At the March 18 meeting of the Poland Board of Education, Special Services Director Craig Sommers and Technology Coordinator Ken Mineo gave a presentation about the newest round of technology updates scheduled for later this year as part of Poland Schools' quadrennial tech improvement program.
During the report, Mineo announced that plans for this round of tech upgrades include installing 14 wireless access points throughout the school district in eventual preparation for wireless capacity in the schools.
"We're taking baby steps," Mineo told board members about the process toward wireless.
David Janofa has been named new superintendent of Poland Schools, replacing interim Superintendent Don Dailey in August. Dailey took over for the retired Dr. Robert Zorn.
Mineo said that plans also included making memory upgrades to about 400 computers across the district as well as completely replacing nearly 480 computers with newly refurbished models.
The 480 new refurbished computers will be spread throughout the district where needed. By purchasing refurbished computers as opposed to brand new ones, Mineo said he could purchase three computers for around the same price it would cost to purchase one brand-new one. The added memory upgrade will boost all computers from 4 gigs, to 8 gigs of memory.
Board member James Lavorini asked Mineo if refurbished computers would have any quality issues. Mineo said that previously purchased refurbished computers are currently in use with no issues.
In addition to the wireless access ports and computer upgrades, new supplies will also include scanners, laptops, printers, projectors and hover-cams.
"We're going to do a complete refresh of the district," Mineo said.
Although this round of updates includes fresh printers, Mineo said that eventually the district will be able to "go paperless" and phase out the need for printers, ink costs and paper. Students will be able to access and submit all of their work electronically via email and cloud technology. Mineo said he expects that the district could go paperless by the next round of refreshing, in four years.
Upgrades for this refresher will likely begin in September and take the school year to complete, Mineo said.
In other business:
- Among students and faculty commended for recent honors, sophomores Natalie Triveri, Annmarie Ginnis, Morgan Montgomery, Mishali Mathur and David Lankitus were commended for being chosen by Poland Seminary High School to be the school's Ambassadors to the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Seminar 2013.
Rachel Jeswald was also commended for her part as a speaker at the Pi Mu Epsilon Conference, which was recently held at Youngstown State University.
- The board adopted a revised school calendar for 2013-2014, which moved back commencement for 2014 from June 15 to June 8. Interim Superintendent Don Dailey noted that the calendar was the same as approved at the Feb. 25 meeting except for the change in the commencement date.
- Effective for the graduating class of 2014 and beyond, the board gave approval for students to be able substitute certain marching band requirements or interscholastic athletics or cheerleading requirements in place of the physical education requirement for graduation.
- The board formally approved a policy that will allow signage relating to Poland School levies and bond issues on school property, additionally giving approval for a policy that will allow paid advertisement at athletic facilities, with proceeds going to benefit Poland Schools athletic programming.
- Dailey reviewed the district's Ohio Department of Education Report Card for the year 2011-2012. Dailey relayed that Poland Local School District had met 26 out of 26 State Indicators in the report, receiving a designation of "Excellent with Distinction."
"Highest ranking you could get in the state," Dailey said of the designation. "Congratulations to our students and staff."
- Elinor Zedaker made mention of the second annual Poland Rotary and Poland Schools Foundation Derby Dash/Smart Walk, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 4, at McKinley Elementary School in Poland, with registration starting at 8 a.m.
"This is an annual event and we are very pleased that it is to benefit the schools," Zedaker said.
- The board accepted the resignation of teachers Linda Watts of Poland Union second grade, and Ruth Metzger of Poland North first grade for the purposes of retirement.
The board also scheduled a special meeting on Tuesday evening this week for the sole purpose of appointing the new Poland superintendent, who will start in August. The candidate selected was David Janofa, who has served as Sandy Valley Schools (Stark County) superintendent for the past seven years.