OAKLAND CITY – Developments, both technological and academic were reported at the regular meeting of East Gibson School Corp. board.
Ryan Baker from Energy Systems Group gave a presentation on the progress of the energy saving technology improvements around the school system.
Of the five major parts within ESG's plan, all but one was reported as complete, the cloud-based phone system, which Baker said would be Friday, March 16.
The lighting was completed in December 2017. Controls for temperature were completed in February. The building envelope work was finished in January and destratification fans were completed earlier this month.
Board president Steve Sevier and Steve Schenks asked Baker about emergency systems in the school. "Your fax lines and fire alarms are still on copper," Baker said.
Emergency lighting was also reinforced in every room in the school, with either one or two light fixtures fitted with an emergency battery-powered light so teachers and students could find the exits in the event of a power outage. In the hallways, one in four lights contain this feature.
After the presentation, Superintendent Dr. Henry Brewster said the experience with ESG was a positive one. "These guys are great to work with," he said, adding that all of the contractors and those performing the work did a good job.
"And they were very clean," Sevier added.
In other business at Monday's monthly session, Brewster said he had somewhat changed his point of view on virtual learning days, and the board approved one for Saturday, April 14.
While he once did not find the corporation technologically ready for such an internet-based model, East Gibson will use a virtual learning day to keep from having classes after Memorial Day.
East Gibson School Corp. was closed six days this winter due to hazardous weather and road conditions, and the district has five makeup days: Feb. 16, April 2 and May 23-25. The sixth makeup day will be accomplished with a virtual learning day April 14. Students will be given an assignment, ostensibly to use that day to complete, but they have until Friday, April 20 to complete it.
In other business, Wood Memorial High School Principal Kevin Smith reported developments to school's Spanish curriculum. A focus group of students tried a Rosetta Stone program, green-lighting it for use within the school. Of the 96 students enrolled in Spanish courses, 50 percent elected to switch to the Rosetta Stone program. A majority of students will work individually, but some will work in pairs, Smith said. This program will only be used to finish the 2017-18 school year, Smith said.
"We have received on application for Spanish," he reported at the meeting. He added that administrators are working on a more permanent teaching solution for next school year.