The Clay Community Schools Board of Trustees met for their regular meeting Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7:30 p.m.
After the meeting was called to order, patron David Wise spoke with the board about some concerns he had about the board's former budget hearing meetings.
Wise said, according to the law, there must be a minimum of 10 days between a budget hearing meeting and the adoption of tax rates.
"This allows the public, if they want to file a complaint, to do so in seven days," Wise said.
Tim Gorman, business manager and treasurer for CCS, said the budget hearing meeting took place on Sept. 28, and the budget adoption was on Oct. 17, more than 10 days after.
Wise said during the time between the two meetings, the public was not welcome to make comment.
"I had some questions that I wanted to get answered, and I have not been able to do that," Wise said.
Kim Tucker, superintendent of CCS, said the budget has been sent to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, so if there are problems, they will notice it.
Wise said he is upset that the minutes and numbers from the meetings are not made public. Tucker responded by reminding Wise that the minutes are public record, the press reports on the meetings and the public is welcome to come to the meetings.
Meanwhile, local resident Jeff Stewart spoke to the board about the resignation of Northview High School's varsity football coach George Gettle.
"It is my understanding that his resignation was requested due to some issues with parents that cannot be reconciled," Stewart said. "Before you act on that I would simply request that you be assured that those concerns with parents have been documented and presented to Coach Gettle."
Stewart questioned whether or not Gettle had been given the opportunity to present his side on those issues.
"If that hasn't been done," Stewart said, "I ask that you table this issue until then."
Stewart also asked the board to consider the success of Gettle throughout his time as football coach at Northview.
"He's had seven or eight WIC titles, eight or nine winning seasons," Stewart said. "Clearly this cannot be an issue of one loss. He is also a member of this community, has his family here and a home here."
Stewart went on to say that the behavior of some of the school's football supporters was "embarrassing to say the least" and that he was shocked at some of the behavior of some parents and students.
"But (Coach Gettle) didn't let that affect his job," Stewart said. "He did a good job of coaching throughout the season. He was aware of some of the behavior of parents that was less than desirable. He cannot be accused of taking retribution on those kids, he just coached football."
Ultimately, the board did make a motion and approved the resignation of Gettle during the meeting.
Next, the board accepted bids for new school buses. The board agreed to accept the bid from Kerlin Bus Sales and Leasing for $353,525 for five 78-passenger school buses. The board also accepted a bid from Midwest Transit Equipment for two 48-passenger buses in the amount of $158,560.
The board also agreed to continue the practice of obtaining fuel bids on the day fuel is needed from Ceres Solutions, LLp and Hunter Oil Company.
At the high school level, the board agreed to adapt the nine-week grading period for the 2013-14 year, as well as move to a seven-period day for high schools. The seven periods would fall into the current time frame of an average CCS high school day.
Amy Burke Adams, board member, said when she was a teacher out of state, a seven period day allowed for a lot more flexibility in the classroom.
Next, the board discussed the possibility of a balanced calendar beginning in the 2013-14 school year.
A balanced calendar would allow for shorter summers but longer breaks throughout the school year, particularly after the end of a grading period.
"What the balanced calendar provides is more rest and relaxation on the student's part and the teacher's part," Assistant Superintendent Tim Rayle said.
Rayle gave a presentation on the balanced calendar survey, which was posted on the school board's website several weeks ago. Approximately 1,700 community members, parents, students and educators took the survey and the results showed that most are in favor of the balanced calendar.
One question on the survey addressed the availability of childcare should students have longer breaks and parents are unable to take off work.
Rayle and Tucker both noted the possibility of working with the YMCA to create programs and initiatives to keep kids busy and taken care of during those times.
Tucker also addressed how 4-H schedules during the summer may interfere with the balanced calendar schedule. Tucker said 4-H participation could be counted as educational field trips for students who are involved. Tucker said the state fair already interferes with the normal academic calendar, so they should be able to work with Clay County 4-H fair schedules in concordance with a balanced calendar as well.
In other news, the board:
* Accepted a donation on behalf of Jackson Township Principal Jeff Fritz for four picnic tables to be used in the school from the Jackson Township PTO,
* Accepted a grant on behalf of Mary Yelton at the LEAAP Center in the amount of $2,916 to support the Clay County Family Literacy and Cumberland Academy Alternative School programs,
* Agreed to remain in the Indiana Bond Bank Fuel Program for purchasing of fuel for school vehicles, and
* Agreed to apply for a grant through the Department of Education.