Laptop pilot program ready to launch

Fairlawn seventh-graders to participate in laptop program

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — The seventh-graders at Fairlawn Local Schools will be part of a laptop pilot program during the 2016-17 school year.

Aaron Cox, technology coordinator, told the Fairlawn Board of Education about the proposed laptop program during its meeting Wednesday night. Cox said each student will have their own school supplied laptop to be used during the school year. There will be a technology fee paid by the students unless they are on free or reduced lunches.

Students entering seventh-grade, said Cox, will not be asked to purchase iPads. They will not be allowed to bring in personal technology devices for use at school. The only device they will be permitted to use will be the school issued laptop.

Students entering the eighth-grade will continue to use the iPads they purchased. Students in grades 8-12 who purchased iPads will not be asked to purchase a different device. They will be able to use that device through graduation.

Students in grades 9-12, he said, will be able to bring in their own personal laptop instead of the iPad. The personal laptop must be approved by Cox prior to use within the school.

By the time the incoming class of seventh-graders are seniors, said Cox, all students in grades 7-12 will be using laptops.

Cox also told the board that all teacher computers were replaced during the summer. They had a choice of a laptop or desktop computer.

Dustin Woods was introduced to the board. He was hired to be a fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade teacher for the district. Woods currently resides in Mercer County and is an Ohio State University graduate. He played baseball in college and was the former Marion Local Schools head baseball coach.

Superintendent Jeff Hobbs described Woods as a “kid magnet” and the students will enjoy having him as a teacher.

Woods was also hired as the seventh grade basketball coach at $1,974.24. He replaces Gavin Cathcart, who was recently named the head girls basketball coach at Fairlawn.

In other business, the board:

• Learned from high school Principal Rebekka Egbert that the district is applying for two grants — one from the 21st Century program and the other from the Straight A program.

• Learned from K-8 Principal John Stekli that the master class schedule is being finalized. There will be technology times for the students.

• Learned the K-1 teachers have requested a staggered start for kindergarten classes the first week of school. Half of the students would go to class on Monday and Wednesday, while the other half would go on Tuesday and Thursday. All of the students would in in class on Friday.

• Learned from Hobbs there is seed money in the Workforce Partnership program for Fairlawn to use for programs at the school. “We will be a player in the Workforce Partnership in Shelby County,” said Hobbs.
• Learned the weight room will be open an hour before school on Mondays and Wednesdays for students to use. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the same hour will be used for study time.
• Approved a one-year service contract for Lindsey Riethman for 20-days extended guidance for the 2016-17 school year at $4,726.80
• Approved a transition contract for Karen McRill as guidance counselor not to exceed 15 days at the rate of $234.21 per day.
• Approved a transition contract for Hobbs at a per diem rate of $406.43.
• Awarded a contract to Cox as the one-to-one iPad facilitator effective July 1 at $4,000. Board member Rita Gilfillen abstained from voting as Cox is her son-in-law.
• Learned the district’s old lawn mower is for sale. The item will be posted on the district’s website for people interested in submitting a bid for it.

Fairlawn seventh-graders to participate in laptop program

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook,

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook,