Process almost stole the spotlight from program as the Early school trustees and staff members worked in front of networked laptop computers during the May board meeting.
Reports, proposed resolutions and even the agenda were viewed by trustees, administrators and support staff on the screens of computers linked to the district’s Web site. The same information is available to the public on that Web site, http://earlyisd.net.
Superintendent Brett Koch described the change Thursday night as one that brings the district closer to a “paperless” operation, even though the transition involves a learning curve for some.
“I feel like we should go in this direction,” Koch said. “It will be very positive to go in this direction. I think this is a great move forward.”
Documents available on the Web were also projected onto a screen in the board room for viewing by the few people attending who had no access to a computer.
The meeting is also the last scheduled session to be held for the board in the administration offices at 1080 Early Blvd. The district is vacating the building on June 2, and board meetings will be held in the Early Elementary School library at 6 p.m. June 5 and at 6 p.m. June 16.
The board administered the oath of office to trustees Dr. Randy Ethridge and Gary Bowen, who were named to new three-year terms after no opponents to their reelection filed. The board reelected Shawn Russell as board president, Pat Mooney as vice president and Bowen as secretary.
After a few minutes of gaining familiarity with the computers, trustees quickly made their way through the month’s agenda.
Work on the Early school district’s “Big Room” indoor practice facility is being temporarily delayed while design issues are addressed, but school board members were told Thursday that construction will be expedited once change orders are approved.
Trustees were told a called meeting of the board will probably be needed this month — sometime prior to the next anticipated meeting on June 5 — to consider those changes.
Representatives of RBR Construction and Huckabee and Associates spoke to the board at its May meeting to explain the progress. They said engineers had noticed problems with a structural beam’s location and sidewalk elevations to allow for drainage, and that some of the delay right now could be made up during construction later.
However, some additional costs may be involved, but a contingency amount was included for such situations in the budget, school officials said.
The building is being funded through a joint effort of the school district and private donors.
Trustees also approved advertising for sale 5.75 acres of land where McDonald Field sits as construction continues on a new stadium funded by a 2006 school bond election.
The board viewed a presentation by the Early Middle School’s LIFT — Learning Involvement for Tomorrow — program. The four eighth graders placed second in the Future Problem Solving State Bowl and advance to the national bowl in Lansing, Mich., on May 28. The board later approved funds to finance the trip. Team members are Brianna Childs, Nolan Ethridge, Ethan Horton and Kaitlyn Levett. Lori Beck is the sponsor.
A proposal for property, casualty, liability and fleet insurance from Porter Insurance for the next two school years was approved, as were donations from the Early Parent-Teacher Club. The club is giving $3,500 each to the Early Primary and Early Elementary campuses which principals said will help with end-of-year celebrations and accelerated reading prizes.