Tonight I had the opportunity — no, the honor — of reading the noble publication that is The Ellinwood Leader. It began in 1878 as The Ellinwood Express and continues to this day as a weekly newspaper of the booming metropolis of Ellinwood, Kans. Non-Kansas residents can get their own three-month subscription for $9.41, a six-month subscription for $18.81, or a yearly subscription for $26.64. Foreign subscriptons are available for $25 per year. (Call 620-564-3116 or write to The Ellinwood Leader, Box 487, Ellinwood, KS 67526-0487)
Of the many great articles I read tonight, this one about a recent Ellinwood School Board meeting caught my eye:
“The January meeting of the Ellinwood School Board Dist 355 contained numerous reports on various items. One major discussion compared the Powerschool program to the ProStar program. Both are for grade, scheduling and administration of school with access for the parents.
“It was presented that ProStar advantages over a new program was simply it was a program already in place. Those using it were familiar with it. It was presented that it did not have as flexible a grade book and could not create a cumulative grade for the student at anytime in the semester. Teachers cannot add comments and observations to the assignments or grades. All teachers have full access to the files and might be able to erase them. It operates on a Windows 2000 system and all updates have not been siccessful (sic).
“It was presented that Powerschool allows teachers to have access to making comments as well as grades. Cross-platform, web based design allows for both PC and Mac computers to have access. Program updates are done over the Internet. Grades may be sent to parents on a regular basis automatically. Parents may have impact on creating their student’s schedules.”
If you continue to page 5, you can learn more about the meeting, including the long-anticipated results of a technology survey, which determined that “almost all students had a computer at home and many had Internet available.” The article also reported that “comments on the survey included a few who saw no need for technology to be taught in school. Others thought more technology was necessary.”
It goes without saying that I’ll be bringing as many copies of The Ellinwood Leader home as I can.