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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Newburg School Board tackles test scores, technology and construction

  • Much of the hour-long Newburg School District Board of Education meeting for September focused on the results from the annual Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) and the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP).
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  • Much of the hour-long Newburg School District Board of Education meeting for September focused on the results from the annual Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) and the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP).
    Newburg Elementary Principal Russ Mudd began the discussion at the Sept. 26 meeting with some good news.
    He was pleased to report that the school's special education program received a letter of compliance from the state that reported that Newburg's program was in substantial compliance with just some minor corrections needed as it related to the way data is reported.
    Next, Superintendent John Westerman gave his take on the district's absentee, career readiness and graduation rates.
    While the school district is fully accredited, he said Missouri's numbers and scores presented do not reflect reality for Newburg. Part of the problem, according to Westerman, lies in the way data has been reported.
    "We are going to find the solution to these problems," said Westerman. "We had these problems four or five years ago and accreditation hinged on the way data was being reported and we fixed that."
    Newburg High School Technology Instructor Rose Blair gave a detailed report to the board on technology issues.
    In short, she stated the district does not have enough computer bandwidth to keep up with the growing amount of information that is being used and accessed day in and day out.
    The school currently runs at 10 megabytes (mb) of data and the district has received a recommendation that existing content should run at 30 mb.
    To upgrade, Blair said the district would need to purchase a new router to handle the increased speed. The current router is outdated.   Also needed is more storage space. The district's file server has less than 600 gb of space for storage.
    Blair offered several solutions to this problem. Among them was the purchase of several terabyte drives at $441 apiece. Four terabyte drives would be needed to upgrade the district's existing system.
    Finally Blair recommended the need for more tech support. At one point, the district employed one full-time person and two part-time technology employees.
    They are now at one full-time person and one part-time staff member. She stated that the full-time employee is overwhelmed as he his trying to keep up with the network issues and with all of the new devices that are coming into the district.
    Last but not least on the agenda was the superintendent's report on the ongoing construction projects throughout the district's buildings.
    Over the last year the district has had to renovate the school's cafeteria and kitchen.
    The project has not been closed on yet because there have been continual problems such as a leaking roof, a crack in the floor of the cafeteria and bubbling in the epoxy-surfaced floor that was applied in the kitchen area.
    Page 2 of 2 - Westerman said the leaky roof and cracked floor appear to be fixed. However, the epoxy floor still has the same issues and he did not feel comfortable accepting the work.
    As well, he explained that exhaust fans in the handicap accessible bathrooms next to the concession stands were not pulling enough air in to the rooms.
    The board recommended that Westerman address each of these remaining concerns with the contractor one more time. The board will then decide what action needs to be taken at a future meeting.
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