Fairbanks officials put support behind state senate bill

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The Fairbanks Board of Education is working to cut costly regulations imposed on Fairbanks schools.
At Monday night’s meeting, the board approved a resolution that supports senate bill 216, which would look at state-mandated policies and procedures in schools that are economically draining or have prohibitive regulations. The board resolved to support the bill and decided to start “increasing efficiency and effectiveness in the state system of education,” according the meeting agenda.
“(This bill) is going to help schools by taking away things we’re having to do now and making it tougher to do our jobs,” said Fairbanks Superintendent Bob Humble.
Humble said this would solve a problem among the school district that had restricted its teachers from teaching specific grades beyond their teaching licenses. Another factor affected was the teacher evaluation system, which is based on student growth measures.
“We have always argued that student growth measures shouldn’t be that high in a teacher evaluation,” he said. “In that bill, instead of it being half of it, it’s just included into the teacher performance cards as a component of several that are already in there.”
Also at the meeting, the board approved of a five-year contract, as presented, with Apptegy.
At last month’s meeting, Humble brought up the idea of the district using Apptegy for its website content creation, social media managing and call system operations.
At that meeting, he said the price tag would come out to $35,170 over the course of a five-year period. He also said using Apptegy would help save the district $1,130 a year if its services were used, as opposed to the current email and website services it’s using now.
“Through this system, any time we want to update something or send out information, we can do it with one click on a phone,” he said. “It’s all one thing.”
Since before Monday’s meeting, Humble met with Apptegy’s representatives and gave them the schools’ logos, as well as create a tech team to work with Apptegy.
He said the district hopes to have its website up within three to four months. He said the iPhone and Android phone apps and the new call system will be implementing during the summer of 2018.
“It’ll be over the summer so that, when we start the new school year next year, everyone will have the new call system and we’ll have it up and running by then,” Humble said. “We didn’t want to change that in the middle of the year.”
Finally, the board decided to host its next board meeting on Dec. 18, starting at 6 p.m., in the media center of Fairbanks Middle and High School library. The board members said they wanted to make sure the meeting ended in time to catch the school concert at 7 p.m.



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