FAIRMONT– On Tuesday Superintendent Andy Traetow spoke of a streaming service, Hudl, which the district will now use for coverage of sport games and some fine arts. Prior to this school year, the district had contracted with Gemini Studios for services.
During the school board meeting, Traetow shared that late last month the district confirmed a multi-year commitment with Hudl. He said that the district has used the service for boys and girls basketball and football the past few years for several features including statistical analysis and opponent scouting software.
“Coaches and student athletes have had individual accounts and will continue to have access to that. The new contract, however expands these services to include 11 total activities and the Performing Arts Center as needed,” Traetow said.
He said that home events hosted at the school will be streamed to consumers at no charge and that the district will maintain ownership of the content.
“Uniquely, our students will be able to archive their own events and will be able to make their own highlight reels to share with others directly or on their social media accounts as well,” Traetow said.
According to Traetow, the new contract will save the district and taxpayers approximately $350,000 over the next decade.
“Our goal is to have this service fully operational in the near future and accessible for the winter activity season,” Traetow said.
He encouraged anyone in the community who has questions regarding the future of streaming and media productions at Fairmont Area Schools to contact the district office and arrangements will then be made to schedule a meeting to answer any questions.
Board Member Mike Edman said, “I think students are going to love it. Our goal as a district is to always be improving the student experience. This Hudl app is remarkable. It’s something I think people will be very happy with.”
He said it’s been awhile since the district has modernized the opportunity and that he was excited for that, and the cost savings. Board Member Julie Laue said that while it’s exciting, it’s still in the early stages.
“I tried to watch a game and I was frozen for most of the game. I don’t know if it’s just where I was at… let’s hope for bigger and better things,” Laue said.
Traetow noted that the district’s Activities Director, Mat Mahoney, will be at the Nov. 14 meeting to provide a full report on the service.
Moving to other matters, Traetow spoke about a project Tyler Garrison, the district’s director of buildings and grounds, is engaged in due to the local presence of Emerald Ash Borer.
“We have a large number of Ash trees on our school properties so Tyler has taken that on,” Traetow said.
While Garrison has applied for a grant for tree replacement, Traetow said the funds weren’t granted but the district is going forward with the project nonetheless.
“You will start to see some removal of our Ash trees and for every one we remove, we will be planting at least one new tree with a focus on a variety of tree species,” Traetow said.
Laue asked whether there was a recommendation as to what kind of trees should replace the Ash trees.
Traetow said Garrison has been in contact with arborists and that there will be a variety used. Some mentioned include Linden and different kinds of Maple trees.
In other news, the board:
— Heard from State Representative, Bjorn Olson, who encouraged the board to reach out with any questions, ideas or concerns.
— Approved the resignation of Carey Madsen, special education paraprofessional.
— Approved the updated substitute teacher incentive plan, effective Nov. 1.
— Proclaimed National Community Education and Recreation day as Nov. 9.