By IVY HERRON
Highlights of Thursday's Clay Community School Board of Trustees meeting include:
- Lower enrollment means less money
Superintendent Dan Schroeder said the corporation's ADM -- the average daily number of students enrolled at the various schools throughout the Clay Community School Corp. -- predicts the level of state funding made available to supplement the budget and that number has dropped since last year.
The number of students enrolled at the end of the first grading period in the 2005-06 school year was 4,742. The number of students enrolled at the end of this year's first grading period was 4,657.
According to Business Manager Mike Fowler, this decrease will mean the state's projection of an additional $267,990 for the 2006-07 budget will actually be in the neighborhood of $89,975.
"Hopefully this is just a trend and the enrollment numbers will go up in the spring," Schroeder said.
- Update on contract negotiations
Superintendent Schroeder confirmed the good news about contract negotiations between the teachers and the board at the public meeting.
He said the mediator, the board and the teachers' association will return to the bargaining table on Wednesday and a joint committee formed to work on a solution to the health insurance issues facing the corporation will meet on Oct. 25.
- Final exam/attendance waiver program
Principals Jeff Bell (Clay City Jr./Sr. High School) and Tim Rayle (Northview High School) gave a presentation about the semester exam waiver pilot programs at each school for students with perfect attendance.
This is the first semester for the program at Clay City and the second semester for Northview.
These types of programs are legal according to the Indiana Dept. of Education, but rules say students are not allowed to leave school. Students must do something educational in place of taking the exam.
The original program did not take this into consideration which created some problems.
Students with perfect attendance who were allowed to opt out of exams were absent, taking the day off, on test days, which is the exact opposite of the intended purpose of the program.
Students who could opt out of taking a test in one class but have to take a test in another class were stuck at school with nothing to do.
The principals told the board that creative solutions had been found to solve the problem of what to do with these students.
"Improving attendance is the focal point of this program -- you can't educate a student if they are not in class," Bell said. "With main street a few blocks away, job shadowing in Clay City has worked out really well for us. We also have the options of students volunteering for community service projects."
Similar programs are available for Northview students to take advantage of, but Principal Rayle felt the program needed to be "switched around" to become really successful.
"We need to encourage the students to take the test, especially our collegebound students. (Students and faculty) need to understand that with this program taking the test will not harm a student's grade, it will only make it better if they do well on the test -- if they don't (do well), the test doesn't have to count," Rayle said. "We have to create an atmosphere where the students are begging to take the test."
The pilot programs will continue another semester at both schools, with information to be provided to the board at a future date.
- Field trip approvals
The board approved six field trips during the upcoming 2006-07 school year.
Dates and trip information will be released at a future time for students and parents involved in the following field trips:
Northview Students to New York City
Clay City Elementary Grade 5 to St. Louis
Northview English Literature, Drama Club, Technical Theatre Class to
Northview Choir, Drama Club to Indianapolis
Northview Special Education Students to Brazil for ISTEP Testing
Northview and Clay City German Students to Germany in summer of 2007
- Salaries for adult and GED education personnel
The Indiana Dept. of Education has recently said that all adult education and GED teachers be paid per the local master contract salary and work under the appropriate contract.
The board approved the recommendation by Superintendent Dr. Dan Schroeder.
- Bank resolutions
The board approved a resolution that allows Mike Fowler, the new business manager for the corporation, to perform business transactions on behalf of the Clay Community School Corp. with local banking institutions.
- Grant application approvals
The board approved Curriculum Director Kathy Knust's request to apply for various grants on behalf of the corporation. Knust will be applying for the following grants: Safe and Drug-Free Schools Grant; Gifted and Talented Grant; Title II Part A Grant; and the Title II Part D Grant.
Dottie King, Terri Barr, Jim Guy, Brian Atkinson and Len Fischer were present at the meeting in the Clay City High School Auditeria, while board members Steve Grigsby and Ted Jackson were unable to attend. The school board's monthly public meeting will return to the North Clay Middle School Media Center on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.