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Catholic school board approves computer use policy


All students and staff using computers now must sign an agreement to comply with the Northwest Catholic District School Board’s “acceptable usage policy” after trustees approved it during Saturday’s meeting at Our Lady of the Way in Stratton.

“[Acceptable usage policies] seem to be a prevalent in the business world these days,” said Education Director Carol-Lynne Oldale. “And with this, we want to make sure the philosophy of the board is upheld from an educational and business perspective.

“We have protective measures in place to make sure objectionable material is not viewed or transmitted by staff or students. But, of course, there’s sometimes ways around these things,” she noted.

“This policy is to protect children from doing things their parents wouldn’t want as well as protecting the board from any liability,” Oldale remarked.

The policy was drafted in the spring, then submitted for trustee review. The only change from the board’s original draft was that student e-mail now will be accessed through a classroom account as opposed to individual student ones.

The policy outlines how e-mail and the Internet will be used for both educational and business purposes.

In other news, the board approved its transportation contract for the 2000-01 school year.

For bus operators in the Fort Frances/Stratton area, capital cost schedules have increased to reflect the increased cost of new buses. On a 72-passenger bus, that cost has risen from $70,395 to $77,000.

Administration remains at a flat amount of $5,128 per annum while wage and benefit costs have jumped from $16.60/hr to $16.93--a two percent hike.

Fuel also has increased, resulting in a $.02 discount per litre of fuel compared to a $.04 discount last year.

Maintenance will be left at $.277/km, with the understanding parties would renegotiate once the province releases any additional transportation allocation.

Meanwhile, bus operators at the Dryden/Sioux Lookout end of the board have seen new bus costs increase from $70,395 to $80,000. Administration remains at a flat amount of $5,000 while wage and benefit costs remain $17.65/hr.

The fuel component per litre discount was reduced from $.06 per litre to $.05, which will result in a small increase in fuel costs.

Maintenance remains at $.35/km.

Oldale noted the board, which had a $40,000 deficit in last year’s budget due to transportation costs, is continuing to look at ways to share costs with the Rainy River District School Board and the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board.

“But in the meantime, we need contracts with drivers and operators so we can transport our students,” she said.

Also Saturday, the board received cash disbursement reports for June ($963,857.22), July ($582,103.19), and August ($681,404.48).

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