Highland School Board Learns of New Initiative

The Highland County School Board was informed of a new state program being implemented at Tuesday night’s monthly meeting. Known as the Backpack Initiative, the program aims to assist schools in the transition to digital content and tablet computers. IT director Gary Lane reviewed the program for the Board, reporting that with funding assistance, tablets and thumb drives have been purchased and will be issued to all 9th and 10th grade students.  The aim is to improve student’s knowledge of the use of technology while providing better ways to communicate between the student and the teacher. Students will use the tablets during school hours and at home, and be responsible for their maintenance and care. Upon graduation, the tablet will become the student’s property – if they leave the school system for other reasons, they must return it. Students in higher grades will also participate in the program by being issued older laptop computers.

Highland Deputy Chad Lightner reported to the Board that he was now certified to teach D.A.R.E. for grades K-12. He will begin working with the fifth grade students on January 30th, holding class once a week. He noted that the curriculum was S.O.L. based so time spent in the classroom will not take away from S.O.L. training.

HCEA representative Winnie Richardson reported that a new slate of officers was in place, and they had budget numbers prepared in advance of funding planning sessions.

High school principle April Goff reported her staff is preparing for upcoming exams. She also noted that January 19th and February 9th are now school days, to make up for time missed.

In action items, the Board passed the consent agenda, approved three new substitute teachers and re-newed the Title 1 Parental Involvement policy. Joe Neill was elected chair, and Bobbie Hefner elected vice-chair.

The Board’s next regular meeting is schedule for February 2nd.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

Current Weather