School board to hear iRock findings at Monday work session

dworthington@heraldonline.comFebruary 8, 2013 

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    The work session for the Rock Hill school board starts at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the district’s office, 660 N. Anderson Road.

Teams evaluating Rock Hill’s “iRock” initiative – the district’s proposal for one-to-one technology learning – will present their findings at Monday’s school board work session.

Five teams composed of parents, students, teachers and community leaders have been evaluating Superintendent Lynn Moody’s proposal to have every student equipped with an iPad or tablet computer to assist with learning.

The board has heard from Moody several times but has not endorsed the concept.

The teams have been looking at various aspects of the proposal, including how to fund the program. Presenting the funding analysis will be Gary Williams of Williams & Fudge.

District officials have proposed leasing iPads for three years and charging families an annual fee to offset part of the cost. Some of the money could come from fundraising and cutting costs elsewhere. Students would be free to take the tablet devices home in the afternoons and over the summer. The leases would include insurance that covers damage.

Also on Monday’s work session agenda is a common school calendar for the 2013-2014 academic year. If approved by the four York County school districts, schools would start Aug. 21 and run through June 4.

The proposed calendar is the same for the York County schools for the beginning and ending of classes, winter and spring breaks and major holidays.

The biggest change from this year’s calendar would be spring break. This year’s break is from April 1 through April 5.

As proposed for 2013-2014, the break would be two weeks later, April 14 through April 18.

The delay is because High School Assessment Program testing has been scheduled for the first week in April. Students must pass the two-part test in English and math to graduate.

The board is expected to vote on the calendar at its Feb. 25 meeting.

Rock Hill’s calendar committee has made a few changes from the current calendar, mostly the scheduling of teacher workdays. With the exception of teacher workdays at the beginning of the school year, most have been scheduled right before the end of grading periods, instead of after grading periods.

Teachers on the calendar committee said that workdays after a grading period were of little value because the due date for grades had passed.

High school band fees

The board also will discuss Monday the $500 board-approved fee for high school marching band students. School administrators are reviewing the fee and consulting with other school districts and the S.C. School Board Association.

School administrators are asking the school board to allow band boosters to collect the fee for the 2013-2014 year while the fee is under review.

The fee would be used to help marching bands pay for the cost of competitions. Efforts by students and parents to raise funds through the nonprofit band booster organizations would not be affected.

Don Worthington •  803-329-4066

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