Crestview BOE members discuss goals

COLUMBIANA – Crestview board members discussed some of the upcoming projects and goals for the near future during its annual brainstorming session.

Among the projects under consideration are improvements to the high softball field and road connecting the elementary and high school.

With about $100,000 available for the permanent improvement fund, the board discussed upgrades to the softball field. Last year the board discussed the project, but ended up completing only part of it due to lack of funds.

Improvements were made to the drainage at the field. Now board members plan to move forward with block dugouts and fencing down the third-base line. While board members discussed the advantages and disadvantages of cement blocks vs. chain link for the dugouts, in the end it seemed about half of the difference in cost would be offset by a donation available if the board chose cement block. Board members further noted cement block dugouts will fit in better with the other fields at Crestview.

The board plans to move forward with the project quickly. The cost of the project is estimated at about $14,000, but the board had initially set aside $20,000.

Board members are also looking at repairs to the driveway running between the schools, as well as a walking trail at the elementary school. A building committee meeting was held this week in order for some members to walk the areas needing work and make a decision what patching or repaving process to use to make the repairs, which have been estimated at $35,000.

However, board members noted if both projects come in lower than expected, they would like to use money to work on a problem with a lack of heat in the scene shop behind the new performing arts center. The needed improvement could cost about $14,000.

The board also plans to put $36,000 toward two new technology carts for the elementary school. With all students at the high school utilizing a laptop and several middle school technology carts in place, the board plans to make the next investment at the elementary.

The board members discussed the PARCC testing, a new standardized test schools will have to implement as soon as next year. Crestview was one of the schools picked to test the program.

Superintendent John Dilling said one of the problems with the test is the computer program students must use. Students at the middle school have been using the school’s Netbooks to take the test. However, if they accidentally click somewhere outside the test it will log them out, believing they are going to another website to look up answers. Dilling said the mouse on the Netbooks is small and near the keyboard there is a key that can jump immediately to windows.

Dilling reported students do seem to know the material, but it is the technical issues causing some to have problems.

As the test continued Dilling said the plan is to let students continue to take portions on desktop computers with larger mice to see if it eases the technical problems. Someday elementary students will also be expected to take their tests on computer.

The district also plans to have more parents handling things on computers. Treasurer Charlene Mercure said in the future to avoid as much printing costs she would like to see more links where parents can fill out forms like emergency medical forms, field trip permission forms and others online. While it may not eliminate printing for those without Internet, Mercure notes it could reduce the numbers of packets which need printed and sent home.