Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Glidden-Ralston Community School District will share its next superintendent one day each week with the Paton-Churdan School District, school board members from both districts decided in the past week.

The Glidden-Ralston School Board voted unanimously to approve the measure at a meeting Monday night, and Paton-Churdan had passed the proposal on Thursday.

The agreement puts Glidden-Ralston in charge of hiring the schools’ new leader, while Paton-Churdan will pay for 20 percent of the search price.

The new superintendent will replace interim superintendent Dave Haggard, who is concluding his two-year term this school year.

Advertising for the job will start Nov. 25. Glidden-Ralston board members said the job will pay roughly $115,000 each year.

G. Tryon and Associates, a Johnston-based firm that helps Iowa schools find new administrators, will accept applications for the job from Dec. 2 through Jan. 11.

The firm will process and screen applications from Jan. 12 through Feb. 9 and then conduct interviews with the school board and a focus group on Feb. 20.

Two representatives from G. Tryon and Associates said the focus group should have up to 15 people and that it should include two school administrators, three teachers, three parents and three support staff. Four of those people should be from Paton-Churdan.

Also on Monday, the Glidden-Ralston board discussed the so-called One-to-One Learning Initiative, which puts computer laptops or tablets in the hands of each student. Glidden-Ralston has about 80 laptops for the 275 students in grades four through 12. Glidden-Ralston principal Kreg Lensch said each of those laptops is in use all school day, but that the computers are unreliable — they have outdated software and worn batteries.

Tony Gunter, a sales representative from Apple, gave a short presentation on why incorporating technology into classrooms is important. He said the role of teachers has shifted:

“The role of a teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge,” Gunter said. The computers allow students to seek information on-demand.

The school board expects to learn the price of the initiative in December and decide whether the district has the money to buy the equipment.