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Teachers and Chelsea School Board begin contract talks

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Crystal Hayduk for the information in this story.)

Chelsea School District teachers began talks yesterday afternoon to re-visit aspects of their two-year contract.

According to Chelsea Education Association (CEA) President Rick Catherman, teachers are approaching the halfway point of a two-year contract with the school board. He said it was the original intent to come back to the table to look at insurance and salary, with any negotiated changes to take effect with the start of the 2013-14 school year.

“We are looking forward to making sure that we do everything we can that’s in the best interest of the district and the teachers,” he said.

Scott Wooster, director of technology, and Mike Kapolka, high school principal, shared information with the board regarding their recent research and visits to three high schools that have one-to-one access to technology for students. With the high school nearing its technology replacement cycle for next fall, the district is considering providing iPads to each high school student.

“Every student at Beach has laptop access, and we hate to see them lose the gains they made when they get to the high school,” Kapolka said.

Board member Sally DeVol asked if there were any downsides to providing an iPad to each student. Wooster said that from their research and learning about experiences at other schools, he would recommend filtering and more control over the applications that students would have access to. He also said that students will need guidance and education to learn to manage distractions.

Superintendent Andy Ingall said that the technology policies will have to be reviewed and updated to accommodate any changes that are forthcoming.

A proposal will be submitted to the board for consideration at their next meeting on April 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Beach Middle School.

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