[The Brazil Times nameplate] A Few Clouds ~ 54°F  
High: 59°F ~ Low: 36°F
Monday, Apr. 27, 2015

Open letter to school board, public

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our student drop out problem is a destructive aspect of the educational process in our schools. The numbers of these students are unacceptable and can result in adverse effects on students who remain in our schools and graduate.

They can develop a poor attitude toward our school system, retain bad memories of their school days, blame their teachers, principals and school board members for the dropouts. And they should.

This can affect many students in their learning -- students who do remain in our schools.

Now is the time for teachers, school boards, principals and parents to identify potential dropout students, to enumerate actual dropout students, and to analyze why each drop out occurs. Such knowledge can prevent dropouts.

What is the process today for students who choose to drop out -- and to achieve it? Is it a now you see me, now you don't, affair? Here one day, gone the next? When are school authorities aware of a students' dropout intentions? Are complete records sent with our dropout students? What happens to the funding money covering the dropout student? Does our corporation gain or lose?

Our sixth-graders are the pivotal students between our elementary and our high schools. When they were moved into our middle school, they were selected entirely to pivot in the middle school to enhance the athletic programs at Northview High School.

As a board member at that time, I asked where the best academic environment was for them. The above answer was the only answer and was unsatisfactory for me. I have attended nearly every monthly school board meeting since 1976. I have not seen or heard of any other reason to place our sixth-graders in our middle school.

If sixth-graders can pivot better academically in an elementary school environment, that is where they should be pivoting. Our current elementary school building renovation did not address any additional educational value improvements. It is strictly a bricks and mortar enterprise. School buildings do not educate. They do increase maintenance costs.

The yellow petition signers for this petition did not sign for any educational improvements. They did not give any support to our dropout students. The vast majority of these 2,000-plus signers were special interest individuals in view of their employment.

(Supt. Dan) Schroeder, who also has a special interest, paved the way for the signers, by paying for the yellow petitions printing from his personal banking account. What was his special interest? The school board was not aware of his payment until after the fact.

Personally, I carried a remonstrance against the renovation project and received nearly all of my signatures by informing the public that the project cost of $26 million did not provide any additional educational values. I got very few denials for remonstrance signatures. I received more informed general public signatures than the yellow petition did.

On this basis, I am requesting our school board postpone any further action involving the current Elementary Building Renovation Project until our board and our public can contact the state departments involving our superintendent and school board's process in bringing us to its present status. The financial programs for the bonds are critical when the same projects can be done for less money and more educational value.

I believe that interested members of our public can fill up three bus loads and approach our governor or state board of accounts in Indianapolis to thoroughly evaluate our current project. I will accompany any number of such individuals.

As a board member from District 4, I represent the majority of all students attending North Clay, Northview and Clay City schools. These schools are all in my district. A trip to Indianapolis for emergency help can include any (or all) interested individuals in the Clay Community School Corporation.

I look forward to seeing more of your children attending and graduating from all the above schools.

The graduation rate for the year 2009 at Northview was 80.9 percent.

The graduation rate for the year 2009 at Clay City Jr./Sr. High School was 94.8 percent.