The Pittsburg school district superintendent updated the board on the status of the district’s progress towards holding a bond election during the school board meeting on Monday.
Last month, volunteers in the community began touring facilities in the district and assessing building improvements proposed by the district. The tours were facilitated by DLR Group, which has been hired by the district to help with the bond election and construction design.
The volunteers and anyone interested will be able to hear the findings and give input during a community meetings at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday at the Satff Development Center, 300 E. 13th Street.
“We want the public to know what is going on, to feel like they are informed, and that they have some input in the process,” said Superintendent Destry Brown. “Mostly on that Thursday we will be talking about what options they are discussing and kind of where we are in the process and asking people what they think of those options.”
The board will hear the findings of the community meeting on Sept. 28.
The board also heard from two students involved in the Jobs for America's Graduates program, which was implemented in the high school three years ago. The program is meant to help students to graduate and then through the transition into the workplace.
“It’s motivated me a lot to do better, ever since I started it, my grades have been better,” said one of the Pittsburg High School students in the program.
The board also heard from teachers at the high school involved in a pilot program for Chromebooks. The pilot program has been with five teachers, each getting 30 Chromebooks.
Four of the teachers were on hand, and each said the pilot program has been a success. Abbey Cummings, an English teacher at the high school, said the speed and connectivity has helped her re-implement technology in the classroom.
“For me I stopped using the technology for about a year,” said Abbey Cummings, who said the older laptops were ineffective because of the speed. “So then when I did this pilot it was just amazing all the new stuff that is out there … It’s fun because you can get all the kids interacting there on their computers, put the questions on the board and they can type in the answer and you see it immediately … if a kid doesn’t understand something you can see right away what they need to review.”
Brown said the district will try to implement technology in more classrooms, but said an upgrade to the school’s network would need to be made first. He was hopeful more classrooms would have the option next semester.
The board also heard from Assistant Principal Rhonda White and other coordinators of a new program called Link Crew.
“Our goal is to improve the climate and culture of Pittsburg High school,” White said.
The program puts freshmen in groups with upperclassmen called "Leaders." The Leaders help mentor the freshmen. A group of 43 Leaders were chosen at the high school. The Leaders and freshman meet once a month.
Allie Foresman, a Leader and senior at the high school, said she has seen a culture change in the school thanks to the program. She said being a Leader has also been beneficial for her.
“I think that this is really cool,” Foresman said. “To me, my experience my freshman and sophomore year were rough, but I am hoping that Leaders can change that (for freshmen).”