Otsego considers electronic device policy PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 28 March 2013 10:10
TONTOGANY - Otsego high school and junior high students may soon have the ability to use their own digital devices in schools - if their teachers say it's okay.
The school board Tuesday night gave a first reading to new a electronic devices policy. The item will likely receive a vote at their April board meeting.
Under the policy, explained Superintendent Adam Koch, students might be able to make use of their cell phones between classes, for example, or use their iPads at lunch.
The policy, however, also gives individual teachers the authority to decide if they will permit the devices and their use in their classrooms.
Koch, who has previously discussed the potential for electronic textbooks in the district, said they wish to embrace the handheld devices as a learning tool.
"This is a step in the right direction," he said of the policy.
Otsego is the latest district in the county to consider such a policy. A similar measure, which proved controversial with some parents, was approved by the Perrysburg school board last year.
The board also heard that renovation work at the junior high, located on the combined school campus in Tontogany, is coming to a close. Furniture is expected to be delivered in April, as will the school's smartboards; internet and wireless networks will also be installed next month.
"It's coming along," Koch said.
During the current renovation this year, junior high students have been attending school at the former Grand Rapids Elementary.
The board additionally approved a four-year contract for Michael Wiley, currently the principal at the Grand Rapids site. Under the contract, Wiley will be the principal at the new junior high building, which will house grades 6, 7 and 8.
In other business, the board briefly discussed issues with the weighted grading system at the high school, which causes students who take more classes to end up with lower grade point averages due to the mathematical formula used.

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