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Houston School Board set to review candidate applications

By Angie Rodenburg

Fri, Oct 18th, 2013
Posted in All Education

The Houston School Board held a meeting on October 15 in the Houston High School Library. At the meeting the board discussed the search for an interim superintendent to replaced Interim Superintendent Bartleson. The application deadline for the candidates was October 14. The school board will be reviewing the candidate applications and resumes and will have a special meeting on Tuesday, October 22 at 5:30 p.m. in the Houston High School Library to select candidates for interviews. The meeting will be open to the public. The candidates’ names will not be given in order to maintain privacy. However, once the interview selections have been made, the candidates that will receive an interview will be made public. There was discussion on the criteria on which the board members would be using to make the selections. Interim Superintendent Bartleson will be acting as a consultant during the selection process.

Interim Superintendent Bartleson also came to the board with a recommendation to utilize digital board meetings. Rather than using paper, all shared information will be shown using a computer and projector, with the board able to access all of the information through Microsoft Tablets. The school would need to purchase these tablets at a cost of $499 a piece, plus shipping costs. The board discussed if the purchase of the tablets was necessary and arrived at the conclusion that the cost of them would be worth it in the amount of time and energy saved. The motion to purchase the tablets was passed unanimously. The school board has been utilizing digital board meetings for the past few meetings and have found it to be beneficial. The board has been using school laptops. While the laptops were being used during one of the meetings, a teacher had noticed the laptops missing and had reported them stolen. The teacher was relieved to find that the laptops were only being used by the school board.

At the meeting, Interim Superintendent Bartleson also showed the board a new digital way of receiving compliments, complaints, concerns, or questions from the public via the school website. The Compliments and Complaints page will be up and running in the near future. Board member Kevin Kelleher shared his concern about who would be made aware of complaints made. Kelleher felt the school board should have access to the compliment and complaint reports, as a way to ensure knowledge of what is going on in the school. He felt the school board needed this knowledge in order to best serve and represent the community. Interim Superintendent Bartleson told the board that there are legal concerns with school board members having access to private data. The board concluded discussion on the topic by reviewing the complaint reporting process as laid out in Policy 206.

Todd Lundberg also presented information on the MSHSL Foundation Grant. The annual grant is given automatically to all schools that apply. The amount each school receives is dependent on how many schools that apply. The funds are used to help defer the cost of athletic and fine arts participation for those students that are unable to pay. The board affirmed Lundberg’s grant submission.

Board members were also appointed for the Meet and Confer Committee. Michaeleen Bonner and Kevin Kelleher volunteered for the committee and will serve for the rest of 2013.

The next school board meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 15 at the Houston High School Library at 5:30 p.m.

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