NEW WATERFORD - Just one more way technology is improving people's lives was demonstrated recently in a Crestview kindergarten classroom.
Dan Hill, special education director, explained to the school board Wednesday that a health issue had kept a kindergarten student out for three weeks. The school followed its usual protocol, sending a home instructor to help keep the student caught up with his peers. The problem was, the student was missing out on the socialization of being with other students.
Utilizing Skype, district technologies coordinator Darryl Miller was able to hook the student up through a computer right into his classroom. He was able to interact with the teacher and the students.
"It was one more instances where the staff stepped up to make a youngster feel part of the class," Hill said, adding if he could not come to school it was a way of taking the school to the child.
Hill said Miller still has some additional ideas to improve the experience for the child for whatever time he must be away from his classroom.
Board member John Garwood called what they did "huge," noting things have improved vastly from 11 years ago when a student forced to stay home with an illness could only send an e-mail to their teacher.
In another technology advancement, those with smart phones can now use a mobile-friendly version of the school's website. Although it does not have all the bells and whistles of the regular website, it is easier to see from a smart phone screen. It still provides the basic information such as upcoming events, announcements and the lunch menu. Miller said he is still improving the mobile site, which became available just this week.
In other matters before the board:
- The board approved pay rates for those assisting at athletic events and appointed people to several of the paid positions. The board also approved two people, Andris Baltputnis and Jess Leon as volunteer announcers.
- Maintenance supervisor Jay Radman said the district operates on two deep water wells, but one is not producing well. He suggested in the spring or summer it may be something the board will have to address.
- A mother questioned the board about the school's policy regarding her son's injury. The boy reportedly broke his hand, but remained at school for the day until he went home. The mother questioned why she was not called about his injury. It was not apparent whether teachers or others at the school knew the hand was broken.
- Amber Biser and Austin Eskra were named high school students of the month.
- The next meeting of the board will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 14, with the annual budget hearing starting at 6:30 p.m. The board will reorganize for the year at 7 p.m., just prior to the regular meeting. The meetings will be held in the performing arts center.