Monday, October 30, 2017
CONSTRUCTION UPDATE, OCTOBER 29
By Doug Tuetken, Superintendent
Parents, Students, Teachers and Patrons of Midland Community Schools:
It has been 4 weeks since my last update and additional progress has been made since that time. As most of you know our new gymnasium is basically complete. We have a few minor things that need to be completed, such as doorway thresholds, installation of wall pads and some touch-up painting. The restrooms adjacent to the PE locker rooms are now complete and will be available for some of our upcoming events.
The new addition is beginning to take shape. The second-floor drywall, finishing and painting is complete except for the room on the second-floor with all of the glass. Once the glass is installed that room will be finished. We are hoping that the glass will be fully installed within the next 10 days. The acoustic ceiling grids have been installed and ceiling tiles will be set later this week. Second floor cabinetry is also completed. Carpet installation will begin later in the week. Once all the tiles and carpet has been installed some touch-up painting will occur. The interior glass has also been installed in most of the classroom windows. Once the carpet is in place the doors will be hung.
On the 1st floor classroom addition, the terrazzo flooring has been poured and finished. Drywall is completed and the finishers are done with the classrooms. Painting is completed in a number of the rooms. Drywall continues in the new media center/library. Everyone is hoping that the drywall and finishing in the new library will be completed by the end of this week and the painters can complete their work in the classroom addition. Once the painting is complete, the ceiling grid can be hung, and after the electrical inspections the ceiling tiles can be installed.
The faculty workroom and administrative offices are currently being dry-walled. The finishers have a first coat of mud on some of the rooms. We are hoping in the next 2 weeks that the remainder of the glass and front entrance doors can also be installed. Once this work is complete, mandatory inspections and punch-list completed, our classroom furniture installation can occur. This work will take 5 to 6 days.
As all of this inside work is happening, this week the excavators are to be on sight to install the final phase of the water installation. Door stoops will be poured and some sidewalk installation may occur.
The current plan will be to bring down the Bronson Center and temporary office area this spring. Once the Bronson Center and Office portable are removed, finish grading can occur and then parking areas can be paved with landscaping to be completed to finish off the project.
Please know that your Board of Directors is pushing hard for the general contractor to complete the new classroom addition work before the start of second semester. The goal of everyone involved is to have this done before January 1st, but honestly it will be close.
If you have any questions about the project or want a quick tour, please do not hesitate to give me a call.
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CYBER CIVICS - VERY IMPORTANT LESSONS TO TEACH STUDENTS FOR SAFE TECHNOLOGY USE
By Angela Ruley, Elementary Principal
Technology shapes our lives everyday. I remember back in the late 90's when the internet became part of my life. It was a huge deal! I remember waiting for that magical sound of the dial up to complete so I could ICQ my friends or check my email. That was a time when checking your e-mail was the Facebook Messenger of the day! We also had to be strategic in planning your internet time around incoming calls because your landline phone would be busy for incoming calls if you were dialed in to the internet. Who would have ever imagined that in 2017 the internet would be accessible at your fingertips on a smartphone. You can text, call, snap, Facebook, e-mail, or Instagram your friends anytime you want. But how much time do we spend prepping our kids to this much access to the real world at the tip of their fingers or the responsibilities that go along with it?
In 2017, roughly 80 percent of children ages 13-17 own a smartphone. The average age parents decide to purchase a cell phone for their child is 10. Unlimited data, unlimited apps, unlimited contacts and unlimited free choice. As a parent and an administrator, I think it is important to really dive into the topic of "Cyber Civics" with any parent of a child with a cell phone. When we give kids a license to drive a car, they earn that license by getting a permit to drive, taking driver's education, and spending time behind the wheel with a more experienced driver. Why? Because giving kids such a big responsibility without guidance would be dangerous.
Cell phones provide 24/7 access to "instant feedback" from peers. How many people opened my snap, how many likes did I receive on Instagram, did anyone like my status on Facebook? It provides an empty blank screen to voice how you are feeling at the touch of a button that can be sent without voice to any audience of your choosing. You can't second guess anything you put online because it will always exist in cyberspace; even if you change your mind. Or a text picture that you sent to someone else that can be screenshot and sent to all of their friends. This year alone in our district, we have worked with students about sexting, online harassment, bullying, hacking into other student's accounts, suicide threats and more. I'm not saying that cellphones should be banned, but I am urging parents to talk with and teach your children about cell phone safety and "Cyber Civics."
Cyber Civic Basics: Digital Citizenship and Digital Footprint
Digital citizenship can be defined as responsible behavior with regard to technology use, within this is also your child's digital footprint. A digital footprint is the information about a particular person that exists on the Internet as a result of their online activity. Some basic areas to start with are as follows:
1. Do you know about the apps that are on our child's phone and who they are "friends" with? Several of the apps out there allow you to follow or be friends with people whom you might not know and the app allows that other person access to whatever your child posts within that app. Think it doesn't happen? This topic has been addressed in the elementary building on several occasions with the app musical.ly.
2. Friendship conflicts happen, but social media should not be the platform you choose to openly air your issues. I have talked with students about how some conversations should be in person and not via text messages. Emojiis do not give you insight into the "tone" of a text and sometimes these conversations become worse in times of conflict. Talk to your children about when to put the phone down and teach them to have face to face interaction with peers.
3. Digital footprints can follow you all the way into adulthood. When prospective employers search candidates, many times a google search can reveal a lot about someone. Are you aware of your child's digital footprint? Before they send that picture, remind them that anything can be screenshot and shared by someone else. You don't own anything you post online or share via text.
4. If something doesn't seem right, teach them to tell an adult. If your child receives information in a text or on an app that is violating someone's personal rights or shows someone making a threat against himself or others, please teach them to tell someone who can look into the situation. We live in a world where making a threat to harm one's self or others is real and many times it is discussed on social media before it happens.
We are raising the next generation of digital adults. Lets work together to keep our students safe online by increasing cyber civic discussions about safe cell phone usage. Parents be aware and ask questions about apps on phones and contacts with others through those apps. Safety is key and most important.