Meeting: Northeast Dubois Schools

The Northeast Dubois School Board met Tuesday and:

• Answered questions about school funding from the audience. A few people wanted to know about the changes to school funds that go into effect in January, so Superintendent Bill Hochgesang explained that the general fund, which is based on enrollment and funded by the state, will become the education fund and cover expenses in the classroom, including teacher salaries and benefits. Three other funds — capital projects, bus replacement and transportation — will be combined into the operations fund, which will cover operating expenses such as utilities, school buses and facilities maintenance. The debt service and rainy day funds will remain as they are.

• Approved transferring $100,000 from the capital projects and $100,000 from the transportation fund to the rainy day fund. The dollars are surplus for the year, and transferring them to the rainy day fund allows the corporation to use the money for any bills.

• Scheduled the 2019 organizational meeting for 7 a.m. Friday, Jan. 4, at the corporation office, 5379 E. Main St., Dubois.

• Approved $50,000 in corporation treasurer bonds for the treasurer and deputy treasurer. The bonds are required by the state board of accounts and act as insurance against financial crimes.

• Approved opening school bus route bids for 2019-24. School bus owners will be able to submit their bids for bus routes to Hochgesang until 8 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9. Hochgesang will bring recommendations to the board at the regularly scheduled January meeting, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Northeast Dubois High School.

• Approved the updates to board policies provided by Neola Inc., an independent organization that recommends policy and bylaw updates for member school boards.

• Heard that Dubois County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Tim Lampert will start as the corporation’s school resource office following the holiday break.

• Approved holding ILEARN training for third through eighth-grade teachers on Friday, Jan. 11. ILEARN is the state’s standardized test that will replace the ISTEP test beginning in April. Teachers who teach grades that don’t take the state’s test will complete other professional development that day. Students will have the day off school so teachers can complete the training. Students will not have to make up the day because the corporation is a performance-qualified school corporation, which means that students perform high enough on state accountability measures that the corporation is excused from the 180-day requirement.

• Approved the robotics club to attend the FIRST Tech Challenge competition in Louisville, Kentucky, in January.

• Approved a quote for property and casualty insurance from the Educational Service Centers Risk Funding Trust.

• Approved holding the January meeting at Northeast Dubois High School to see the stage area that the interior decoration class redesigned.

• Approved the high school Friends of Rachel Club to paint Jeep paw prints on parking spaces that students pay to reserve. The activity will be a fundraiser for the club, which focuses on spreading kindness throughout the school. The club grew out of the school’s visit from Rachel’s Challenge, a pro-kindness organization founded by the family of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School.

• Heard a brief presentation from George Link of VPS Architecture out of Evansville. Link is conducting a study to determine what facilities maintenance projects should be done, and he has led two of three planned community sessions to gather input from stakeholders.

• Heard that there will be no school on Jan. 2, as that was a built-in snow makeup day.

• Approved the resignation of high school treasurer Penny Kerstiens.

• Heard the dates for preschool and kindergarten roundup. Celestine Elementary will hold kindergarten roundup at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31. Dubois Elementary will host preschool roundup at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, and kindergarten roundup at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5.

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