By a 4-2 vote, the Hillsboro School Board has approved a big step up in modern technology that eventually will replace all class textbooks.
After a lengthy and highly complicated discussion at a special School Board meeting on Monday night, the Board decided to lease 165 Chromebooks for three years at a cost of $52,000 for a one-time deal.
The decision was somewhat forced because eventually printed textbooks will all be phased out by the publishers and be replaced by online technology in all schools.
Naturally, funding played a big role in the decision and much discussion centered on whether the teachers are ready for such a change. The Board felt overwhelmingly that the Hillsboro school staff has both the knowledge and incentive to play a major role in the success of the project.
Some of the discussion was based on what effect the coming referendum would have on public acceptance of the Chromebook Initiative.
Superintendent Curt Bisarek summed up his thoughts on the financial situation by pointing out that all schools will eventually have to get aboard with long-term funding.
“If we want our school quality to remain as good as it is, Chromebook will have to be part of it,” he stated.
Bob Stekel made the motion, seconded by Carl Baller.
Summer science camp report
Earlier in the meeting, four students reported to the School Board and visitors on a summer science camp they attended at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.
The outreach program included the chance to listen to college students offering a presentation on stem cell research. 20 students were involved in the project.
When asked what they most enjoyed about the program, that was free to rural schools, one student enjoyed talking to real scientists and another liked the chance to wear a lab coat.
Koopman out, Hildreth in
In other business, Bisarek announced the resignation of High School physical education teacher and boys’ varsity basketball coach John Koopman, who has accepted a principal’s position at Markesan.
After a closed session, the Board hired Curt Hildreth to replace Koopman.
In addition, the Board approved Jon-Paul DaPrato as assistant football coach and approved the transfer of Anita Burch from Kindergarten Aide to title 1 aide.
The next regular Hillsboro School Board meeting will be held on Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.