So, how’s 1:1 going at Boyden-Hull?

Posted September 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm


The Boyden-Hull school district board met on Monday, Sept. 12, and one of the topics for discussion was an early update of the 1:1 computer rollout.

Computers were given to seventh- through 12th-grade students at a special session on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

One-to-one computing means every child receives a laptop for the purpose of learning.

So, how is 1:1 going?

“We had to send two computers (out of the 365 the district purchased) back,” said Boyden-Hull superintendent Steve Grond. “One was for a defective key and another was for a non-responsive track pad. But, it’s going well.”

Teachers are meeting after school to discuss issues they are having and to cover exciting innovations that are going on.

In addition, teachers and students are using a website called Moodle, which is a course management system. Teachers use it to post course materials and content. Students are able to access and submit course assignments. The days of actual paper appear numbered.

“We can also use it as a repository for podcasts, too,” Grond noted.

In art teacher Inisha Hoehamer’s classes, students are using Photo Booth as part of a curriculum study on famed American painter Andy Warhol. High school English teacher Julie Visscher has been using iMovie to engage her students in learning.

This past week, Boyden-Hull fifth- and sixth-graders at the elementary school center began using the MacBooks and principal Tom Kerr said during the meeting that the transition to a new style of learning has been “smooth” thus far.

There have been connectivity issues between the MacBooks and the Smart Boards because of a glitch with Microsoft Word. But the software issue is easy to resolve, Grond reported.

There has also been one discipline case so far. A student was on iChat at an inappropriate time. Students and teachers are also using Skype as another means of communication, especially between rooms, as reported by high school principal Dan Pottebaum.

The board also discussed recommendations from the Student Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC), but no formal response will be given from the board until the October board meeting.

It marked the final board session for Joy Hurst. Jason Moser will replace Hurst. Moser won a seat during Tuesday’s countywide school election. Aric Van Voorst and Jake Ten Haken will serve on the board for a secondterm. No date has been set for the organizational meeting.

Much of the meeting was spent on action items ranging from personnel employment to contract renewals.

Also, the school board had a closed session for the purpose of discussing the purchase or sale of real estate in accordance with Iowa Code 21.5.

Comet Tails

• Self-contained classroom instruction (SCI) teacher Josh Malenosky has also been hired as Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley’s new baseball coach. Malenosky played in college at Briar Cliff. He replaces Matt Den Hartog, who wants to spend more time with his family. Malenosky’s wife, Megan, is the head volleyball coach in Rock Valley.

• Board members approved the following personnel changes: a reduced contract for Boyden-Hull elementary center custodian LeAnn Rensink, Loni Sohl has been hired as a part-time custodian for the elementary center; Donna Miller was hired as a full-time SCI teacher and Pat Janssen part-time in the same department; Kay Kroese, Angie Den Besten and Pam Van’t Hul were hired to be special education shuttle drivers.

• The board agreed to a new contract with Western Christian High School for the use of Hesla Field. The contract remains the same, $2,400 for field use and $1,000 for the track plus $200 for an event.

• The board approved sharing agreements for the 2012-13 academic calendar with Rock Valley in the following sports: football, track and field, cross country, wrestling, softball and baseball.

• In a mere formality, Waylon Pollema’s contract was renewed as the school resource officer with the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office. This comes as no cost to the district.

• Current enrollment figures were released: 632 in the district, with 355 in the elementary school and 277 in the high school.