Northeast Dubois schools getting new names

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

DUBOIS — It’s official. On July 1, the individual schools that make up the Northeast Dubois County School Corporation will get new names.

At its meeting Tuesday, the school board approved changing Dubois Elementary to Northeast Dubois Elementary School, Dubois Middle School to Northeast Dubois Intermediate School and Northeast Dubois High School to Northeast Dubois Junior-Senior High School.

Celestine Elementary will close at the end of the current school year.

Before voting on the names, board members shared feedback they received from the public after Superintendent Bill Hochgesang introduced the change at the board’s October meeting. Board members who received feedback all said it was positive.

“I think they like the fact that it has ‘Northeast’ for each one,” said Mary Pankey, board president.

The name change is part of a series of changes happening at Northeast Dubois as administrators work to eliminate the need for a second education fund referendum when the current referendum — which passed in 2016 and lasts for seven years — runs out. Changes include the closing of Celestine Elementary and grade reconfigurations. Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, all pre-K through second-grade students will attend classes at what is now Dubois Elementary School. All third- through sixth-graders will study at the current Dubois Middle School, and seventh through 12th grade will be at the current high school.

The school corporation is also in the beginning stages of a capital project to renovate the high school to accommodate those grades.

The board also:

• Approved year-end transfers within the 2019 budget so that each individual fund in the budgets end the year in the positive, as required by state law.

• Approved the 2020-21 school calendar. The calendar matches that of the other three Dubois County schools and puts the first day of school on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

• Approved the following field trip requests: Future Farmers of America students to the state welding competition in Indianapolis and to the forestry competition at Purdue University in West Lafayette; and the high school swim team to have a lock-in at the high school.

• Approved the resignation of special education assistant Morgan Shepherd at Dubois Elementary.

• Approved hiring special education assistant Angie Hill at Dubois Elementary.

• Approved updates to the crisis handbook to include ALICE active shooter training. ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. It is a nationally used program.

• Approved changing the parent-teacher conferences for the high school scheduled for March 12, 2020, to a student recognition night on May 6, 2020. The school hosted a student recognition night last school year as well.

• Heard that Northeast Dubois graduate Kaylin Harrison received a Realizing the Dream scholarship for first generation college students. The award includes at $1,000 grant for a teacher of Harrison’s choosing, and Harrison chose Northeast Dubois High School science teacher Andrea Rickelman.

• Congratulated students in fall sports and activities on their successes.

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

• Heard that the Teacher Appreciation Grant from the state has been received and is scheduled to be disbursed in December.

• Heard that in the event of weather cancellations and delays, the primary way families will be notified is through the Remind 101 system. If parents did not receive a notification Nov. 12 when school was canceled, they should visit the school’s website to re-enroll in the system.




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