The MISD Board met Monday night in regular session. The agenda was packed with business of many kinds, most of which went through expediently.
MISD employees will see a 1.5% pay increase this year, plus MISD is picking up the increase in cost to keep employee insurance free for the employee. When the pay increase is combined with the increased cost of insurance being paid, the perfect attendance bonus and the other perks, employees who use the MISD insurance plan and qualify in other ways will realize a 4.5% overall increase in their compensation plan.
This year is the first year that all students in the High School will be issued iPads. No textbooks are being issued by MHS, but a working copy of each text will be available in the classroom, should anyone need access to a physical book. Incoming MHS principal, David Sauer, is excited about this transition. He knows the institution of this program will present some hurdles and challenges along the way, but the school faculty and administration have been trained on this program extensively and all seem to be excited about this.
The use of iPads will keep students from having to keep up with the litany of books. Using an iPad will also allow for a much better reading/studying platform by allowing users to search the text for words or phrases and allowing many other uses that are impossible with paper books.
At this point, MISD owns 878 iPads and offers the students the ability to purchase the iPad they used for school at a greatly reduced price at graduation.
MISD is the first system in the East Texas area to institute the use of technology in this way. The use of this technology will go a long way toward helping students be better prepared for any career in the era of technology.
MISD will use Google Apps to assist in communication between teachers and students. Each student will be issued a Google account that allows them to access Google’s suite of productivity applications. Google’s collection of applications is simple to use and very powerful, especially when used in a network environment such as will be done on the MHS campus.
Also available to students this year are classes in web application development, general webmastering and robotics. Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Venita Watts, was very proud to announce that courses in robotics are now available to students on all MISD campuses.
Pick-up and Drop-off Project
The new system of picking up students and dropping them off is officially underway with Superintendent, Dr. John Fuller, working with Wood County officials to get exact costs and timelines together. This project will separate bus traffic and car traffic at the elementary and high schools. The project will hopefully be done by late September and should not interrupt traffic as it is being built. The only inconvenience will be to the parking areas and that should be limited to just a week or so.
Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations, William Bjork, reported that current year collections are at 98.83%, so funding the MISD budget should not be a problem from the tax collection standpoint.
The 2013-14 budget will be officially adopted by the board on 8-30.