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Northeast School Corp. sees positive technology updates

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Northeast School Corp. students and faculty will have updated security on their devices when they return to school in August. The Securly Anywhere filter will be installed at the beginning of the upcoming school year.
“This is a web-based system, so we’d need a lot less equipment, and with that, it has several features with it that the Lightspeed does not have,” Superintendent Mark Baker said at Monday evening’s meeting.
These new features include parental controls and 24-hour monitoring alerts. This means parents can take a look at the history of their student’s device, should they chose to do so. Also, an algorithm reviews key words and phrases to detect potential threats or anything that could endanger students. An alert is then sent to a chosen authority. This includes an anonymous tip line as well.
“This gives us an opportunity to help protect our kids and be aware of any threats that might be coming our way,” Baker said.
According to Baker, the new wireless security system was not much more expensive than the current one, costing the corporation $9,669.23 per year.
J.T. Roberts, the new director of school services, provided an update on the new time clock system that maintenance, custodial and cafeteria staff began using this past week. This new system, similar to the former one, requires employees to clock in using a thumb or finger print.
“As they instantly clock in, Angel (Riley, with human resources) has everything on the master server,” Roberts said.
Employees will then approve their hours once a week.
“I feel it’s been a good addition and it appears it’s working for us," Roberts said. “We do two-week periods, so we will know more after this week.”
School meals will cost slightly more this school year, as the board approved a 10% increase for all breakfasts and lunches. Elementary (kindergarten through sixth grade) lunches are now $2.75 and breakfasts are $2.10. Junior-senior high school students will now have to fork out $3.05 for a lunch and $2.35 for a breakfast. A lunch will cost adults $3.75 and $2.85 for a breakfast. The prices were determined by the Price Equity Tool, which uses state guidelines to calculate what the meals should cost.
In other business:

  • A few of the classrooms at the former Northeast Middle School will be transformed into a Wonder Lab.
“It’s going to be used for STEM-type activities and the vision that we have is that throughout the school year — four times throughout the year — that every, at least K through sixth (grade) student ... we would bring them over to the STEM lab,” Baker said.
  • In personnel matters, the board approved the resignation of Kari Gerth as tech assistant. New hires included Dillon Taylor, math teacher at North Central Jr./Sr. High School; Nancy Liston as teacher, assistant athletic director, dean and Title IX coordinator; Colton Stevenson and Justin Shidler as junior high football coaches; and Austin Miller as seasonal groundskeeper, pending a background check.

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