ADAMS TOWNSHIP — A Clinton-Massie Middle School boy who is going through treatment for cancer is attending school by utilizing a robot that can roll through the hallways to get to classrooms.
Carson Vert maneuvers the robot via iPad controls, and he joined this week’s school board meeting from the hospital and took a spin around the room where it was held and answered a couple questions.
Trying to turn the robot may be the hardest part, said Carson.
“It’s still a little hard because it’s delayed a little bit,” he explained.
But getting to operate the mobile robot with two-way video and audio is “pretty cool,” said Carson. Dayton Children’s Hospital has helped him get involved in the program, which of course created quite a stir in the beginning with his classmates.
Presently, Carson is going to English and math classes through the moving device. If his energy allows, his family and Clinton-Massie educators hope to expand his schedule to some social studies and science, said Middle School Principal Lorinda Ottaway.
“The best part about it is, number one, he gets to be part of school. He has felt very isolated over the past two years, or year and a half. Kids are always saying hi to him [now],” reported the principal.
As for learning to navigate the robot around the school building, Ottaway said she spoke with his mother on Monday and the plan is to have Carson’s robot come to lunch, giving Carson an opportunity to practice maneuvering in the cafeteria.
The board of education was meeting in the Project Lead the Way (PLW) room and Ottaway talked about the PLW program that’s provided by Great Oaks.
In fact, all Clinton-Massie seventh-graders are required to take the PLW class Design and Modeling. It covers basic design principles and the students do a few projects, said Ottaway.
Students are then free to choose whether to take Design and Modeling II in their seventh or eighth-grade year.
In the Project Lead the Way room there is about $100,00 worth of equipment, including 3-D printers, drill presses, a laser engraver, and more.
Some parents at the board meeting were unhappy about a survey some children in the school district have taken. Nick York asked the board to look into it, and Ashley Huff said in her household they don’t discuss suicide with her 7- and 10-year-olds at least partly because of certain experiences.
Clinton-Massie Supt. Matt Baker said the intent of the survey was to obtain information to make sure the district has the proper resources ready to help the students who are returning back to school.
“We started with our virtual learners [the survey] and we were going to expand it but at this time we’ve put it on pause because of some of the concerns that have been raised. We wanted to respect our residents who raised some concerns and allow the process to flow through,” Baker said after the board meeting.
Regarding the question of parental permission for such a survey, Baker said there was an email sent out with information regarding the survey, and there will be a review whether that information “was given correctly through the process that’s been requested by the board of education.”
When York spoke he said he has seen the email and it says the survey is voluntary.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.