Schools’ computer tech choices draw questions
The meeting opened with presentations from two groups of elementary school students.
Fifth graders from Nags Head Elementary School spent much of their summer in a camp to learn about walking safety. The program was a joint effort involving the school, Outer Banks Hospital and the Nags Head police. Students not only learned about the health and ecological benefits of walking, they developed fliers and a brochure complete with maps depicting the safest routes for students who chose to walk to NHES.
A group of sixth graders presented their findings on the validity of Internet research. The topic was “Year-round school,” which the student spokesperson reminded the board wasn’t an endorsement of the concept.
The students chose two sites, NPR and Wikipedia and researched articles on the subject. They used a rubric to determine if the sources used facts, cited their sources and were, in general, reliable.
Policy changes were also approved, most of which were of a housekeeping nature. This included changes to bus scheduling and routing, changes to policies covering the behavior standards for transfer students and refinements to residency requirements.
The Board also formalized a policy that requires an annual review of the superintendent of schools. Superintendent Sue Burgess is required by contract to submit to a review, but that requirement is now a part of the Board’s policy.
During public comments, Heidi Leo, an unsuccessful candidate for the board in the last election, took the board to task over the current use of technology.
Leo said “students are losing hours of work, school networks being down for days, e-mails being lost and students not being recognized for academic achievements” due to outdated technology.
She noted “85 percent of school districts provide a login for parents” so students’ grades, class assignments and other items can be accessed. Dare is not among that group, according to Leo.
She concluded by stating, “ ‘We don’t have any money’ is no longer an excuse. Dare County receives more local funding per pupil than any other school district in the state and more money from local, state, and federal sources than 95 percent of the school systems in the state.”
Leo has been a computer consultant for over 25 years and operates her own business in Dare County.
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