Meeting: Greater Jasper Schools

The Greater Jasper School Board met Monday and:

• Held a hearing on the lease agreement between the Greater Jasper Building Corporation and the school board. The lease and the building corporation are the financial structure school districts use to fund large projects. Greater Jasper plans to bond about $11 million next year after that same amount falls off the corporation’s debt load later this year. Those funds will go primarily to updating security at the schools, as well as a handful of other maintenance projects around the corporation.

• Approved a resolution to approve the lease agreement with the building corporation. Under the building corporation structure, the school board sets up a building corporation that is independent of the board and has its own board of community members. Under the guidance of the school board, the building corporation then manages the project and its finances and is the entity that sells the bonds that fund the project.

• Approved a resolution assigning bids for projects covered by the bonds to the building corporation once they come in.

• Approved a resolution for the continuing disclosure undertaking on the issuance of bonds, which states that the school corporation will timely provide certain financial information associated with the project to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Electronic Municipal Market Access database where the information is available to the public. It is required by law.

• Approved a resolution approving updated post issuance compliance procedures. It states that the school corporation will comply with state laws regarding bonding procedures and use of the funds once they are issued. It is required by law.

• Approved advertising the 2020 budget process. The advertised tax levy will be $1.7916 per $100 dollars of assessed value. The Department of Local Government Finance will cut that rate during the budget process. For example, in 2019 the advertised rate was $1.7407, but the final rate was $1.09. The board will hold a public hearing on the budget at its August meeting, set for 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26, at the corporation office, 1520 St. Charles St.

• Heard a report on the professional development programs teachers have been attending over the summer.

• Heard that the Jasper Elementary project is going well. The southeast wing exterior brick work is complete, and soil erosion work is underway. Several meetings on installation of interior systems are also happening.

• Heard an update on several maintenance projects around the corporation. Updates to the Jasper High School radio broadcast classroom, several projects at Ireland Elementary and the updated traffic pattern at Jasper Middle School are all on track to be completed by the first day of school.

• Heard that some people have complained that the comfort dogs at the high school are making students late to class because they are interacting with the dogs and that on at least one occasion a dog was in the cafeteria. Administrators will remind students of where the dogs are and are not allowed and that they are not a reason to be late for class.

• Approved Jasper High School textbook and class fees for the 2019-20 school year.

• Approved Neola Inc. school board policies. Neola is an independent organization that recommends policy and bylaw updates for member school boards.

• Approved raising the hourly rate for extracurricular bus drivers from $12 to $15. Administrators hope that will help entice drivers to take the assignments. Extracurricular drivers transport sports teams, clubs and other student organizations to their events.

• Approved amending the certified staff contract to include language that clarifies that both full- and part-time certified staff are covered in the collective bargaining process. The change does not change any of the corporation’s practices in bargaining with its teachers, but it is a change that the Indiana Education Employee Relations Board is requiring.

• Approved contracting with Dr. Daniel Eby of Jasper, an orthopedic and sports medicine specialist, to add an athletic trainer for 15 to 20 hours a week. Eby will supply the trainer for $4,000 a month. The corporation currently employs Rodney Crawford as an athletic trainer, but he has needed help covering all the sports and tournaments the school offers for several years, Superintendent Tracy Lorey said.

• Approved moving the time of the Monday, Dec. 23, board meeting to 1 p.m. at the corporation office.

• Heard that Lorey will coach a few Master of Business Administration students at Indiana State University who are pursuing degrees in education leadership. While most of the work for that will be outside of the work day, she may have to take three or four days out of the year to meet with the students at the schools where they’re working. The board approved her to take those days.

• Approved the resignations of unified flag football coach Cam Harris and freshman football coach Chris Tucker at the high school; assistant girls basketball coach Janessa Wagner and assistant track coach Beth Grammer at the middle school; and secretary Chelsea Seibert at Fifth Street.

• Approved the retirement of middle school instructional assistant Denise Smith.

• Approved the following hires: assistant freshman football coach Mathew Bajorek, head freshman football coach Jarrod Land and unified flag football coach and motorsports sponsor Joshua Dahmer at the high school; track assistant coach Audrey Werner and football assistants Jeff Richardson and Bill Dickenson at the middle school; teacher Mary Kurzendoerfer at Ireland Elementary; secretary Tracy Hopf and English as a new language instructional assistant Bethany Sinkhorn at Fifth Street; and preschool coordinators Beverly Ginger Conrad and Stacy Kitchin, occupational therapy assistant Valerie Burdette and behavior technician Alyson Goffinet at the Dubois Spencer Perry and Pike Exceptional Children’s Co-Op, which serves special needs students in the region.

• Approved the following field trips: a high school volleyball lock-in at the high school; high school boys tennis to the Jeffersonville Tourney in Jeffersonville and the Center Grove Tourney in Greenwood; high school girls soccer to the Bloomington Tourney in Bloomington; and middle school soccer to a tourney in Henderson, Kentucky.

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