The Clay Community School Board held its monthly meeting at North Clay Middle School Thursday evening to discuss personnel, board policies and the proposed renovation.
The meeting began with patron's comments, two of which addressed the basketball program at Clay City Elementary School.
Kirk Smith, Clay City, addressed the board as a father and a youth coach. He was concerned about a vacancy of the Clay City fifth-grade basketball coach.
According to Smith, one of the candidates, who was not named, verbally assaulted his two sons several years ago. Smith asked the board to not let the candidate coach the team.
Kole Smith then read an essay about child abuse in sports to the board.
Smith, who won the county level Dick Lugar essay contest, missed an award ceremony to ask the board to consider "the most preventable youth injury in sports."
The board then voted on updating the School Board Policy Manual. The manual was last updated in May 2003.
Superintendent Dan Schroeder completed most of the revisions, adding state policies and policies the board had previously approved that had not been included.
Policies 3,000 through 5,000 were not included, as most of the revisions had been completed before the contract was settled and the policies pertained to personnel.
Steve Grigsby asked for the policies to be posted on-line. The policy revision was passed unanimously.
Schroeder gave his report to the board, beginning with the renovation project.
He requested a work session Jan. 3, 2008, to discuss the proposal solely.
Schroeder suggested the board make a decision, whether to continue as planned, create a new proposal or not go through with a project at all.
Grigsby asked for a summary of the way taxes would be affected by the different project timelines, and Terry Barr asked for volunteers from each of the building committees to present why they made their recommendations.
Schroeder then addressed ISTEP+ scores, stating the corporation was at a standstill on test scores. He asked corporation Curriculum Director Kathy Knust to do presentation on score breakdowns at the January meeting.
Clay City Jr./Sr. High School was also commended for their distinction as a "Best Buy School" as named by the state Chamber of Commerce.
The board discussed for a long period about the creation of a new position at the Central Office.
In order to assist Knust in curricula development as well as grant writing, as well as help Lynn Stoelting in the School Safety Specialist, Schroeder suggested creating an Assistant Superintendent position.
Concern over financing and the overlap of positions was brought up.
Mike Fowler, the Business Director of the corporation, said in recent discussions about the creation of the position a rearrangement of positions and funding in central office would be fiscally responsible.
Schroeder said he would most like to address the curriculum, as the corporation may have to put together a corporation-wide curriculum mapping program if this year's ISTEP+ scores are not high enough.
Barr asked Schroeder to create a job description for the position, and bring it back to the board to discuss.
Stoelting gave an update on the improvements being made to the schools through the School Safety committees.
Ray Azar from Vigo County will be giving a School Safety in-service on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at Jackson Township.
Stoelting gave lists of tangible accomplishments to the board, as well as a list from principals of the actions taken.
The corporation-wide committee discussed the issue of cell phones in the schools.
After talking with law enforcement, a revised cell phone policy was created. Cell phones must be kept in lockers at the middle and high schools, and can be kept in backpacks at the elementary school level. All phones must be off during the school day.
Gail Williams, principal of Van Buren Elementary School, gave a report on the positive accomplishments that have been happening.
She said there have been fewer behavior issues because of the Trouble Free Playground program and positive behavior report.
Williams also listed all of the ways the student council and PTO have assisted the school through volunteering and fundraising.
She also said the students responded positively to a lockdown drill last week, the first since the shooting in October.
Williams said the school is "back to normal."
The next public school board meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 10, at North Clay Middle School.