Green Forest board approves new content-filtering system for computers

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Green Forest School District board voted last week to approve the purchase of a GoGuardian content-filtering system to be used on all district computers.

“It’s a program that allows us to better track what [web content] our kids are on, not only here at school, but also on our devices that go home, which we feel like is going to be a bigger item in the future,” said superintendent Matt Summers. “Also, it allows parents to log in and see what their kids are on at home, and it should be a little easier for our teachers to use.”

The previous system, Summers said, proved a bit troublesome for staff.

Matt Summers

“I think this one’s a little a little more user -riendly for our teachers to use and it’s a little easier for parents to be involved with.”

The five-year subscription to the service — billed as running “K-12’s most powerful content filter” — will cost the district approximately $43,000, money Summers said will come from the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds the district received to help cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ll be addressing learning loss with that,” Summers said, which is why the district will be able to pay for the program with the federal funds.

The district also approved the purchase of several Dell computers thanks to a grant the district received. Summers said the new hardware — purchased for approximately $29,000 — will be used in the high school’s tourism class, which is part of the district’s Career Technical Education program.

“The state’s paying 85 percent of that,” Summers said, “so we’re down to about 15 percent locally.”

Summers added that the computers currently in use for the tourism class will be repurposed for use in the elementary computer lab.

“Really, it’s a good situation all the way around,” Summers said.

In other business, the board accepted the resignations of Wilma Villines as a special education paraprofessional, and Kyle Farrar as high school math teacher, golf coach and bus driver.

Earlier this month, Farrar accepted a position as girls basketball coach at Eureka Springs High School.

The board also approved the transfer of Judy Morris to lead nurse and the hiring of Stephen Garvin as a high school chemistry teacher, Heidi Baker, Hailey Luper and Kaileigh Walker as special education paraprofessionals and Elizabeth Becker as a high school paraprofessional.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16, at the Green Forest High School Media Center.

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