Riverside Board hears presentation

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Riverside Junior High social studies teacher talked to the school board about Edmodo, a learning platform he and other teachers are using in their classrooms.

Riverside Junior High social studies teacher, Matt Ziegler, shared with the Riverside School Board at its regular meeting Monday, June 2, a learning platform called Edmodo he and other district teachers are using in their classrooms.

"I use this in my class everyday," Ziegler said. "It is set up like a social media site. It's a format that kids are used to but instead of posting pictures or media they post schoolwork. It is being used throughout the country and allows us to talk to teachers and students from around the world. Each class is an online community."

Ziegler explained when using Edmodo he can post assignments, students can turn in homework, can poll his classroom, create a learning group, post a quiz, post a test, communicate with other teachers and his students, he along with parents and students can track grades, and Riverside Junior High/High School teachers use it to submit their weekly lesson plans.

"This allows kids to use social media in a responsible way," Ziegler said. "Instead of telling them to put their smartphones, iPads and other devices away we are allowing them to use them in class for classwork. By doing this we are making classes interactive and getting them involved. It also allows parents to stay in the loop. Parents can only see their student's page but it allows them to see when homework assignments are due, whether they were turned in, if they were turned in on time and what their grades are."

Ziegler explained that as soon as students post a homework assignment or finish a quiz it is time stamped and he as well as the students' parents can see when they work was completed. He can also send out alerts about upcoming tests, notes reminding students of assignments and more. Ziegler then pulled up his own Edmodo page to demonstrate how the site works.

"This is a secure site," Ziegler said. "You have to sign up for it and you have to have a password to access it."

The board was impressed with the free learning tool and asked if the elementary teachers could start using it. Riverside upper elementary teachers may start using Edmodo in some form next school year.

In other business the board approved eliminating the title of 7th and 10th grade basketball and changing that to assistant boys and assistant girls basketball coach and increasing the pay for those two positions from $600 to $1,303 a season. The board also agreed to start paying the assistant baseball and assistant softball coaches a $500 stipend. Those two positions were previously paid nothing. Since there is no longer a Tone Conference the board agreed to eliminate that title.

Riverside superintendent Tommy Knight also recommended the junior class sponsors be permanent positions held by two people. That way teachers who are new or don't know how will not get stuck putting together prom or other junior class activities. The lead junior class sponsor will be paid $750 and the assistant $300. He also recommended that the senior class sponsors be two permanent positions paid $300 each. The board approved all of Knight's recommendations unanimously.

In other personnel matters the board agreed to pay the Quiz Bowl sponsor $300 and approved shortening the literacy and math couch contracts by five days. The board then voted unanimously to extend the custodian contracts by five days, which allows them to start work early to make sure the school is ready for open house and stay a couple days later to make sure everything is ready for summer.

The board approved the moving around of personnel at Riverside East Elementary to start offering keyboarding. The board also approved using SG360 for the summer stripping and waxing of floors, approved the proposed 2015-2016 school budget, approved the sale of second lien bonds at $2 million, and approved the writing of three e-checks to pay for medical ID numbers for the school.

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