|Sun, Sep 21, 2014 04:11 AM
|Issue of September 17, 2014
April 16, 2014 | 09:28 AM
In less than 30 minutes Thursday night, the North Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees adopted a policy regarding the payment and collection of breakfasts and lunches, approved a memorandum of understanding for 2014 retirees, approved summer school, accepted two resignations and a retirement, approved nearly two dozen appointments, rejected mowing bids and took care of arrangements for bread and milk bids for the 2014-15 school year, among other things.
The policy regarding cafeteria meals will take effect Aug. 1.
"You seniors," Thomas said to those students in attendance, "this won't affect you, but it may your little brothers and sisters.
"We have students who have charged upwards of $80," he continued. "If everybody charged $80, we'd be in the hole, in the red."
The policy says that North Harrison's Food Service Dept. "relies solely on money received from students and adults as well as some government reimbursement for each school breakfast and lunch meal served. Therefore, charging meals is strongly discouraged. It is the responsibility of students' parents to provide meals either by supplying food from home, by sending money to school so that the school may supply a meal or by applying for meal assistance through the free and reduced meal programs."
When a high school or middle school student's meal account reaches a negative balance of $5, they will receive, at no cost, a sandwich and milk for lunch until their account is paid in full. For breakfast, middle school students will be given graham crackers and milk.
Thomas said that any student who has "money in hand" for that day's meal will be allowed to purchase it.
At the elementary school, those students whose account reach a negative balance of $10 will receive, at no charge, a sandwich and milk for lunch and graham crackers and milk for breakfast. Again, students who have money in hand for any particular meal will be allowed to purchase it.
The policy further says that the Food Service Dept. will send an e-mail to families whose child has a meal account at negative $5. Middle and high school students' families can also expect a phone call. The families of elementary school children will be called once the balance is at negative $10.
The names of those whose accounts aren't paid within 10 days of notification will be forwarded to the administration office for further action, Thomas said.
The policy was unanimously approved.
The memorandum of understanding reached between the school board and the North Harrison Classroom Teachers Association establishes a "window" for additional benefits for those who retire/resign by June 30.
"We're not trying to rush anybody out," D. John Thomas, superintendent at North Harrison said. "But, anyone who's taught for 35 years deserves the extra compensation upon retirement."
Those who qualify will receive $25,000, which can be chosen to be paid in two increments or quarterly, along with a $50,000 life insurance policy for two years or until they are eligible for Medicare and three years of individual health insurance premiums or until they qualify for Medicare.
"This will help them out and it helps us out," Thomas said.
Lance Richards, the assistant superintendent, said summer school will include both remediation and enrichment. High school students will be able to work on credit recovery, he said.
Acting on Thomas' recommendation, the school board unanimously rejected the mowing bids received.
"I think it's important to save the taxpayers' money," he said while making his recommendation.
Instead, the school corporation's maintenance employees will perform the work.
Thomas, who said last year's mowing cost was "right at $20,000," expects to save $12,000 to $13,000 this year.
Resignations were accepted from Jennifer Heeres as educational interpreter, effective at the end of the school year; Cheryl Austin as varsity girls' soccer coach, effective immediately; and Connie Richards, who is retiring as a teacher at Morgan Elementary School, effective July 1.
"We will certainly miss her," Thomas said of Richards. "If you read her (resignation) letter, you know she really enjoyed working here."
Richards, who was principal at Morgan for many years over Richards, said she "is still an A+ teacher" and wished her well.
Board president Veronica Battista said Austin "has been a tremendous success" as the girls' soccer coach and thanked her for her efforts.
The approved appointments were: Darcy Kamer as North Harrison High School agriculture teacher; Cody Johnson on a temporary contract through the end of the school year for Jerry Love at MES; Karen McCoy on a temporary contract through the end of the school year for Velvet Wolf at North Harrison Elementary School; Nicole Cockerham and Jennifer Harley as co-mini cheer clinic sponsors; Joe Dones as NHHS volunteer girls' tennis coach; Micaela Napper as North Harrison Middle School volunteer tennis coach; Rick Gunter as freshman football coach; Gary Fessel as NHHS football assistant coach; Fessel and Mark Williamson as co-summer weight room coordinators; Williamson as spring weight room coordinator and for the summer football program; T.J. Sanders as fall weight room coordinator; Josh Wenning as volunteer NHHS assistant baseball coach; Miranda Kellum as NHHS assistant volleyball coach; Caitlyn Janes as varsity volleyball coach and for summer volleyball program; Clint Clark for the summer soccer program; Tim Martin for the summer cross country program; Jamie Polk for the summer baseball program; Bart Bigham for the summer tennis program; Missy Voyles for the summer girls' basketball program; Traci Kerns as a volunteer sponsor for the NHHS dance team (currently a temporary contract); and Tonya Fessel and Susan Lamon as volunteer co-sponsors of the NHHS dance team.
The school board's next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 8, at 7 p.m. in the middle school cafeteria.