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Posted: 10/03/12

RCS hires tech help,
sets up community talks

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      The Romeo Community Schools Board of Education is bolstering its technology help and education in preparation for an upcoming bond.
       On Sept. 17, the board unanimously approved bringing back a computer technician position in the technology department to handle the district's increase in technology use.
       Mark Nelson, executive director of technology, said the job is a reinstatement of a position that was eliminated in 2008.
       He said the rise in technology use, in addition to implementing programs like 21Things, has caused an influx that his department cannot handle with its current staffing.
       "That trend continuing will be detrimental to the technology in our classrooms," Nelson said.
       He said the $45,000 position would be cost neutral to budget since the department has seen savings in restructuring re-licensing agreements for software and switching telephone services.
       Trustee Ed Sosnoski said the department's one technician already had to handle 100-plus open work orders in the first two weeks of school, so the position would be of benefit.
       Trustee Chris Giancarli agreed, saying turnaround in a classroom for fixing problems is taking the department at least a week.
       "It's impacting people in the classroom from doing things," he said.
       The job was posted as of Sept. 19. Money from the proposed technology bond couldn't be used for salaries or benefits if it were passed.
      
       Tech talk
       The district will hold a community conversation event to invite parents and residents to ask questions about the technology bond. The informational evening will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8 at the Romeo High School cafeteria.
       In addition, a technology showcase is slated from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15 at the Romeo Engineering and Technology Center.
       The technology bond is a $16.4 million proposal that would levy an average of 1.52 mills for eight years to purchase new technology for students and in the classroom as well as establishing a wireless network.
       Due to bonds from 2005 and 2008 maturing, proponents are saying the bond would not result in a tax increase. The issue goes before voters on the Nov. 6 ballot.


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