click on hyperlinks and dictionaries and helped to promote different learning strategies. The primary sources of information are up to date on the computer.

Chromebooks helped change some of the student/teacher interaction by facilitating two-way communication. Often the student would comment back to the teacher after his or her initial comment. Teachers had the ability to see work that was not turned in or completed, thereby helping to identify students, who may be falling between the cracks.

Students can better track their own growth on Chromebooks, teachers said. For example, students could record themselves speaking a foreign language at various points during the school year.

Convenience was another advantage of Chromebooks. All of the students at Alderwood Middle School have Chromebooks and as a result, no time is wasted having to walk to a computer lab or at the end of class when the teacher previously would have to gather up the computers to be put away.

Students can take their Chromebooks home and they are remembering to bring them to school, according to the teachers.

A teacher at Cedar Valley Community School, which also is involved in the pilot program, wrote “We use our chromebooks for a part of almost every subject area, every day. Each student having a Chromebook, helps me differentiate, so students can work at their level. It also puts so many more resources into the hands of kids.”

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