Canton Local BOE explains reasons for new construction Keeping up with latest technology is a main concern, says board members, tech director

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By KAREN MUNDY The Press-News CANTON TWP. -- During the Canton Local Board of Education meeting on Monday night, resident Nancy Butts questioned the board about the decision to tear down school buildings to construct new ones. Butts said she was concerned about a statement in a recent newsletter from the school that said Canton Local and Marlington Local were the only two school districts in the county that have not constructed new buildings. "My feelings are based on the employment and job situation right now," said Butts. "Why would we consider it (new construction)? Just because everyone jumps off the cliff do we have to join them?" She went on to say that she has walked the halls of the high school, the same that her mother-in-law, husband and other family members have walked, and she thinks the building is "wonderful" and in good condition. She said a lot of the new construction cannot compare to the work done in older buildings, and other school district have already experienced problems with new buildings. Board president Scott Hamilton thanked the resident for her comments and said he understood her concerns. He also agreed with her comments about the great care and maintenance the custodial staff has done in the buildings. However, Hamilton said the biggest need for new construction is in the area of technology. Hamilton said the old buildings could not handle the upgrades needed to provide the latest technological necessities for students at this time. Dr. Dale Rush, technology director in the district, agreed, as he said even wireless service needs a different infrastructure than what is now available in the district. Superintendent Redmond said she continues to meet with people in the district about the upcoming bond issue. The next community meeting about new construction and the bond issue will be on Jan. 10, 7 p.m., in the high school cafeteria. During the meeting, the board approved the proposed calendar for the 2012-13 school year. Redmond said all school districts in Stark County are working together this year to create a calendar that will aid those served through the Career Technical Educational Program. She said this would be the first year that all districts in the county would start before Labor Day. Other considerations for the calendar included: 1. Instructional days selected to maximize learning time for mandated testing; 2. Critical dates published by Stark County Superintendents; 3. Contractually agreed input from the Canton Local Education Association and the Canton Local Classified Association. In other business, the board: * PURCHASED four new buses from Truck Sales & Service Inc., and heard from treasurer Michael Bischel that the district will also be cutting back on the size of its bus fleet and looking for the best way to sell excess equipment; * HEARD an update from Rush about the Race To the Top: * HEARD an update from Jay Moody about the 1-1 Computing Program, which would provide a laptop to every student; he read comments from Faircrest staff and student, with many saying it would be extremely helpful for research and other assignments; * APPROVED the employment of the following personnel: Jennifer Ward, Title I elementary paraprofessional, Michael Hagy, head varsity girls softball coach, and Darrell Milhoan, volunteer bowling coach; * HEARD the first reading of board policies such as those on sick leave, public attendance at school events and the No Child Left Behind Act; * ACCEPTED donations including $380.41 from the Canton South Dairy Queen wishing well, $212 from Mt. Zion Community Church and $200 from Teresa Purses for Wildcats Helping Wildcats; * SET Jan. 9, 2012, 7:30 p.m., at the administrative center for the annual organizational meeting, followed by the regular meeting; * APPROVED an overnight students trip for Skip Laughlin and the wrestling team to compete in a tournament in Coshocton, with no missed school days and no cost to the district; * ACCEPTED the Ohio K-12 Network Grant of $7,200 to be used to defray the cost of Internet connectivity in the district; * ADOPTED the "Prior Written Notice Chart as required by the state to notify parents; * HEARD legislative reports and Capital Conference reports.

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