J-R school board ponders going paperless

  • An aerial view of Jaffrey from Conant High School. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 4:50PM

Jaffrey-Rindge School Board chairwoman Laurel McKenzie expressed a desire Monday night for the board to go paperless during its meetings.

McKenzie asked her fellow board members Monday if they would be willing to consider the purchasing of tablets for the school board in an effort to eliminate the constant printing of papers in preparation for meetings.

“I don’t have a problem with it, but my question is, cost-wise, is there a balance to not printing things out,” said board member Jeff Clark-Kevan during the meeting. 

McKenzie said she thought the district could see savings after few years. McKenzie also floated the idea of having extra tablets available for the public, and bringing in student volunteers to help people with technology needs. 

Currently, all related materials – including agendas, presentations, meeting minutes, and more – are printed out and sent via mail to school board members. Numerous copies are also printed out for members of the public for viewing. 

Board members Heidi Graff and Dan Aho, both Rindge residents, showed support for the proposal, noting that there have been multiple times where mailed documents have not made it in time for school board meetings. 

Board vice chair Charlie Eicher asked Superintendent Reuben Duncan about a bring your own device (BYOD) model for board members who were interested. Duncan said he would check on it, believing it was nothing more than an issue of policy. 

McKenzie brought up the discussion towards the end of the meeting during the board matters section of the meeting. No decisions were made, with McKenzie asking the board to “chew on it.” 

The board agreed during the meeting to increase the pay of substitute nurses from $14 an hour to $25 an hour.

Duncan recommended the increase as the district has had trouble in the past filling gaps when a substitute is needed. The discussion was first broached during the most recent budget season.

Duncan said increasing the pay will align the Jaffrey-Rindge School District with other neighboring districts. Duncan said the district is under contract with a nursing agency, but the rate through the agency ranges from $40 to $46 an hour. 

The move will not guarantee coverage for the district, but will put it in a better position moving forward, according to Duncan. 

After previously floating the idea of dropping to one school board meeting a month –with a second monthly meeting devoted to sub-committees – Duncan recommended keeping the “status quo for now.”

Duncan said he hopes to have a quarterly educational committee meeting “to make sure people have an opportunity to know what’s going on” relative to the district’s shift to a proficiency-based education model. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.