On the first night of the new era of “BoardDocs” board meetings, things went smoothly for the Shamong Board of Education as it introduced numerous upgrades that had been made to the schools over the summer.
BoardDocs is an electronic board meeting that utilizes a web-based system for the agendas instead of paper. This will save the board a lot of time and money, as it will no longer need to reprint countless pages every time an adjustment is made to the upcoming agenda. It can now use its login to plug in any changes that need to be made quickly and easily online.
As far as modifications that have been made to the facilities over the summer, there was a laundry list of improvements the board introduced at last week’s meeting.
“It’s been a very busy last couple months,” Board Secretary Marie Goodwin said.
Goodwin has been working furiously on the dollar side of things, paying the contractors and making sure the paperwork for the School Development Authority is organized.
The district’s supervisor of buildings and grounds, Todd Hall, has been more involved in the physical side of things.
The first SDA grant project that was completed was the window replacement for the second grade.
“It turned out great, the windows look terrific,” Hall said.
The door replacements at the Indian Mills Memorial School have also begun. Hall expects this project to be completed this week, as the contractors have been steadily putting in two a day.
The security enhancements have gotten started too, as all of the camera wires, burglar wires and access wires have been pulled. According to Hall, that project is right on schedule as well.
“We’ll have no problem, we’ll be ready,” Hall said.
Additionally, all of the interior piping has been completed for the air conditioning.
The chiller is planned to arrive the third week of September, and due to all of the preparation work the crew has done, when it arrives, they should be able to just plug it in and have the air conditioning up and running right away.
“That’s what we’ve been striving to do so that we can get the buildings ready for the first day of school,” Hall said.
Fourth grade received new blinds upstairs and those plan to be installed by the first day of school.
The storm drains are fixed, all rebuilt and repaved around the edges. The lines in the parking lots will also be repainted.
The athletic facilities also had work done to them. The baseball fields have had upgrades made to the drainage system.
“The last time it rained, there was no water laying on the infield after. I’ve never seen that in 16 years,” Hall said. “Our fields look wonderful.”
The four side basketball hoops in the gym now have wenches on them and will be operated by a key instead of an electric drill. This has been a safety issue for years.
As far as technology goes, there were more Smartboards and projectors installed. Just about every classroom in both buildings now has a Smartboard.
With more than 12 Chromebook carts now, the district’s goal of having one for each student is about two-thirds complete.
“We’re on our way,” Technology Coordinator Kathleen Foster said.
All the printers have been moved, and the district is moving to centralized printing. This will be more convenient on students now that they don’t have to travel in and out of classrooms to print.
Along with that, the Internet will be faster as the district recently upgraded to a quicker alternative of its Comcast Internet service.
Indian Mills Elementary School Principal Nicole Moore concluded the meeting with more positive news from the summer. Enrollment has made a significant increase with 23 more students joining the elementary school with time still remaining before the upcoming school year begins. Nine of these students will be second graders.
“We haven’t had a boom like this over the summer in a long time,” Moore said. “And we need it.”