School panel rejects eliminating technology position

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JAY — The School Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to retain an elementary school technology integrator position, but the RSU 73 board will have the final say Wednesday night when a budget for the consolidated system is expected to be adopted.

The Jay panel had put off making a decision on Superintendent Bob Wall’s recommendation in April, waiting to see whether enough people would retire to cover paying for the position, which is not in the budget. It would add $69,689 to the Regional School Unit 73 spending plan, Wall said.

On Tuesday, he recommended cutting the position.

“There has been enough retirement, so I think what we’re looking at is eliminating the position,” he said.

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The recommendation to eliminate a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade teacher was removed from the agenda because it was no longer needed, he said.

The integrator position helps teachers integrate technology into classroom studies and specializes lessons to what students are studying. The students are able to put research projects together using computers and develop photos, slides and other presentations.

Numerous training sessions have been conducted over the years, with some teachers taking advantage and others not, Wall said. Technology must be integrated with the lessons, he said.

The RSU 73 consolidated school district that Jay and RSU 36 (Livermore Falls and Livermore) are forming is looking at a technology program for next year that would provide individual lessons for each student in math, Wall said.

Jay School Committee Chairwoman Mary Redmond-Luce asked Tuesday what the plan was for continual technology education.

“That is a big issue. Technology is always changing,” Principal Chris Hollingsworth said.

Technology is already integrated into lessons at the middle school, Wall said.

Teachers argued that they teach six or more subjects and have to create lessons for each. They do not have the time to look up and learn the newest technology, they said. The position is important to the children’s learning, they said.

The integrator position has been on the chopping block for several years. Half of it has been paid with federal stimulus money in the last couple of budgets.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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