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Campbellsville School System will beef up its wireless Internet infrastructure to help improve its effort to allow students to bring their own electronic devices to use at school.
Last Monday, Campbellsville School Board members agreed to contribute $200,000 over the next five years to pay for the upgrades.
Virgil Parker, CIO at Campbellsville schools, told Board members that the District will likely not be able to purchase electronic devices for its students because of the high cost. However, he said, the District can improve its infrastructure to allow students to use the Internet at the same time.
Enterasys Wireless can perform the upgrade, he said, for $41,300 a year for the next five years. At the end of the five years, the District can purchase the equipment for $1.
The District currently allocates $25,000 a year for technology. Parker asked Board members to allocate $20,000 in additional funding for the next five years to help pay for the wireless upgrades.
Superintendent Mike Deaton said upgrading the equipment after five years likely won't cost as much as purchasing new equipment.
Board Member Angie Johnson asked if students who don't have their own devices will have access to them.
Parker said students can check out laptops to use for a day and also have access to school-owned iPads. He said the school could also research offering devices as drawings for those with good behavior and grades.
He said Enterasys Wireless also allows its wireless Internet connections to be filtered, which will help administrators police online activity.
Parker said policies in place now say that Campbellsville students can't use the District's wireless Internet service with their own devices. That will have to be updated, he said.
The Board unanimously approved the request to upgrade with Enterasys Wireless. Parker said he hopes the work will be completed by the end of the year.
This month's spotlight focused on the Campbellsville Elementary School Site-Based Decision Making Council.
Campbellsville Elementary School Principal Ricky Hunt and Council members Katie Wilkerson and Lisa Wiseman discussed several CES activities.
Wiseman said outstanding CES students are given awards during student assemblies. She said the CES safety patrol students have responsibilities that help their fellow students and CES staff members.
Wiseman said a recent grandparent's day at CES was a success, with more than 200 hundred grandparents attending. She said the CES PTA has doubled its membership.
Hunt said new security doors have been installed at his school to help with parent pickup in the afternoon.
Wilkerson said several community members have spoken to CES students and students have taken several walking field trips this school year.
She said enrollment at CES has increased since the beginning of the year, going from 473 students to 490 as of last Monday.
Wilkerson said each CES classroom uses at least 90 minutes of computer instruction each week.
Upcoming CES events are health screenings, parent/teacher conferences, trips, a flu shot clinic, family night, Red Ribbon Week, a book fair, musical and more.
Also at the Meeting:
• Deaton recommended that the Board approve a tax rate that will produce 4 percent more revenue.
Mitch Overstreet made a motion to approve the rate, which Suzanne Wilson seconded and was unanimously approved.
Last year's rate was 46.5 cents per $100 of valued property. This year's rate will be 49.7 cents and will produce about $96,000 more revenue for the District. The rate is expected to produce nearly $1.9 million.
Finance Director Chris Kidwell said the increase rate equates to about $32 more for someone who owns a home worth $100,000. A resident owning a home valued at $50,000 will pay $16 more.
At a hearing before the Board's regular meeting, Kidwell presented information about tax rates and the District's finances.
A public hearing is required when a taxing district indicates that it might set a tax rate that would increase revenue by 4 or more percent. The Board said last month that it would approve a rate increasing revenue by 4 percent.
The state allows school districts to seek as much as a 4-percent increase without being subject to voter recall.
Districts could also choose a compensating rate, a rate that will bring in the same amount of revenue as the year before and could increase or decrease from the previous year's rate depending on property values.
Districts could also choose a rate that would bring in more than 4 percent more in revenue. That would be subject to voter recall.
Kidwell said Districts must match 1 percent of all certified employee retirement costs, which will cost about $200,000 a year by 2015.
He said salaries increase by about $75,000 each year and fuel costs have increased by 30 percent since 2010. He said utility and supply costs are also increasing.
Kidwell said the average school tax rate is 55.4 cents per $100 of assessed value. Of the 54 independent school districts in the state, Campbellsville's rate is the fourth lowest.
• Deaton said Taylor County's adult learning center is one of only 38 in the state to fall into the "excellence" category. To qualify, he said, a center must have achieved 85 percent or more of its enrollment goal and 54 percent or more of those enrolled must have achieved education level advancements. As a result of receiving the distinction, the program will receive $15,932 in funding.
• The Board agreed to buy uniforms for the Campbellsville High School Show Choir. The total cost is $5,500 and the Board will pay half. The choir will raise the remaining $2,750.
• In his monthly report, Deaton said the District's ACT scores were released recently. Overall, scores increased. For a story about the scores, see the Monday, Aug. 27, issue.
• The Board approved trips to Kentucky School Board Association's fall meeting, space camp in Huntsville, Ala. for fourth- and fifth-grade students and New York for Campbellsville Middle School students.
• A student teacher agreement with Campbellsville University was approved.
• The Board approved a step increase in pay for classified salaried employees who have more than 20 years of experience.
• Board members approved a working 2012-2013 budget for the District, which totals a little more than $11.8 million. Salaries account for nearly $6.3 million.
• Kidwell presented the District's financial report for August. August revenue was $508,954.50 and expenses totaled $885,276.15. The closing balance at the end of August was $2,289,069.02.
• Because of fall break, the Board's next meeting was moved to Monday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m. at the CMS library. The special meeting is open to the public.
• New employees - Gene Crabtree, 21st Century after school program; Laura Allison Garrett, substitute cook/baker; Allison Cox, Wanda Jeffries and Cherrish Sharlow, substitute teachers.
• Resigned/retired employees - Mark Kearney, CHS baseball coach.
• Athletics - Jeff Muncie and Drew Skaggs, assistant soccer coaches.