School district continues technology push

The influx of technology in the Marshalltown Community School District was one of the topics at the school board meeting Monday.

The board was updated on the effort known as the digital conversion plan in the district. The district purchased 1,500 Chromebook laptop computers this summer for student use in the classroom. The computers will be used for science classes in the seventh through 12th grades and for math instruction for third and fourth grades.

District leaders hope to get to a point where all the students have access to a laptop during the school day.

“Five years from now, I see us having those opportunities really at every grade,” said Superintendent Marvin Wade.

Wade feels this technology will help expand student learning.

“One of our big pieces with this is addressing the achievement gap,” he said.

Two new elementary principals in the district are taking the new laptops to the public to talk to the community about how they will be implemented. Anel Garza and Ronnie Manis visited JBS and have plans to visit Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart to talk to parents about the new technology.

The school district has also underwent major upgrades in its network. A dense wireless network is 90 to 95 percent complete in the district, according to Jeff Weinberg, technology director.

“We will be ready for the start of school,” Weinberg said.

In other discussion, Lisa Koester, director of human resources with the school district, said they have no major issues with hiring staff in advance of the Aug. 20 school start date. One late staff resignation will not be accepted unless a suitable replacement has been found, she said. As usual, it has been a busy summer with hiring staff.

“The majority of our positions have been filled,” Koester said.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. Aug. 19 at school district offices.