The Fort Wayne Community Schools board approved Monday spending $125,000 on a new system that will improve communication with parents, students and staff and help the school district gather input and data.
After staff training, K12 Insight's "Let's Talk!" program will be rolled out this year gradually across the district, Superintendent Wendy Robinson told the board.
Under its current system, people can email questions, comments or concerns to individual schools and departments via the FWCS website, www.fortwayneschools.org, said Krista Stockman, FWCS public information officer. But district officials have no way of knowing whether staff respond to those emails.
With the "Let's Talk!" system, officials can track all of the incoming questions and concerns and whether staff responded, Stockman said. "Let's Talk" also can be used to ask parents or staff for feedback on a question or topic, as well as to collect data on trends in questions or concerns.
In other business, the board:
*Approved spending $1,313,610 to renew insurance coverage, including property, commercial general liability, business automobile and other areas. The fee represents a 7.4 percent decrease from current rates, in part because FWCS has greatly reduced the number of insurance claims it files.
*Approved extending its 2010 contract with MacAllister Power Systems in Greenfield to pay $618,394 for six new 84-passenger school buses, which is the 2010 price. The new buses are part of the scheduled replacement of existing buses. FWCS operates 350 buses and transports about 20,000 students on 1,200 routes, board members learned.