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District 518 approves specialist contract

WORTHINGTON -- District 518 Board of Education approved a contract for a technology integration specialist at its regular school board meeting Tuesday.

Adding a specialist has been an ongoing discussion among board members especially after the recent technology camp organized by the district.

The role of a technology integration specialist is to help a group of teachers incorporate technology into their curriculum and have the group, in turn, work with fellow teachers.

Board member Mark Shepherd made the motion to approve the one-year contract with Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative. At $11,000 annually, the specialist will be in the school district twice a month. District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard said that the cost will include salary, benefits, mileage and supplies.

Board chairman, Brad Shaffer was concerned if two days would be adequate.

"I think at this point, two days a month will probably be appropriate," Landgaard said.

As discussed last week at the Instructional Committee Meeting, the board discussed the possibility of evaluating the effectiveness of the technology integration specialist through the use of a survey prior to and after the contract.

The school board also approved a budget line item of $1,000 for the Comprehensive Arts Planning Program (CAPP), which works to provide a comprehensive K-12 arts education for Minnesota school districts.

"This request would help support (CAPP) in receiving further grants," Landgaard said.

In other business, the board:

* Approved the resignation of Mike Kangkong as assistant boys soccer coach at Worthington High School and Deb Johnson as custodian at Prairie Elementary.

* Approved employment of Teresa Johnson as a science teacher at Worthington High School, Randine Smith as middle level 4 teacher at Area Learning Center (ALC), Erin Dumke as special education teacher at Prairie Elementary, James Van Horn as .08 FTE art teacher at ALC, Michele Machado, Tearrany Bixby and Stacy Ommen as paraprofessionals at Prairie Elementary, Gina Moore as a special education paraprofessional at Prairie Elementary and Kayla Jensen as kindergarten/ELL paraprofessional at Prairie Elementary.

* Approved donations from Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation for exercise equipment and from Jeanette Jenson for Comprehensive Arts Planning Program (CAPP).

* Approved a student teacher agreement with Dakota State University

* Approved an adult breakfast price of $1.55 as mandated.

* Approved a contract with the Worthington Area YMCA for the use of its pool for adaptive swimming. The cost for the contract has been reduced to approximately half of its original price due to a cut in the number of visits scheduled for pool usage, Landgaard said.