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New Lebanon schools adapt to a digital world


NEW LEBANON–The School Board meeting last week was held at the Walter B. Howard Elementary School’s newly renovated elementary library, and technology was among the items on the agenda along with a school curriculum and instruction update.

In addition to the completed remodeling of the elementary library, computer education, research and typing skills have been added to the elementary curriculum. Rick Arket, assistant principal of the junior/senior high school, outlined new initiatives to create a positive climate in school and “teach kids the seriousness of social media.”

Schools Superintendant Leslie Whitcomb used the June 10 meeting to review the state Smart School Bond Act, which allocated $288,073 to New Lebanon for modernizing school infrastructure, which includes such options as installing broadband Internet access and security features or acquiring technology. The school may spend the money to replace decade-old smart boards or for other computer literacy projects. A public hearing will follow in July on Superintendant Whitcomb’s proposed plan for how to use the funds.

Work has now begun renovations on the high school library, and new security cameras have been installed in district buildings.

In other business last week:

  • Superintendant Whitcomb commented on concern over an increase in mental health needs among young students, noting that most available services are in Hudson
  • The board approved an Athletic Placement Process Resolution, which allows students in junior high to play for high school athletic teams if they pass a minimum of four out of five physical fitness tests. The new policy will go into effect this September
  • School officials reported that n the past school year students went on 23 “virtual field trips,” while high school students focused on inquiry based learning and ethical information use.

Tracy Bingham and Monique Wood served their last meeting as board members.

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