Brian Kazmierczak of Pequot Lakes has been hired by the Barnum School District to be the new high school principal. The Barnum School Board passed a motion to hire Kazmierczak at the monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 21.
Three candidates are being considered for the position of Transportation Supervisor.
The board entered into a lengthy discussion about whether to hire a fourth teacher for kindergarten. As of the present time, 67 new students and two returning students are registered, said Elementary Principal Tom Cawcutt.
Setting caps on the number of new open enrolled students was also discussed. It was said that the Esko School District has had enrollment caps for five years. It was suggested that the Esko School District be contacted for more information about how well the system has worked.
Families with children in elementary school that move into the Barnum School District could still attend school in Barnum, it was said.
Board Chair Pat Poirier said that he wanted no more than 25 students to a classroom. However, it depended on the budget. The school district is going to be deficit spending in the future.
Superintendent Dave Bottem recommended examining the budget first before a decision is made. He pointed out that the school board will be adopting the budget for the 2013-2014 school year in a month’s time.
Supt. Bottem gave the board a legislative update.
He said that the school district will be receiving more funding for the all-day every-day kindergarten and for some other programs.
Although Supt. Bottem presented numbers about increases and decreases in funding to the board, the final results of school funding by the Legislature were not yet known.
A special meeting of the Finance Committee will be set.
iPads in the classroom
Four kindergarten teachers presented examples of how well iPads are working in the classrooms.
The iPads are used by the students to master different math standards. The information that the student is entering into the iPad is transferred to the teachers’ computers immediately. Teachers can see how well the student is doing and provide assistance, if necessary.
Students are using Google to get information about a variety of subjects. They can pick a topic and do research.
Students can take notes on the iPads, and that information can be used to document their learning. One of the teachers said that she feels that the iPads have transformed reading and math for the students.
One of the teachers said that she had videotaped herself reading, and that video is used to help students that are having difficulty. She said that she can be there for the student while she is helping other students.
Two hundred actions are available on the iPads, said one of the teachers. She can tailor activities to the individual students.
The use of the iPad helps students build confidence. One teacher told of a bright student with low self-esteem that found that he could program the iRobot on the iPad. He programmed everyone’s iRobot.
The next meeting of the Barnum School Board was set for Tuesday, June 18, at 6:30 p.m.