Highlights of Tuesday's Clay Community School Board meeting include:
- Discussion of high school pilot exam waiver program
"It's working," Northview High School Principal Jim Church said. "Teachers want the students in the classroom, and they're there because of this program."
The successful exam waiver program is in its third semester at Northview. Attendance rates have continually shown improvement since implementation of the program, but it has had a few problems.
At first, students became slightly confused about attendance, and did not come to school during final exams. These types of programs are legal in Indiana, but students have to remain in school doing something educational in place of not attending class for the exam.
Church said the problem was in the wording he used to describe the new program to students, but it has been corrected.
"I've told the students that if they don't come to school the day of the exams, they will be counted as absent," he said.
Another problem is creating something interesting and educational for the students to do while at school during exams.
Some ideas that Church and Clay City Jr./Sr. High School Principal Jeff Bell believe are possible solutions include community service projects, college days, field trips and the creation of a job shadow program.
"We need to get through this semester first, then we can come back with an official written policy," Church said.
- Superintendent's report
Student enrollment: Superintendent William Schad told the board that 4,632 students were enrolled this past grading period, with 2,128 at the elementary and 2,504 at the secondary level.
Field trips: Schad presented information to the Board showing that students from all the schools in the corporation and in programs like Special Services, Title 1, Cumberland Academy and the LEAAP Center participated in a total of 230 field trips. Trips ranged from visits to local businesses to site-seeing trips in other states.
Teachers in-service: Schad presented information to the board showing there were 135 possible in-services available for teachers during the 2005/06 school year. Topics covered areas such as development ideas for improving students' skills, CPR and defibrillator training and learning new technology.
- Burns recognized
Schad announced that Business Manager Randy Burns has been recognized for his work within the corporation. Burns won the Indiana Association of School Business Officials Region 7 School Business Official of the Year Award.
- Technology bids awarded
Technology Director Bill Milner recommended the board approve bids for new computer equipment and software updates for the corporation. Citing past conflicts between hardware and software programs, Joe Thomas urged the technology department to make wise decisions in the new purchases.
When Len Fischer inquired about the number of computers in the corporation, Milner said there were 1,460. The board unanimously approved the bids.
- Miscellaneous textbook adoption
Curriculum Director Kathy Knust provided the board with information about recommended new textbooks for music, art, business, technology and all vocational courses. The board approved the list of more than 100 textbooks for the 2006/07 school year.
- Transfer of funds
The board transferred $36,816.67 from the Debt Service Fund into the Textbook Rental Fund to cover the amount of rental fees the corporation was unable to collect during the school year.
- Field trip approval
The board approved the North Clay Middle School's eighth-grade class trip to Washington D.C. during the 2006/07 school year. The six-day spring break trip is scheduled for March 22-27, 2007.
- Maintenance truck replacement
Director of Building and Grounds Tom Reberger requested quick action from the board concerning a broke down service truck.
"You're going to have people walking with toolbags before long," Schad said about the problem.
Reberger requested permission to take immediate delivery of one new truck from a local dealership using funds from the General Fund and the Capital Projects Fund, then take bids for a second vehicle.
"Our hope is to replace two vehicles with one new one," Reberger said.
The board approved Sycamore Chevrolet's quote for a new service truck for $25,100, and will take bids for a second vehicle in the future.
- Video of meeting on Charter cable
Tuesday night's school board meeting will be shown on the Charter Cable Channel 2 next week.
The first showing will be Monday at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., with the broadcast repeated on Wednesday at the same time.
Tuesday evening's Clay Community School Board meeting was attended by board members/trustees Steven Grigsby, Jim Guy, Dottie King, Terry Barr, Len Fischer, Ted Jackson, Joe Thomas and Superintendent William Schad.