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Teachers, students get lots of use from iPods, IDL

Staff writer

Centre Elementary School first-grade teacher Briana Methvin at Centre Elementary School gave a presentation Monday to the USD 397 board of education about the use of iPods in the kindergarten through second-grade classrooms.

She said the iPods are used every day, and each of her 18 students gets one. An iPod is a handheld touchscreen device used for downloading music or other software programs from the Internet.

In the case of education, “there is an app for everything I teach,” Methvin said, “app” being an abbreviation for an application software program.

She uses iPods to teach spelling, grammar, reading, and every other subject students need to learn.

She said the iPod is quick to activate, and the apps allow for different levels of ability. She said the students love the iPods and enjoy learning that way.

“It’s not boring like flash cards,” she said.

She said third-graders created a wish list, and 80 percent of the students wanted an iPod or iPad for Christmas. (iPads are used in third and fourth-grade classes.)

Methvin also uses interactive distance learning lessons in her classroom. Students receive packets of material, and a teacher from Greenbush, the Southeast Kansas Education Center, provides the instruction over a TV screen.

“The kids get really excited about those lessons,” Methvin said.

Her students have an IDL lesson about once a week.

Rick Basore of Burdick took the oath of office to become a board member. He was appointed to replace the late Bud Peterson. Basore also was appointed as the governmental relations representative.

Amber Peterson was appointed to the board of directors of the Centre Education Foundation.

The board approved a new policy, a job description of the Interactive Distance Learning classroom monitor.

The board authorized an after school biddy basketball program. Alan Stahlecker will coach girls’ and boys’ teams during a six-week period later this school year. He will receive $700 in compensation.

After a discussion with transportation director Bob Mueller, the board approved taking bids for a new, 65-passenger school bus with trade-in or sale of a used bus.

In a 6-1 vote, the board approved a revised cheerleader constitution, adding a $100 limit on the cost of uniforms unless approved by the board. Mark Heiser voted against it, citing concerns about following the proper procedure in procuring uniforms. The constitution provides for purchase of uniforms by the district.

After 17 minutes in executive session with Superintendent Jerri Kemble to discuss non-elected personnel, Irmtraut O’Dell was hired as an assistant cook for four hours a day at $7.50 an hour.

Kemble announced that some students enrolled in virtual school have asked to return to regular school, and some students enrolled in regular school want to switch to virtual school. She said a team of six staff members are handling each case as it arises. They meet with parents and students to determine whether to grant the students’ requests.

“We do what’s best for the kids,” she said.

Kemble said results from PLAN tests taken by sophomores showed that girls outscored boys, but as a whole, they scored at the national average. She said the results showed students need practice in timed reading and quick comprehension. She encouraged continued use by teachers of the Multi-Tier System of Supports program to improve reading skills.

The board approved a motion to approve a quitclaim deed and water rights termination agreement on the vacated school building at Lost Springs.

Last modified Dec. 15, 2011

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