|Sat, Oct 25, 2014 08:42 AM
|Issue of October 22, 2014
July 17, 2013 | 09:35 AM
A student transfer policy, employee hours and severance pay were the focus of the North Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees during its meeting Thursday evening. The two-hour long meeting also included resignations, retirements and appointments of North Harrison's staff.
One of the recommendations made by Supt. D. John Thomas was the adoption of Student Transfer Policy 5118B to replace the former Student Transfer Policy 5118A.
"The new policy allows students to go anywhere in the state of Indiana for high school, middle school and grade school," he said. "The state is giving us a right to set an enrollment date, and my recommendation is that the students be enrolled by 'count day,' which is the second Friday after the first Tuesday of September, but now they do a February count, too, instead of just one count.
"Those students who are already in attendance won't have to re-apply but, if you come in after count day, then you will be charged tuition," he said.
The recommendation was approved.
Thomas also added that he set a maximum for how many students will be allowed for each grade level, which he did not provide. He also hopes that the teachers and teaching assistants will help bring more students to North Harrison to help reach that maximum.
"I think we had 58 students attend North Harrison from out-of-district," Tho-mas said. "That says a lot about our school corporation."
The board also approved the high school grants from the Harrison County Substance Abuse Prevention Inc. that will be used for "Prom Week Destructive Decision Prevention" and as a stipend for the sponsor of Students Against Destructive Decisions. Thomas said the grants are $500 each, but he wasn't sure how many grants they have.
Thomas recommended, and the board approved, the adoption of "a resolution wherein the board takes action to pay, indemnify and save harmless any administrative employees of the school corporation for the amount of any penalty assessed against such employee as a result of the failure of the Community School Corporation to comply with the performance standards or requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," otherwise known as Obamacare.
"If there is a fee, a fine or penalty currently and is made by one of the employees whose responsibility it is to pay the bills on time, then that employee is required to pay that penalty himself or herself," Thomas said. "It was recommended by the Indiana State Board of Accounts."
The board also agreed on the revision of Section K (severance pay for full-time non-certified employees) in the non-certified personnel memorandum of benefits to replace the previous Severance Section K.
According to Section K, "the employee must notify the board and superintendent in writing of his or her intention to retire by July 1 prior to the final year of service. If unable to finish the school year or forced to retire, the board will waive the requirement notice and pay the severance benefit as soon as possible."
One of Thomas' changes included the age requirement for Medicare and eligibility be extended beyond the current age.
"The school corporation will not be obligated to pay more than five years of health insurance for the retired full-time, non-certified employee and by beyond the established age by applicable law for Medicare benefits," Thomas said.
Thomas also recommended that the board delay the implementation of the non-certified employee hours resolution until further information becomes available.
"What I'm also recommending is that the teaching assistants work their normal schedules for the first semester, unless it gets changed again," Thomas said. "The resolution gives me the right to set the hours."
Thomas decided to delay the implementation until Nov. 30. The board approved Thomas' recommendation.
According to Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, the delay of the employer mandate, a key provision of Obamacare, is evidence that even the White House is realizing the many flaws of its own health care law. Coats mentions that, while the administration has conveniently delayed this "job-killing" mandate on employers until after the 2014 elections, problems with Obamacare are far from solved.
Also at the school board meeting, the trustees acknowledged the resignation of band director Jim Jones and wished him luck in the future.
"It's better to of had someone for a short time who's good than not to of had a band director at all," Thomas said. "We've lost a great band director, and we all wish him well."
Jones, who was hired as the band director at Bedford North Lawrence, had been at North Harrison since 2010 and took the Marching Cougars to two straight ISSMA state finals, in 2011 and 2012.
Other resignations included Jamie Polk as middle school student council sponsor, and Vanessa Barr, instructional assistant.
Retirements accepted included three instructional assistants: Christine Fisher, Edna Jeanie Shafer and Brenda Burns, instructional assistant.
The following appointments were approved: Margaret Baumgarten as fifth-/sixth-grade cheer coach; Amy Woodward, high school English teacher; Christine Fisher, corporation sub caller; Jeff Rudolph, seventh-grade football coach; Micaela Napper, seventh-grade volleyball coach; Cheryl Austin, girls' varsity soccer coach; Cody Austin, girls' soccer volunteer assistant; Alan Austin, girls' soccer volunteer assistant; Billy Saltsgaver, boys' varsity soccer coach; Joe Dones, high school boys' tennis volunteer coach; Gary Fessel, varsity football assistant coach; Rick Gunter, varsity football volunteer assistant; T.J. Sanders, varsity football volunteer assistant; Rick Gunter, fall semester weight room coordinator; Mark Williamson, 2014 spring semester weight room coordinator; Mark Williamson/ Gary Fessel, co-coordinators 2014 summer weight room; Caitlin Janes, high school assistant volleyball coach; Rob Higdon, girls' varsity golf coach; Adam Miller, remainder of summer school band and band instructor.