Literally centuries of experience will leave the halls of Dexter Schools at the conclusion of the 2012-13 school year. The local school board accepted seven notifications from certified staff members of their intentions to retire at the recent November meeting of the board. All seven are from the middle school and high school campuses.
At T.S. Hill Middle School, Reading Instructor Sandy Clark, Science Instructor Pam Mills, and Social Studies Instructor Melinda Sweeney all intend to retire in May 2013.
At the high school, Science Instructors LeeAnn Dooley and Charles Cooper, along with At Risk and A+ Instructor Ann Polsgrove and Vocational Ag Instructor Ronnie Shipman, will all be stepping down.
The seven join four staffers whose letters of intention to retire were accepted at the October meeting of the board. They included Southwest Elementary Principal Sherry Matthews, Central School Speech Instructor Kim Fitts, High School Social Studies Instructor Debbie Essner, and High School English Teacher, Yearbook Sponsor, Bearcat Newspaper Sponsor, and Speech and Debate Sponsor Nancy Vines.
Presenting an overview of the district's technology plan at the November meeting was Assistant Supt. Dr. Roger Alsup.
With the availability of wireless access points, Alsup told the board, the district will continue to explore software and hardware such as Nooks, iPads and Kindles as mechanisms for engaging students with technology.
Also planned are training opportunities to help improve teacher technology use, Alsup said. Plans call for the district to offer at least two workshops annually with teacher participation of 100 in order to meet district objectives. Workshop topics are to be developed based on staff input.
"We will conduct a survey of the teaching staff in the spring," Alsup said. "And we'll offer those technology workshops most requested."
Another plan in the technology department is to explore the implementation of an updated phone system throughout the district.
"Over the next three years," Alsup said, "the district will explore various telephone system options to determine the cost and feasibility for implementation."
Alsup told the board that information and estimates should be made available to the board within the next few months.
To keep networked hardware as current as possible is another objective within the local district's technology plan. This will be attained, Alsup said, by "following the district replacement schedule for computers (5 years) and file servers (3 years)."
The Dexter School District currently has about 800 networked computers. As pointed out by Alsup, the technology staff has answered 335 technology requests since August. The district recently purchased a mobile cart for the high school with 32 laptop computers. According to High School Principal Corey Mouser, the mobile cart is getting "a lot of use," and is expected to be a useful tool for end of course (EOC) exam testing.
Also discussed at the meeting was the proposed new bus drives to be constructed behind Central Elementary and T.S. Hill Middle Schools.
"I am hoping that the blueprints of the plan will be available in the next few weeks for the board to inspect, possibly offer revision suggestions, and ultimately approve at a board meeting," Supt. Dr. Thomas Sharp told board members.
In other business, the board:
* approved the revision of the 2012-13 calendar to allow a full day of professional development activity on Jan. 7, 2013.
* authorized Dr. Sharp to a RFP (Request for Proposal) for the summer roofing project expected to cost the district $175,000.
* accepted the resignation of Southwest Aide Mandy Thompson.
* approved the hiring of Amy Roberts as the new high school nurse, replacing Candy Miller.
* approved of Tues., Dec. 18, 2012 for the next meeting of the board.