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Fri, Aug 22, 2014 07:46 AM
Issue of August 20, 2014
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Lanesville school board discusses firearms policy


July 02, 2014 | 10:13 AM

The Lanesville Community School Corp. Board of Trustees discussed two policies and heard thoughts from principals about ISTEP test results at last month's meeting at the Carl Uesseler Corporation Office.

The first policy discussed at the June 23 meeting dealt with a March change in Indiana law that allows for guns to be brought onto school property. Citizens can bring guns to a school, but the firearms must remain locked inside a vehicle and out of view.

However, school corporations must decide who is allowed to bring firearms into school buildings. At Lanesville's school board meeting, it was decided that only the principal and vice principal would be allowed to carry a firearm inside the school. Lanesville does not currently have armed security personnel on site, but the board went with a policy that would allow a security guard to also be armed if one was ever hired.

Trustee Denzil McKim suggested enacting a policy to only allow a security guard to be armed, and, since the campus has none, it would mean guns would be kept out of the schools altogether.

School board president Donnie Hussung said he liked the idea but, after discussion, the board agreed the policy should be limited to the aforementioned three positions.

A second reading of the policy will take place at this month's meeting on Monday, July 21, which would allow for the policy to be in place for the start of the 2014-15 school year.

In another matter, the board discussed a facility-use policy that has been in place for more than two decades.

At issue was the use of facilities by non-school entities without prior board approval.

Hussung said that when the policy was put into place some 22 years ago, there was an individual who took responsibility for when open gym was going on. Since no one supervises open gym use (by someone with a key to the school), it opens the corporation to possible loss of insurance.

"(The insurance agent) said were something to happen, it could affect our policy renewal because the insurance company would see it as us not having control of our facility," Hussung said.

Events such as open gyms or club sports and others that use athletic facilities are still allowed; however, specific approval must be granted by the board.

The board granted two facility-use requests at the meeting: Aug. 15 and 16 to the Harrison County Democrat Central Committee for the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner (Hussung said Glenda Ritz, Superintendent of Public Instruction for Indiana, would be the keynote speaker) and will allow St. Mary's Catholic Church to use two mid-buses for its annual picnic on Aug. 10.

Regarding ISTEP, both Lanesville Elementary principal Marsha Himmelhaver and Lanesville Junior-Senior High principal Steve Morris said they were pleased overall with spring test scores, with nearly each grade level reaching principal-established benchmarks of 90 percent passing and many other students reaching Pass+.

"With some of the class sizes, one, two, three or four students can make a big difference either way," Morris said.

Himmelhaver told the board that 358 students were currently enrolled at LES, but she expects that number to drop by six. Enrollment will continue to fluctuate until the start of school, she said.

The board also approved the hiring of special-education teacher Christina Ordner, technology assistant Kyle Dougherty, first-grade teacher Julie Nash, cafeteria worker Jennifer Krekel, IREAD3 remediation teacher and June intersession teacher Liz Schigur, June intersession teacher Pamela Johnson, varsity cross country coach Evan Bridges, junior high cross country coach Chris Dodds, volunteer junior high cross country coach Sarah Dodds, varsity boys' tennis coach Michael Sizemore, varsity boys' tennis assistant coach Tyler Duff, junior high boys' tennis coach Cayeleigh Yost, varsity soccer coach Scott Rogers, volunteer assistant varsity soccer coach Quentin Combs, eighth-grade volleyball coach Meagan McCulloch, seventh-grade volleyball coach Leeann Geswein and varsity volleyball coach Pam Cockerell.

Twitter: @_alanstewart

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