Purchase of new science instructional materials were approved by the Rolla Board of Education recently.
Science instructional materials is the phrase to use in place of science textbooks, because in the 21st Century, books are not the only way to present information to students.

Purchase of new science instructional materials were approved by the Rolla Board of Education recently.
Science instructional materials is the phrase to use in place of science textbooks, because in the 21st Century, books are not the only way to present information to students.
Computers are another way: computers on a desktop, computers in a digital tablet and computers in a smart telephone.
Assistant Superintendent Craig Hounsom, in making his recommendations to the board for the purchase of materials for grades K-8, noted said that the materials for grades 7-8 from Discovery Education will have no shipping charges because they are not books. They are digital materials published under the title Science Techbook.
That promoted a question from board President Dr. Greg Stratman, a writer and teacher of writing who acknowledged he likes the feel of a cover and paper pages when he is reading, who wondered if eventually all textbooks will be retired for computer “techbooks.”
“Is it inevitable?” he asked, wondering if the computer takeover will be “across the board” of instructional materials.
Hounsom replied, “We may get there, but I don’t think it is right around the corner.”
Selection of the materials for science is necessary at this time , Hounsom said, because there will be new Missouri Learning Standards in place for statewide testing, and these selected  materials will help teachers cover the information and concepts in the state standards.
Also, the current science resources for elementary trades are 10 years old, having been selected for a five-year run and then renewed five years ago.
The recommendations approved by the board were as follows:
* For grades K-5, Pearson publishing with the Interactive Science books; total of $170,989.19; materials account for $166,008.92 and shipping, $4,980.27.
* For grade 6, McGraw-Hill publishing with the Integrated Science, Course 1, books; the materials cost $22,233.60, shipping  $1,778.69, for a total of $24, 012.29.
* And for grades 7-8, Discovery Education will provide its Science Techbook program for $31,200, no shipping.
Recommendation of the materials was the result of a rigorous review process. Twenty-four teachers representing all the elementary schools, the middle school and the junior high school, looked at all the materials and met  with five publishers for 90 minutes each.
The teachers rated the materials on a scale of 1-10, based on the science content, sequence of instruction, instructional design, teacher support and assessment methods to judge student knowledge.
And, yes, price was an important factor in the selection, although it was not the final deciding factor.
Hounsom noted that Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt’s total bid of $156,076.87 for grades K-5 beat the recommended bid from Pearson, but Pearson was the unanimous choice of the reviewers because of its content and support for teachers.
In the case of Pearson, the quote includes training for the K-5 teachers on the best use of the materials.
All of these materials are for a six-year program of support, so new materials will be provided and teachers will be assisted for six years.
In other business or discussion:
* Four Rolla Public Schools cabinet-making students were honored recently by the Rolla Board of Education for their projects that won championships in the state contests.
Blake Dishman won his division and scored a perfect 100 points on both the project and the written test.
Arlynn Jones won a state championship in refinishing with his antique headboard.
Landon Kamper won a state championship in his division.
And Zack Studdard won Best of Show. Out of 400 entries, his was the best. He also scored 100 points on his written test. Studdard will represent Missouri and Rolla at the national contest next month.
For these accomplishments, the four were honored with recognition awards from the school board.
*In anticipation of needs when the Rolla High School expands to include freshmen students, the board authorized hiring a lead guidance counselor at the recommendation of Superintendent of Schools Dr. Aaron Zalis.
The lead counselor will assist the building administration in coordinating the duties of the RHS counseling center staff, activities, programming, professional development. In addition, the lead counselor will enroll students, gather and maintain student records, provide consultation to teachers, administrators, parents and students on a variety of issues. Testing and interpreting of the tests are among the duties of the leaad counselor. There are several other areas the lead counselor will be called upon from time to time.
* The board approved a lease with East Central College for classroom and office space at Rolla Technical Center  for the 2017-2018 school year. East Central College will pay $145,530 for use of the space, less $6,436.80 that ECC pays for security.
*The board raised the hourly pay of substitute teachers from $10.75, where it has been for 16 years, to $11.75. That raises the daily rate to $82.25. It will have a $27,000 impact on the budget.
*Purchase of furniture and supplies for Rolla High School was approved.
*Nancy McWhorter was reappointed as the board’s secretary and custodian of records.
*The next meeting of the board will be a brief session at 7:30 a.m. June 30 to wrap up the fiscal year’s business.
* The July meeting is also scheduled for 7:30 a.m. July 13.
* Meetings for the remainder of the calendar year are Sept. 7 and 21, Oct. 12 and 26, Nov. 16 and Dec. 14.
* Hounsom reported on summer school.