Among the action items approved at Tuesday’s work session of the Neosho R-5 School Board, was the Patron InSight Survey, which will survey district patrons about whether the district should build a new junior high.
“Mainly it is about location, and we also touch upon the expansion of some of our elementary schools,” said Brett Day, president of the board of education. “Because every building except Goodman [Elementary] is overcrowded at this point. We throw a couple of different numbers at them, what they would be willing to pay as far as additional taxes go. The higher number would pay for both improvements, the lower number would pay for just the junior high (school). Then we have four different locations we want to see if there is any kind of consensus on location for a junior high.”
This is not the first time that Patron InSight has done a survey for the school district, as they performed one six to seven months ago.
“They probably will get it started on it pretty quickly,” he said.
Day said the survey would last about four to six weeks.
The other item the board approved was Chromebooks for students in grades 9-12th.
“The question was whether or not to do it this next semester or to wait until the next school year,” said Day. “We heard from some of the high school teachers that were here tonight. For them to really get comfortable with it and to do some experimenting and figure out how best use to in classrooms, they need to have machines in students’ hands. And they would rather to do that with kind of a warm-up period in January, as opposed to having being ready to go at the beginning of the next school year.”
Day said there are some advantages for these Chromebooks for students.
“Students can use it on their research papers and their end of course testing,” he said. “It will shore up some of the technology shortages that we have at the high school already. But the main thing is what we are looking for is the sooner that we can get to 9-12 curriculum being integrated with technology, the better off our students are going to be.”
Another advantage is the online aspect.
“An online textbook, there is a lot of good, free educational material out there and when we can have online textbooks – a lot of that stuff is free – we can save a lot of money on textbooks too,” Day said. “And the savings in paper, potentially there is a lot of cost savings there.”
Day said that the school district is seeing more and more schools going to these Chromebooks.
“There are several schools in the state of Missouri that are far ahead of us in the one to one initiative and have reported a lot of positives,” he added.