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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Monett R-1 secures federal stimulus money

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Federal stimulus money has been secured by the Monett R-1 School District and has prompted big plans by school leaders.

According to Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann, the $350,000 in additional money is coming to the district through Title I and special education funding, which is provided regularly by the federal government. Jungmann said administrators have sought to spend the one-time additional disbursement in a way that would leave a lasting impact, but not on something like a new program or added staff that would require funding in additional years.

"We don't have to match the money, but we are," Jungmann said. Another $165,000 is being added out of district coffers to give the school $500,000 to spend on a major technology integration push.

At the May meeting of the R-1 Board of Education, Jungmann laid out the spending plan, which will be executed over the next two school years.

The proposal calls for putting a Smart board and projector in every classroom, from the pre-kindergarten level through sixth grade. The district presently has 10 Smart boards in place. That number will go to 75.

Additional projectors will be placed in all the remaining middle school and high school classrooms. Buying additional Smart boards to go with those projectors is planned for year three of the project, Jungmann said.

The district will also provide a laptop computer for every certified teacher in the district.

The eMINTS (enhancing Missouri's Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies) program, through which the district originally began adding Smart boards to district classrooms at the fifth and sixth grade levels in 2000, will be expanded into the high school as part of freshman academic studies, the superintendent said.

Hooked to the computer, a Smart board transforms a blackboard into an interactive tool by adding projection and the ability to trigger a computer program with a touch.

Every classroom for freshman science, math and social studies will be converted into an eMINTS lab, with 15 computers for every 30 students. Similar equipment has already been put in place for communication arts classrooms for fifth through 12th grade, Jungmann said.

"This is a major commitment, a great way to spend stimulus dollars on a one-time expense," Jungmann said. "It will mean a huge leap forward in technology for the lower grades. We're very excited."

There will be changes in the district's technology department to adjust for the latest moves. Jungmann said Technology Director Melody Paige will be moved to the new position of technology integration specialist.

"She will be the primary person to teach teachers how to use technology and to integrate technology into the classroom," Jungmann said.

Much of what the technology director had done in the past was to focus on networking and repairs. Those duties will be transferred to the new director of maintenance and networking.

Hired for the new position, Jungmann announced, is Jerry Swadley, who comes to the R-1 District after working for 10 years for the Waynesville School District on technology matters.

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