Full summer schedule necessary for district as new school year approaches
Summer preparations continue for Robertson County School personnel, with the Aug. 4, opening of school less than five weeks away.
Principals, assistant principals and district supervisors met for their annual retreat from June 22-24, receiving ongoing instruction and information. Assistant Director Stephanie Mason said the three-day event provided administrators with legislative updates and training in cultural competency and leadership.
The district's technology department staff are addressing a larger-than-normal list of summer responsibilities as they work to update current computer labs, create new ones and add needed technology infrastructure district wide. More than 500 refurbished PC computers will be installed in updated and new computer labs for the coming year. Technology supervisor James Marshall said his team of five is focused on completing work on, "anything that would interfere with classroom instruction," so that when classes begin in August there will be no distractions to students.
For Marshall, this summer's responsibilities also include the installation of approximately 250 new computer units in the new Crestview Elementary School, and the hookup of more than 900 low voltage hardware connections for computers, phones and security in the new building. His department is also tasked with the technology wiring of the new Central Office location on M.S. Couts Blvd., which will require an additional 400 hardware connections and the pulling of more than 70,000 feet of low-voltage CAT-6A cable, capable of transferring 10 gigabytes per second of information. The new Central Office, when opened, will also house the technology department, and Marshall is having to add that physical move to the tasks his department faces. When completed, all technology will flow through the servers at the new location, which will have a new power backup generator to ensure the system will not fail due to electrical power loss.
District maintenance personnel are also mindful of the approach of the new school year as they adjust their regular summer schedules to include the additional responsibilities generated by the opening of Crestview, rezoning requirements, and construction projects. Maintenance foreman Bill Houston says his department's 13 members are on track with the increased workload, a fact he credits to the commitment of his employees. "They have accomplished a huge amount this summer," he said, noting that they've worked right through rain and this summer's heat in order to keep pace with job requirements.
Those requirements have included the decommissioning of portable classrooms and the associated removal of decking, ramps, and steps for those buildings due to the opening of Crestview. This work has all been accomplished in the past month, often in rain and inclement weather.
The construction at Watauga Elementary will require two additional portables for short-term needs, and Houston says his department is facilitating that need to ensure the buildings are student-ready by August. Work loads have been adjusted and increased, where necessary, to accommodate tasks that are unique to this summer's needs, while continuing with regular responsibilities including: HVAC inspection, replacement and repair; parking lot maintenance, including re-striping; filter inspection and replacement supervision; cafeteria/kitchen equipment inspection, replacement and repair, and routine building and grounds maintenance.
Every summer, while providing a break for students, is used as preparation time by RCS district teachers and staff. This summer, while no different, has generated additional responsibilities through the projected openings of the new school and central office complex, rezoning, and construction. The dedication and commitment of all district employees has been evident as each rises to the need in order to ensure the best possible learning environment is provided for our students in the coming year.
1. Director Mike Davis speaks to principals, assistant principals, and district leadership at annual summer retreat.
2. Portable classrooms being readies for temporary use at Watauga Elementary.
3. New auxillary power generator for technology department.