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District 518 explores possibility of technology integration

WORTHINGTON -- The District 518 Board of Education considered the possibility of hiring a technology integrationist, among other issues discussed Wednesday at its regular meeting.

The role of a technology integrationist would be to work with staff members, helping them to be more proficient with the use of technology for lessons.

"Making technology a tool that supports curriculum, not drive curriculum," said District 518 Superintendent, John Landgaard.

In light of the recent technology camp hosted by District 518 school board member, Linden Olson, voiced his concern over the amount of information disseminated in the short span of two days.

His idea was it would be more feasible to spread the use of a technology integrationist over a certain period of time, to ease the process of teachers implementing the knowledge they've gathered.

The cost of hiring a technology integrationist is uncertain at this point but as the board agreed for the contract to move forward, more information will be acquired.

"I'm a little uncomfortable approving anything without a dollar amount," Landgaard said.

Another key issue was the approval of an additional kindergarten paraprofessional. As of today, Landgaard said there are 239 students enrolled in kindergarten compared to 215 the year before.

District 518 has made it a priority to maintain a low student-teacher ratio particularly in the lower grades to ensure adequate support.

"This is a luxury in our district," said Landgaard.

In other news Wednesday, the board:

* Approved Worthington Healthcare Foundation Grant of $83,410 for fitness equipment in Worthington Middle School and Worthington High School.

* Approved one-year leave of absence for Deb Stoll.

Stoll will be taking up another position within the service cooperative for District 518.

"Typically the district's practice has not been to approve leave of absence...but there is a different circumstance here," Landgaard said.

She would still be working within our school district."

* Approved resignation of Pat Henkels as parent educator with Early Childhood Family Education, Dawn Teerink, Joshua Langseth and Mary Blanchard as paraprofessionals at Prairie Elementary, Kari Voss-Drost as Even Start Parent Educator with Community Education, Lisa Feldkamp as graduation coach with the NCIC.

* Approved employment of Jennifer Braa as targeted services office help at Area Learning Center, Lisa Feldkamp as ELL kindergarten teacher at Prairie Elementary.

* Approved change of assignment for Shelly Barber as Emotional and Behavioral Disorders/ Learning Disabilities (EBD/LD) teacher at Prairie Elementary.

* Set regular school board meetings at 5:15 p.m. every third Tuesday of the month from August 2011 to June 2012.

* Approved the Worthington Daily Globe as official publication.

* Approved KWOA, KITN, K101, KUSQ, the Worthington Daily Globe and Worthington Cable TV for official and emergency announcements.

* Approved Avera Medical Group Worthington, Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington, Sanford Clinic Worthington and Prairie Rehabilitation Services as sources for medical information and services.

* Approved substitute teacher rate of $95/day for fiscal year 2011 to 2012.

* Approved Dave Skog as Asbestos Program Manager and as District Pupil Transportation Safety Director for fiscal year 2011 to 2012.

* Designated John Landgaard as 504 Coordinator, Tony Hastings, Jason Grovom and David Rezny as building representatives.

* Designated John Landgaard as Human Rights Officer.