MU BOE talks 1:1 initiative

By Allison C. Gallagher -

WEST MILTON — The Milton-Union Board of Education discussed 1:1 technological initiatives during its Sept. 21 meeting.

Director of Technology Mick Nealeigh and Technology Instructional/Integration Coach Kim Puckett gave a presentation on the skillset students need.

Puckett explained how 21st century skills known as a the four Cs — collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking — were the biggest needs of the students.

“I think that critical thinking is one of the most challenging ones for teachers to teach students,” she said. “Critical thinking isn’t just analyzing a textbook, it’s about being able to think on their feet when challenges arise once they get out in the world.”

Puckett demonstrated how technology was being implemented by showing pictures from a recent trip a kindergarten class took to Lowry Learning Lab. The kindergarteners had tablets with them, which they used as photojournalism tools to document season changes and learn about their natural habitat at Lowry.

Board member Jodi Minneman asked about the cost to get tablets to each student. Currently, kindergarteners and first graders have tablets, with a goal of the district to get tablets to each student.

Nealeigh said the district had budgeted for the technology and so the money was planned for it.

In other business, the board approved a resolution that stated its opposition to House Bill 70, which allowed an academic distress commission to appoint outside individuals in the Youngstown City Schools without input from the Youngstown City Board of Education.

The board agreed the action was objectionable, as elected local board members know their community best, and worried about whether this meant the state could come in at any time in Milton-Union.

The board also issued their opposition to State Issue 3, the proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize marijuana in the state of Ohio.

According to superintendent Ginny Rammel, she had read an article regarding some recent statistics on the impact of legalization of marijuana in Colorado.

“In 2014, the number of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 using marijuana increased, as did drug related suspensions,” she said. “The national averages are up and interestingly, mail parcel inceptions from Colorado to other states has increased by 2,033 percent.”

The board agreed that marijuana legalization in Ohio posed a health and safety risk to students and approved their resolution to oppose it.

Treasurer Kay Altenburger recommended accepting $4,654.57 as the 2015-16 school year tuition for students outside the district. The board also approved fees for Animal and Plant Science, STEM and Finanical Accounting, each of which is $24.

Rammel said the three fees were inadvertently left off the previously approved list.

Board member Dr. Connie McCarroll presented certificates to the school for the sophomore class’ achievement on the American Legion’s Americanism test.

Two students, juniors Meghan Johnston and Caleb Black, received awards for their high marks.

By Allison C. Gallagher

Reach Allison C. Gallagher at or on Twitter @Troydailynews.

Reach Allison C. Gallagher at or on Twitter @Troydailynews.