Brian Templeton, architect with Upland Design Group, updated Cleveland Board of Education members on the theater reconstruction progress at Monday night’s monthly meeting. He reported that demolition occurred without any surprises. Officials were initially concerned, as the original theater drawings were unavailable.
“Today they were scheduled to start the framing,” Templeton explained. “A significant amount of the paperwork process regarding the shop drawings have been resolved. We have been able to turn the contractor loose on the auditorium seating, as well.”
Auditorium seating was the biggest item with the longest lead time, Templeton said. The seats are scheduled to be delivered on Sept. 24. Additional work in the theater will be completed before the seats arrive. Installation of the seats will be one of the last acts. According to the plans, there will be carpet down the aisles of the theater. Stained concrete will be used for the rest of the theater floor. Tentative colors for the theater are red and blue.
Templeton reported remedy work on the science wing is very close to completion. Everything has been finished satisfactorily, he explained.
In other board news, Andrew Phillips, technology coordinator for Cleveland City Schools, gave a technology update to board members. He reported the following tech staff in the school system: five full time; one full-time contractor; one half-time technology integrationist; four technology coaches; and two student management systems mentors. Phillips said most of the technology issues were handled within the same day.
“Technology development is always important,” Phillips shared. “The major challenge is keeping up with technology and social media.”
Ringstaff shared his opinion on social networking in the school system.
“I think the biggest challenge over the next few years will be how social networking and public school becomes married together,” Ringstaff said. “This will happen because of the devices students bring, the textbooks going online, and all of the different ways technology is expanding.”
According to Ringstaff, it is imperative school officials know where they are going and how they are going to make those decisions. The students are already there and it is time for the school system to play catch-up with them, he said.
“Charters and private schools will get there quicker because they have more money. Public schools need to get there, as well. It is our challenge to stay in the race,” Ringstaff explained.
Phillips also introduced a mobile devices pilot program set for the 2012-13 school year. The program will assign iPads to about 75 students. These students will be split up between three schools. A class will be placed at Blythe-Bower Elementary School (grade 5), Cleveland Middle School (grade 6), and Cleveland High School (grade 9). There will be roughly 25 students in each class, Phillips said. Ipads will be assigned to every student in the program.
“We want to know if students who have access to a mobile device, like an iPad, will have an increase in test scores and growth within a year,” Phillips explained. “These goals ultimately align with the mission of the school: helping students achieve more.”
The students in the program will stay together throughout the day. Teachers from the three schools began taking classes at Cleveland State Community College and will continue training throughout the year.
In other news, Renny Whittenbarger, vocational/technical and career educational coordinator, proposed a new teacher position for the 2013-14 school year. Whittenbarger reported the position would be for the potential culinary arts program at Cleveland High School.
Pesterfield and the board members shared their opinion on the Education Wheel Tax.
Said board member Dawn Robinson, “We did not get to choose the method of taxation, but we are supportive because we need the funds for a new school.” According to the board, the new school is imperative for the growing student population in the Cleveland School system.
The next board meeting will occur in August.