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New district website up for discussion at school board meeting

If the agenda is any indication, the Newton Community School District’s push toward modern technology usage will continue.

At Monday’s Board of Education meeting, there will be discussion on updating the district’s website. Board member Donna Cook has been pushing for the measure in past meetings.

An updated website would fall in line with some of the other recent things the district has done in to keep up with the times. Outgoing Superintendent Steve McDermott launched a Twitter account, the district’s wireless speeds were boosted, a larger building for the IT staff was found and students, teachers and board members were all issued iPads.

In a related matter, the board will discuss and vote on possible changes to its Digital Learning Agreement and Acceptable use policy.

The board will also vote on whether to approve the 2013-2014 school year handbooks for every school in the district, with the exception of Thomas Jefferson and Aurora Heights Elementary schools, which weren’t listed on the agenda.

The sale of the former Maytag home/District Office building will be back on the agenda after a short absence. The district had contracted Des Moines based Ahlers & Cooney law firm to draw up a RFP form. A RFP is a document that an organization posts to elicit bids from potential vendors for a product or service.

The property located at 807 S. Sixth Ave. W. is currently valued at $167,357 by real estate website

In other business:

• Elementary Educational Services Director Jim Gilbert will present the board with an action item on proposed changes to the district’s 2013-2014 school year calendar.

• The board will vote on whether they should approve the use of US Bank purchasing cards for district purposes.

• The board will vote on and have the first reading of Board Policy 702.11. This policy was developed due to the new surveillance camera equipment present in all district buildings.

• The board will vote on when to do a follow up meeting with Gaylord Tryon & Associates, whom the district contracted in its recent superintendent search. The firm found incoming superintendent Bob Callaghan for the district.

• There will be discussion towards the end of the agenda on the recent legislation resolutions that the Iowa Association of School Boards made. The board will also discuss items to submit for the next session.

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at

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