Bellwood-Antis authorizes administration to move forward with data warehousing

Administrators at Bellwood-Antis are hoping a $50,000 state grant will help the district compile important student data into a central location, thus making it easier to compare and contrast the information to improve the curriculum.
At last evening’s board of director’s meeting, a unanimous 8-0 vote authorized the administration to move forward with the demonstration grant to build the data warehouse.
“I think the receiving of this grant is a great opportunity and really, I’m surprised we received it,” said district Superintendent Rodney Kuhns. “I don’t know of any similar programs in the state at the current time. Bellwood-Antis is really moving forward technically. It’s great for the district.”
According to Mike Lingenfelter, the district’s technology coordinator, the data warehouse will allow school officials to cross reference data and ask important questions that may improve the quality of education offered at Bellwood-Antis.
“This warehousing will allow us to target information from many separate systems,” said Lingenfelter. “We’ll be able to see what effective practices are in use now and what works. We’ll also be able to look at what we’re doing then ask all the important questions to improve on it.”
Lingenfelter used class size as an example. He said the district could use this new tool to assess class sizes in the district and compare student achievement within those classes.
“We’ll be able to use this tool as a very effective form of planning,” said Lingenfelter.
He said in the future, parents will be able to access the site through the Internet and find important statistical data, including testing scores not only in the district, but also statewide.
The $50,000 garnered from the state will be used as start-up money for the program Kuhns said the district will now seek a consultant to design and build the program.
“We have two legitimate ways to go with the project,” said Kuhns. “We have to have this money spent by June 1.”
Lingenfelter exclaimed his excitement of how the program will allow parents to access some of the information stored via the web. He said parent involvement in a student’s academic achievements is essential for student success.
Lingenfelter said the system should be up and running this academic school year.
In other business, the directors:
•approved the Indoor Guard to attend the 2003 Tournament Indoor Championships at Wildwood, N.J. from May 1 through May 4. There will be no cost to the district;
•approved the disposal of 62 student desks that were advertised for sell, but drew no interest;
•approved the use of a professional employee at a homebound rate of $24.18 or an aide at the rate of $7.76 per hour in the in-school suspension and after-school detention programs at Myers Elementary;
•approved the acceptance of a bid from DeMoulin Bros. and Co. in the amount of $33,857.46 for new band uniforms. Band Parents will pay half the costs;
•approved Kristeen Kissell as long-term substitute teacher beginning Feb. 19 at a daily rate of $127.83 for the remainder of the school year. The approval is pending the district receiving an emergency certificate.
In relation, the board also approved Lisa Hartsock as mentor teacher for Kissell for the remainder of the school year on a pro-rated basis;
•approved Tricia Maceno as long-term substitute teacher beginning March 4 at a daily rate of $127.83. Maceno will be teaching for Katie Cowher for an undetermined period of time;
•approved Karen Messner as a 2-hour worker in the middle school cafeteria effective March 11;
•approved the Athletic Training Outreach agreement between the Joyner Sportsmedicine Institute and the district in the amount of $13,500 for the period of Aug. 1 through June 1, 2004;
•approved John Wessner as a day-to-day substitute teacher. He is certified for elementary education and has all clearances;
•approved the reduction of unpaid maternity leave for Heather Prestash by three or four days in order for her to complete IEP’s, which are due April 1;
•approved the following boys’ track volunteers: Ken Swanson, Bill Edmiston, George Bell, Rudy Bilka, David Plummer, Robin Campbell, Rhonda Gensamer and Ashley Lovrich. Plummer and Lovrich are pending receipt of their clearances;
•noted Crystal Orsino was the successful bidder for the full-time school bus driver position, five hours per school day, effective March 6. The position was vacated by R. Milane Smith;
•approved Matthew Ballos as a volunteer baseball coach for the 2003. Ballos volunteered last year and has his clearances;
•approved Donald Wagner as administrative assistant at a salary of $60,000 beginning as soon as possible.