Buckeye schools getting upgrade in technology

DILLONVALE – Students and teachers in the Buckeye Local School District are getting steadily closer to the day when SMART Boards, texts and other support resources will be installed and more easily accessible to students at every grade level and in each building.

During Monday’s regular meeting of the Buckeye Local School District Board of Education, the Administrative Assistant for Federal Programs, Angela Hicks, reported on several ongoing efforts to make educational technology more readily available district wide.

She also discussed the district’s efforts to combat cyber bullying, and steps taken to make students and parents aware of the problem and also provide sound informational resources to help combat the problem.

Hicks told board members of efforts to secure grant funds and other awards to increase funding for technology purchases and related improvements. She noted several individual teachers from within the district have made personal efforts to secure grants for technology purchases beneficial to their respective teaching resources.

She also reported Buckeye Local representatives will be meeting with other educational entities from across the region to seek access to grant monies and resources through the strength of a combined approach to application processes.

Unfortunately, the district’s buildings are not able to benefit from fiber optic networks as regulations prohibit installation of lines that would cross over or go under certain types of infrastructure, such as railroad tracks.

Needs for substantial increases in broadband resources at each building have been reviewed and adjustments made, or are being made, in preparation for the addition of more technological resources to be installed in classrooms.

Hicks praised the efforts of Vince Pastre, the district’s computer technologies manager, in assessing and updating and installing technology resources.

Board members previously approved earmarking monies generated by gas and oil lease agreements to help fund the purchase of 31 Smart Boards, some of which will be in areas now home to recently purchased English and Language Arts text materials, and also to math texts.

These purchase decisions were made anticipating that the district would move on the purchase of the special high-tech “white boards,” allowing teachers to access and share lesson planning and related support resources with their students through a consistency of message and of academic quality not previously available.

Other matters addressed by the Board of Education members at Monday’s meeting included hiring a boy’s head varsity baseball coach for the high school.

Selected from what was described as a field of four applicants and approved for hiring by a unanimous vote of the school board was Rick DeLuca.

Hired as 8th grade basketball coach was Greg Novak.

The next regular meeting of the Buckeye Local School District Board of Education will be held Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. in the administrative offices in Dillonvale.

Loccisano can be reached at kimfromthetl@gmail.com