Salem school board members learned firsthand how Southeast teachers use iPads in the classroom, answering questions on the electronic notebook devices passed out during Monday's meeting.
"This is an example of engaging your students," teacher Jennifer Milliken-Dees said during the mini quiz.
Milliken-Dees was one of four teachers from the school's technology team who came to the meeting to demonstrate some of what they learned during training in Boston this summer. For her presentation, six members of the school's student council, who led the Pledge of Allegiance to kick off the meeting, distributed iPads to board members and audience members to demonstrate the use of Socrative.
The program allows a teacher to pose questions through an iPad to students who also have iPads, allowing the students to key in their answers and the teacher to know immediately if they got the point of a lesson by the answers posted. The teachers can tell how many students answered correctly, who answered correctly and who may need some help. Answers can be presented as multiple choice or a short written answer.
"The kids get immediate feedback," Milliken-Dees said, adding it also drives her instruction.
Teacher Wendy Higgins explained how students can create stories on a program known as Storybird and learn how to draw conclusions from stories. Teacher Brianne Goclano showed a video the students created and posted on YouTube on how to make a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness out of hot pink duct tape as part of a community project. They've beens selling the ribbons to fellow students this month and have raised over $100 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The video can be found on YouTube under Southeast School in Salem.
Teacher Russ Hopple explained they started the year with community building activities to get to know the students a little better and a focus on global learning, noting that as technology changes, they have to prepare the students for using that technology. To be literate in the 21st century, they have to be able to use technology, Higgins said.
A couple of concerns they noted were the lack of keyboarding skills of the students, which they want to work on improving, and the fact that it's hard to publish and print and save what's created on the iPads. The district secured funding to purchase 800 iPads for use in all classrooms, from elementary through high school, in the past two years.
During the recognition portion of the meeting, Superintendent Tom Bratten offered thanks to Rick Suggett from the Salem Utilities Department for helping the school district's maintenance staff on a recent drainage and sewer issue at Buckeye School and thanks to Dr. Dean Economous for stepping out of the stands during a recent soccer game to help a player from the opposing team who was injured.
In personnel matters, the board approved continuing contracts for teachers Kari Newburn and Alexandra Winner and approved the following substitutes: teaching staff, Susan Dean, Kathleen McCartney and Robert Viencek; classified staff, Renee Ebert, Wendy Hochadel, Sheila Lobdell, Gerald Skiba and Allen Williams.
The board approved the following athletic supplementals for winter and spring sports: boys basketball, varsity head coach Rich Hart, assistant varsity George Spack and Andy Smyczynski, junior varsity Jake Zatchok, ninth grade Jeff Andres, eighth grade Greg Woolman, seventh grade Logan Wartman; girls basketball, varsity head coach Renee Farina, varsity assistant George Spack, junior varsity Sarah Hamilton, ninth grade Marissa Mattozzi, eighth grade, Matthew Zeigler; head junior high wrestling Shaun Winkler; junior high assistant wrestling William Borrelli; girls softball, varsity head coach Jodie Hippely, assistant varsity Buddy Wood, junior varsity Katie Malloy; boys tennis coach George Barth; boys track, varsity head coah Todd Huda, assistant varsity Shane Harding, head junior high Robert Motz, assistant junior high Ted Yuhaniak; girls track, varsity head coach Amie Cochran, assistant varsity Jen Neopolitan, volunteers William Angus and William Neopolitan.
The board approved a grant application for the Salem High School Advanced Placement Program for financial assistance from the Salem Community Foundation for $7,256 to pay for advanced placement national tests for about 85 students.
The board also approved the Hannah E. Mullins School of Practical Nursing handbook for the Class of 2013, approved fundraising activities for student groups, accepted a donation of $100 from Robert Sebo for the high school's swim club, the Piranha Aquatics program and accepted the donated purchase of 80 football jerseys for the seventh and eighth grade football teams, valued at $3,600 from Frank and Lisa Bezon and Ted and Julie Schuster.
Mary Ann Greier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org