Archive for Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Basehor-Linwood School Board focus on reduction in paper usage, cost

Basehor-Linwood Middle School sixth-grader Sterling Hollond taps on the screen of his iPad as he takes notes during his reading class Monday. Students used the devices for nearly the entire class period.

Basehor-Linwood Middle School sixth-grader Sterling Hollond taps on the screen of his iPad as he takes notes during his reading class Monday. Students used the devices for nearly the entire class period.

June 11, 2014

— The Basehor-Linwood USD 458 Board of Education is considering new programs that would help the district with expensive and wasteful use of paper.

Assistant Superintendent Mike Boyd presented one of the two ideas Monday called Peachjar electronic fliers. Boyd said the technology would allow school groups, nonprofits and local organizations to distribute fliers without printing thousands on paper and distributing them throughout each school.

The system is free for nonprofits but comes with fees up to $30 for independent business use. Peachjar manages flier distribution on behalf of schools and works directly with outside organizations, according to the business' website. Boyd and Howard said the service could save the district tons of paper, reduce copy costs and remove a significant administrative burden from teachers, office staff and volunteers in regard to distributing fliers.

The electronic fliers would be put on a website accessible by all parents or community members interested. The board considered the proposal for next school year.

"If the community wants to know what’s going on, they can go to that website," Superintendent David Howard said.

Also considered at Monday's school board meeting was a program called PaperCut. Howard told the board that he had discussed the program with one of its representatives last week and thought it would be a good program for the district.

PaperCut is a program, Howard explained, that tracks the amount of copies made by district employees throughout the district and assigns them a budget for copies. The program alerts teachers or faculty when they are making copies of ways that they could save paper, either by making double-sided copies or other methods.

'It really just makes our staff a little more aware of what the cost is," Howard said. "Really there is no incentive right now for our staff to know the number of copies they are making."

The number of copies made throughout the district varies with Basehor Middle School making the least and Basehor-Linwood High School making the most. Last year, the BLHS building alone made 750,000 copies.

"Companies save thousands of dollars using this," Howard said.

Approved at Monday's board meeting:

• The board approved the 2014-2015 negotiated bargaining agreement with teachers that outlines a health insurance change from Coventry to Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Teachers in the district approved the new agreement with a vote of 99-3.

Under the agreement, supplemental salary positions will be given their salary step movement, and the supplemental schedule base salary will increase $1,000 to $33,000.

• Approved the adjusted amount for technology spending for iPads purchased for Basehor-Linwood Middle School students. The cost reduced by $1,900 from the previous estimated amount of $91,000.

• Approved amendments to the student handbooks at BLHS and BLMS.

• Approved a change to the new special education cooperative agreement with Tonganoxie, which clarifies that the special education director and the district coordinator positions would be jointly funded by both districts. The previous agreement stated that the Tonganoxie School District would hire the program director while Basehor would hire the coordinator.

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