During Monday’s YME school board meeting, Second Grade teacher Mrs. Johnson brought in a group of students to show the Board how technology has been integrated into the classroom. The students enthusiastically showed the board members how they could scan QR codes to have the books read to them in video form. Mrs. Johnson explained that Screen Actor’s Guild members commonly read children’s books in YouTube videos. She did a bit of legwork to set up the videos with QR codes, but this gives the students an enjoyable ad-free experience.

Superintendent Clark reported that he is researching AP classes as a potential solution to the concurrent enrollment problem. The problem he is addressing is the upcoming requirements that teachers teaching classes that count for college credit would need to have a master’s degree in the subject taught, or 18 credits worth, and most teachers have a master’s degree in education. The requirements go into effect in 2022, and schools across the state have been working hard to figure out solutions. There was some concern about AP classes being geared for four year colleges and the conflict with the push towards two year and technical schools.

Dr. Clark also mentioned the new Every Student Shall Succeed program, which replaces the defunct No Child Left Behind program. He explained that YME has historically been “clobbered” for being in the bottom 5% of schools, and isn’t sure how the reward-based system will shake out. The idea is the bottom 5% of schools will get extra attention, hopefully to move them up and the State can focus on helping the next bottom 5%.

In other news: Steve Vester, a development consultant for Verizon, met with the board to discuss concerns about the contract. The board was questioning the length of the contract, and the lack of outs for the school district. There was also a question about how to quantify if the small cell antenna was actually benefiting the school. Vester said he would talk to Verizon about the concerns. The tower would not start construction until at least 2018.

There was a discussion about replacing the guard rail in the gym. The current one is 35 years old. The cost to replace will total about $100,000. The board pondered trying to replace it over Christmas break, but the problem of limited gym time in the winter, as well as unknown schedule for installation length and other factors. The Board approved having Studio E continue with the next phase in design.