Board approves new grading software

BOE members allocate $60K for district’s needs

NASHUA – Board of Education members on Monday approved the allocation of roughly $60,000 worth of amenities and services for the district.

Members approved new grade book software called TeacherEase for $36,000 as a one-year pilot program for use in the district’s 12 elementary schools. Board member Elizabeth Van Twuyver asked that while officials are rushing to get this out for the first grading period, they should evaluate teachers’ opinions of the system after that period.

This new application would replace, at least for the year, the current X2 grading software, which teachers have reported as a headache.

Board members Howard Coffman and Doris Hohensee voted against the change for multiple reasons. They cited the fact board members were not further consulted on the district’s exploration of the software.

District officials allegedly started talking about this software last year, but a presentation was not made to the Curriculum and Evaluation Committee until June.

There were some concerns about the cost of the program moving forward, especially given that the district is still paying for X2.

This new system is a “teacher-led initiative” assistant Superintendent Garth McKinney said, and comes with tech support and easy report card generation, something that McKinney said can sometimes take up to “200 clicks.” It should also eliminate an apparently prevalent problem of lost comments.

Board members also approved a security system for Brentwood Academy, an off-campus alternative high school which moved from Merrimack to Amherst Street in Nashua this year. The needed security developments total $11,916.70 and include exterior cameras among other updates.

Also, the Food Service department will get a new kitchen steamer from Kittredge Food Services Equipment and Supply for $11,070.