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Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

District may upgrade website system


By Amy Kronenberger
ROCKFORD - In the near future teachers at Parkway Local Schools will have a means to create their own websites.
At a school board meeting Tuesday, Martin Edwards from Infinite Cohesion Website gave a presentation on the new program Parkway technology teachers hope to implement.
Infinite Cohesion develops and runs websites for schools in Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. This new website program will allow teachers to create their own websites within the school's site. Podcasts, streaming video and announcement of delays and cancellations through mass e-mails and text messages to students, parents and staff are among the system's capabilities.
The new website willreplace the former system. It may be operational by the end of 2010. The cost to set up the site will be about $1,900, with a monthly fee thereafter of $150, superintendent Greg Puthoff said.
Puthoff also discussed the new state law that will eliminate the allowance of cancellation days. This school year, the state is allowing three cancellation days. In the 2011-2012 school year all missed days must be made up.
Puthoff said the school will need to come up with a plan to prepare for the change. He suggested implementing a three-hour delay and building in the school calendar possible make-up days Elementary principal Mark Esselstein told board members about the backpack program that begins Nov. 1 to help feed children of families experiencing economic hardship. The program, run by CALL Ministries, allows children to take home food for the weekend. Families who qualify and register will have non-perishable foods discretely put into the backpacks of their children before they leave school on Friday.
Puthoff announced the district will receive an "excellent" banner at the November board meeting in honor of its excellent rating on the state report card. It will be hung in the main entrance of the high school.
School treasurer Debbie Pierce reported the district received a $3,000 Connectivity Grant from the state. The grant will help pay for the cost of the school's 450 computers having Internet access.  
Pierce also told the board the $662.46 from the no inactive SADD fund will be used to hire a speaker for Red Ribbon Week, a national drug-free and awareness week, to be held next week.
Also at the meeting, board members approved:
• The overnight field trip for TAG students to Chicago, Ill., on May 12 and 13. The trip will include approximately five students.
• District tuition rate for the 2010-11 school year at $3,243.36, as determined by the Ohio Department of Education.
• The overnight trip of the JV and varsity boys and girls basketball teams to Indianapolis, Ind., on Nov. 20 and 21. The teams will play at Conseco Field House on Nov. 20 prior to the Indiana Pacers game. This will include approximately 40 players.
• Derek Snyder as middle school boys basketball coach.
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About 50 people attended a meeting Tuesday in Celina to learn about a process that turns swine manure into an asphalt-like material, fertilizer coatings and other products traditionally petroleum-based. [More]
VAN WERT - The Fort Recovery Indians and the Coldwater Cavaliers overcame sluggish play to win their opening round matches in the Division III sectional Tuesday night at Van Wert High School. [More]
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