SIKESTON - Keeping students of Sikeston Public Schools safe is a priority of the R-6 District and that includes protecting them from the potential misuse of technological advancements.
One way to accomplish this, Assistant Superintendent Paul Kitchen told board members Tuesday afternoon, is through the Children's Internet Protection Act policy.
Board members were provided with a recommendation of a generic policy. "Mr. Borgsmiller has asked myself and theDistrict Technology Committee to take look at this and see if we recommend any changes or what we felt needed to be done to the policy to make it apply to Sikeston Public Schools," said Kitchen.
"Once you start looking through it you will find there are not a lot of major changes. It seems from the information we received, they are being extra careful. They want us to be sure that anyone in our district that uses our technology (we are generally talking about computer or Internet type things) fully knows what they're doing, what they shouldn't be doing and what is accessible and what is not accessible, and that they know what the official consequences are. This includes the parents, the community members, even including the board members."
Currently, Kitchen said, an individual who is a user of technology in the Sikeston Public Schools System signs a single-user policy, whether the person is a teacher, student, etc. The recommendation given was to have three different policies. But because of the paperwork involved, the local technology committee preferred to have only two, a parent agreement and a student agreement and put them on one page.
"We will have one that will say that and one that will say employee, maintenance man, janitor, board member, etc.," Kitchen said, explaining the policy requires individuals to fill out a user agreement.
At the same time, he stressed Sikeston Schools does not want to scare off users from district technology. The school district simply wants to make users aware that there will be repercussions if the technology is used inappropriately.
Also during the meeting a recommendation was made to consider a Sikeston student as a candidate for a new scholarship.
The board was asked to consider submitting Jessica Cox's name for the John T. Belcher Memorial Scholarship at the state level. Cox has a GPA of 3.98 and is an Upward Bound participant. Her activities in high school include being involved in Honor Society, Marching Band, Concert Band, Foreign Language Club and Biology Club, among others. The board's vote to submit her name was unanimous.
A new teacher was also voted into the R-6 School District. Barbara Shriver, who has a master's degree in liberal arts, will be a basic skills instructor.
Board members were reminded that classes will be dismissed Jan. 21 for the national holiday of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.