11/10/10 Following a public meeting on Monday night, the Triton School board voted unanimously to proceed with bond sales for two renovation projects. The estimated combined costs for the projects total $3,946,537. Funding for the projects that are aimed at increased energy conservation will come from a Qualified School Construction Bond and a Tax Exempt Bond.

Presenting the particulars of the projects and the cost breakdown at the November 8 meeting was Sonny Wyland, attorney; Curt Pletcher, Umbaugh & Associates; and Tim Pitts, EMCOR. It was noted in the meeting, that paperwork concerning the projects can be viewed at the Administration Offices. There were no patron comments from the audience during the public hearing.

Pletcher broke down the estimated costs for the Tax Exempt Bond as follows: Hard construction, $1,820,000; soft costs (engineering fees), $95,600; cost of issuance, $68,525; and underwriter’s discount, $9,975 for a total of $1,995,000.

In other matters, the board voted 5-0 in approval of a request by teacher Dawn Stein to take an AP biology class to a genetic conference. In her request, Stein said both the superintendent and high school principal had approved the request, but since they would be traveling to Michigan, board approval was necessary as well. Funding for the trip is conversed by High Ability grant money, according to Stein. The conference, to be held in Stevensville, MI, will be November 30. Topics included in the conference are as follows: New Definition of Phenotype: Genotype + EpiGenotype; SNPs, CNVs, GWAS and finding Human Polygenes; Polygenes for common Human Genetic Conditions & Diseases; Our Personal DNA Chip and its uses in the future; iPS-induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and their Application; and Tissue Engineering; producing human organs in a Laboratory.

A technology report by Gary Clarkson summed up both what technology is in place in the school corporation and possible needs for the future. Clarkson said the Triton Schools have 534 computers throughout the buildings. This includes 432 for student use in almost 30 classrooms, the high school library, and computer lab as well as other areas. Clarkson said, “Thirty-one percent of these are over six years old and require more than 80 percent of hardware repair time.”

Clarkson said over the last three years that Triton has benefited from stimulus funds, a technology loan and Academic Honors & High Ability funds to acquire much need equipment.

He said, “Technology and computers are used on a daily basis; remediation, research, and projects, papers, testing, communicating and a host of other reasons. He added, “In the spring of 2011, we will be ISTEP testing on-line for grades six and eight.” “In 2014, we will be required to test all multiple choice questions on-line for all grades.” Clarkson said.

He also indicated that he feels the corporation should forgo textbook adoptions and seek ways to incorporate technology instead. He said, “We should purchase on-line resources or forgo new adoption and use those funds to provide new technology resources for those classrooms.”

Carol Anders Correspondent