A short-staffed Clay Community School Corporation School Board held its monthly meeting Thursday night at North Clay Middle School.
President Terry Barr and members Steve Grigsby and Ted Jackson were absent for various reasons. Brain Atkinson ran the meeting.
The board addressed regular business, including the annual business report, given by Mike Fowler.
Fowler explained the revenue and expenditures of the corporation, and the rate of increase of spending on health benefits.
Although the corporation finished 2007 without a structural deficit, Fowler stressed to the board that a new budget model needs to be implemented soon to prevent a future deficit.
Also presented to the board was a report on money the corporation saved by working with Energy Education, Inc.
Jim Clausen's report, which began in October 2004 and finished with December 2007, showed the corporation's savings of $659,399 since beginning the program.
Because of the energy program, Clay Community Schools reduced its actual energy costs to $2,537,878 from an expected energy cost of $3,197,277 during the 39 months.
The corporation is under contract with Energy Education, Inc., until September 2014. By then, it is estimated the corporation will have saved $2,539,000 in energy costs.
The school board approved requests to apply for the Indiana Ready to Learn grant and the Safe Schools Healthy Schools grant, as well as a request to begin bidding for new computers.
Technology Director Bill Milner said he is hoping bids will be less than usual, and he will be replacing student-used computers first, then addressing staff computers.
Follett Library was approved to be the corporation's library book provider for the 2009-10 school year, even though they did not provide the lowest bid.
East Side and Meridian Elementary Schools librarian Marian Harrison provided the board with a list of reasons for accepting Follett's bid, saying it was most beneficial to the schools.
Meridian's Karen Phillips gave the Principal's report. Her students met Adequate Yearly Progress for the second straight year, but the school is still not off academic watch.
Meridian has implemented many programs to provide students with the resources needed to improve test scores enough to remove the academic watch status.
When looking at ISTEP+ scores, Phillips said Meridian looks at students who have been at the school since kindergarten. Of the students who have spent their entire academic career at Meridian, 18 of 20 third-graders passed the English/Language Arts portion of the test, 16 of 23 fourth-graders passed and 15 of 15 fifth-graders passed the test.
Meridian is participating in a Battle of the Books with East Side today, testing fourth- and fifth-graders book knowledge. Also, Meridian will be participating in the corporation-wide science fair and a big buddy-little buddy program.
Atkinson told Phillips he's seen Meridian in action, and "you do a tremendous job."
In other business, the board approved to grandfather in Medicare recipients who cannot receive Health Savings Account payments into a program that makes up for the contributions in salary.
The board also approved the recommendations of the expulsion examiner for a student who appealed suspension in January.
The school board will be holding a 1028 Preliminary Determination Hearing at North Clay on Monday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m. to determine the status of the proposed renovation project.
The next regular school board meeting will also be at North Clay on Thursday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m.