With the implementation of students using iPads, teachers using Pinterest, and the most recent development of Superintendent Steve McDermott getting a Twitter account, it’s pretty safe to say that just ahead of Monday’s school board meeting, the Newton Community School District is very up to date in its use and implementation of technology.
“We have been talking about different ways to better communicate with people in the community,” McDermott said. “I’ve recently visited with some other superintendents in the state and they have found that a Twitter account has served then very well. They feel it’s actually been more functional than a Facebook page to get accurate information out quickly.”
McDermott will do all of his own tweeting and will not pawn it off on a subordinate. Another issue on the Superintendent’s Report of interest is the emergency planning meeting. The district recently met the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, the Newton Police Department, and the Newton Fire Department to go over emergency situations for the schools in every possible situation.
“We’re hoping to develop some new templates to use,” McDermott said. “(We want) To make the plans easier to understand, easier to practice and easier to implement for all potential emergency situations.”
Another big item is talks of cooperative sponsorship with Pella Christian School for boys swimming next season.
“We’re looking at sharing the boys swimming program with Pella Christian and we anticipate a request from Pella Community Schools as well,” McDermott said. “For several years we’ve shared the girls swimming team with Pella Community and Colfax-Mingo and now we’re looking to share our boys program as well. What that means is that we will host the program and they will send swimmers our way for practice and events and we will share in the cost.”
The meeting will also pay recognition to the high school speech team’s radio team for making it to All-State. Vinnie Hoskins, the male student representative at the school board is also a member of the radio team. Other items that will be touched on are an Education Services Update from Elementary Education Services Director Jim Gilbert, an audit report from Nancy Jansen of Nolte Cornman & Johnson PC and a report on the Woodrow Wilson School Improvement Project from Principal Nancy Van Wyk.
Woodrow Wilson Elementary School will host the meeting starting at 6 p.m. Monday, and there will be an open forum for discussion for citizens.
Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.