The February 1 Houston School Board meeting had Superintendent Mary Morem attending virtually and two board members, Nickki Johnson and Marissa Bailey, absent. Morem presented the Houston Hurricane Hero award to Heidi Wick, an MNVA math teacher, who also attended virtually. Morem joined parents, staff and students in lauding Wick for her creativity as an online math interventionist teacher.
Continuing the virtual theme, Tucker Peve, HUDL account manager for all Minnesota schools, shared the benefits of using HUDL for streaming events at Houston. He noted that HUDL would be able to cover all K-12 activities and events at the school. At this time, over half of the conference is using HUDL and 75% of all Minnesota schools use HUDL.
Currently, Houston spends $4,000 for NFHS streaming. Additionally, the sports teams of football, volleyball and girls and boys basketball spend around $3,500 on HUDL silver accounts; volleyball. The coaches have to do their own videoing and then submit it to HUDL at this time.
A switch to using school-wide HUDL would provide the opportunity to livestream baseball and softball as well as football and the winter sports in the gyms. The HUDL cameras would automatically record games with no extra staff or cameras. Everything would be simulcasted. Road games would automatically be uploaded to Houston’s stream as well. A school-wide package for the Silver option would cost $8,000. Peve suggested that two cameras would be installed in the gyms; the remote truck app would be used with an iPad to cover baseball, softball and football. Larger concerts would use the installed cameras while the iPad could be used for smaller presentations and could go into classrooms to share events there.
According to Peve, the quality is great – names on uniforms can be read by the viewers; sound quality is also good.
Houston could choose to keep the streaming free of charge or it could charge a pay per view, setting their own prices. The school would also have the option of selling ads and importing advertisements and commercials on the site page to help with the costs.
A prorated package was offered for the remainder of the year until July. A two-and-a-half to three-year agreement was offered at $8,000 each full year until 2026. Peve shared that the price would be going up in April and urged the board to make a decision before that to save money. The board will discuss HUDL further next month.
Interested parties brought to the attention of the board an incident involving two elementary students. They were concerned that one of the students was treated unfairly when they were disciplined and urged the board to help resolve the issue. The people commenting were not the parents or guardians of either of the students.
Josh Norlien responded that the board could tell they cared deeply about the student. The school has worked with the parents of the students to resolve the issue. The importance of respecting the privacy of both students was emphasized.
Elementary Mid-year Progress
Angela McQuinn presented her elementary mid-year progress in reading and math, sharing details and pictures of each grade level at work as well as testing data from the fall. The grade level teachers have been collaborating with the ADSIS teacher to help struggling students; reading interventions are done for 30 minutes and math interventions for 20 minutes daily. FastBridge Assessments determine the needs of the students.
The teachers have been working hard as they switch to the new math curriculum; some modifications have been made to provide reteaching and review opportunities for the students.
Throughout the grade levels, parents are being encouraged to read with their students and to encourage more reading at home. Many classes have reading logs and guest readers to inspire the students.
In other business, the board:
• Approved a motion to continue to provide free return transportation for the 30 participants in the RPH track program; a bus already drops athletes in Rushford for practice;
• Approved purchasing four ADA compliant door openers for $37,680, which would be added at both the high school and elementary; long-term maintenance funds can cover the expense;
• Learned that with smaller kindergarten numbers, a recommendation will be necessary later for shifting teachers and classrooms;
• Learned that the school calendar for next year will see some changes to provide teacher training days to comply with the recent READ Act legislation passed by the state;
• Accepted a $300 donation from Don’s Repair, LLC for the dance team;
• Approved the negotiated agreements with bus drivers, confidential and supervisorial staff and student services management personnel.
The next meeting of the Houston School Board will be held March 7 at 6 p.m. in the high school media center; the public is welcome.