Meeting: Greater Jasper Schools

The Greater Jasper School Board met Monday and:

• Approved several resolutions associated with the upgrade project planned at Jasper High School. The resolutions formally determined the need for the project, reapproved the building corporation to oversee the project and approved the form of the lease agreement between the school corporation and the building corporation. The corporation has about $11 million in the debt service fund opening up this year and plans to use the funds for security upgrades and various big-ticket maintenance projects around the high school.

• Approved the textbook rental fees for the 2019-20 school year.

• Heard an update on the progress of the construction of Jasper Elementary School. The project is on target for completion by April 2020.

• Heard an update on several other maintenance projects around the corporation, many of which are finishing up at the beginning of August. The projects include upgrades to the broadcast classroom at the high school, various maintenance projects at Ireland Elementary and traffic pattern reconfiguration at the middle school in preparation for Jasper Elementary.

• Heard that once the traffic pattern reconfiguration at the middle school is complete, a video explaining the new pattern will be distributed to parents. The new configuration will go into effect this fall to give the middle school a year to practice it before Jasper Elementary opens for the 2020-21 school year. The pattern will allow cars and buses to easily travel between the two campuses.

• Approved the retirement of Ireland Elementary Principal Ray Mehling, effective this month.

• Approved the following resignations: corporation bus driver Regina Soellner; color guard coach Phil Fleming and guidance secretary Ashton Gehlhausen at the high school; instructional assistant Kaitlyn Kerstiens at the middle school; custodian Ron Dauby at Ireland Elementary; and part-time instructional assistant Martha Yoder at Tenth Street Elementary.

• Approved the following new hires: agriculture and life science teacher Brianna Lammers, guidance secretary Megan Wehr, part-time instructional assistant Jeff Richardson, student help Gavin Fortwendel, science department chairperson Erin Spellmeyer-Jochum and color guard coach Brandon Drew at the high school; head volleyball coach Lindsay Kennedy and assistant volleyball coach Susan Ahlbrand at the middle school; custodian Jade Wehr at Ireland Elementary; teacher Heather Breslin and part-time instructional assistant Kimberly Hustedde; and behavioral specialist Klay Kress with the Exceptional Children’s Co-op.

• Approved increasing the number of days Fifth Street Secretary Chelsea Seibert works from 191 to 201, effective in the 2019-20 school year.

• Held the first reading of Neola Inc. board policy updates. Neola is an independent organization that recommends policy and bylaw updates for member school boards.

• Heard a summary of services offered by school nurses and school social workers throughout the corporation in the 2018-19 school year. The school nurses had over 17,000 visits to their offices.

• Approved the bids for milk, bread and commodities for the 2019-20 school year. The corporation uses bids from a cooperative managed by the Southern Indiana Education Center that helps participating schools get lower prices on products.

• Approved the wage and salary scale for all non-certified employees.

• Approved the joint services agreement with the Exceptional Children’s Co-op. The cooperative provides services for special needs students to participating schools in Dubois, Spencer, Perry and Pike counties. All Dubois County schools participate in the co-op. Greater Jasper is the lead agency, so its school board manages the co-op.

• Approved adding a group of Exceptional Children’s Co-op support staff to Indiana’s public employee retirement fund.

• Approved purchasing a used MCI charter bus for $140,000 from MCI of Chicago using the rainy day fund. The school uses charter buses for extracurricular activities such as sporting events and marching bands. This bus will replace a manual charter bus the corporation purchased in the 1980s. Board President Bernie Vogler drives extracurricular buses for the corporation and said the charter bus gets about 15,000 miles of use a year.

• Approved the transfer of Bus Route 12 from David Fuhrman to Joanie Wening.

• Declared several old pieces of computer equipment surplus so school staff can dispose of them.

• Approved the board schedule for 2019-20. The board meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month at the corporation office, 1520 St. Charles Street. For the upcoming year, the March 2020 meeting was moved to Monday, March 16, due to spring break, and the May 2020 meeting was moved to Monday, May 18, due to Memorial Day.

• Approved the high school marching band to attend band camp at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, in July and the Jasper Middle School performing arts students to attend a Broadway musical and a museum tour in Cincinnati in February.

• Heard that there will be a special board meeting at 8 a.m. Friday to hire a new principal for Ireland Elementary. The meeting will be at the corporation office.

• Heard that the next regularly scheduled board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, July 22, at the corporation office.

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