By LYNN HAMILTON
Eight more teachers' contracts were cancelled by the Clay Community Schools Board of School Trustees at Monday night's meeting. "That doesn't mean they won't be called back," Assistant Superintendent Michael Mogan stated this morning. He went on to explain that the corporation will be calling back as many of these teachers as possible to fill in for retirements and resignations.
Under old business, the board discussed the way that schools have been handling crisis situations throughout the district. Board member Len Fischer said that he feels discipline in the schools may have become too strict since the Clay City Elementary "kill list" incident. Several board members agreed that they feel that principals have reacted too strongly in a couple of recent incidents. As Fischer put it, "I think we've lost all sense of proportionality."
Superintendent Bill Schad said that he had provided the principals with guidelines of how to react in severe situation, "basically to provide consistency." However, he said that these are not set rules. Principals still have leeway in each individual situation, but some of the board were unclear on that. Schad told them, "We'll work on that."
In other old business, the board heard from an Energy Education, Inc. representative. The company "guarantees" that it can help the school corporation save money "or we'll write you a check." Director of Buildings and Grounds Tom Reberger told Schad and the board that he is still unclear on exactly what service this company provides. Schad asked the board to table the matter until the June meeting, which they did. In the meantime, Schad and Reberger will talk with the company's representative once more to get more information.
The board also got a report on the loss of state funding in the past five years. "The bad thing is," Schad said, "even though we're losing revenue, we're not losing students, and it costs more to operate."
During the Superintendent's report, Schad recognized the Northview Band for being selected to take part in the "What's Your Choice?" poster program. The program was originally started in 2003-04 by the IHSAA and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. Last year, Whitney Medworth, a senior at Northview, was one of the high school athletes featured on a poster. This year, the Indianapolis Symphony is also involved. Bob Medworth selected Cody Nicoletti to represent the school based on his involvement in the band and choral programs, GPA, dedication and character.
Schad also took time out to "publicly congratulate" Director of Business Affairs Randy Burns, who was selected as Indiana Association of School Business Officials' Region 7 School Business Official of the Year. Burns received the award at a banquet last week. He was chosen by his peers.
The board also discussed sudent handbooks for the 2004-05 school year, excluding one section that has not yet been written. This part concerns a teacher's right to override a student's computer-generated semester grade if there are extenuating circumstances. The teacher must be able to justify such action to the school's principal. Once the wording is worked out, the board will vote on that particular part of the handbook.
Other items approved by the board included recommendations to:
- Upgrade telephone systems
- Adopt mathematics textbooks
- Appoint Randy Burns power of attorney in connection with the Farm Service Agency and the Commodity Credit Corporation
- Award bids for bread and bun products to Interstate Brands Corp. and for milk and dairy products to Prairie Farms
- Re-appoint Peggy Blair to the Brazil Library Board
- Approve claims for the Guaranteed Energy Savings Project.
The Clay County School Board meets the second Thursday of every month at North Clay Middle School.