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SH board updated on 3 subjects

Three presentations were made to the South Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees’ meeting Wednesday, Feb. 6.
The presentations were made to update the board about progress on the Corydon school campus survey for future development, now under way, the new itinerant elementary school counselor (see story below), and a way of tracking students’ academic progress with Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress+ (ISTEP+).
Regarding the Corydon campus survey, Jack Peterson, an education consultant for Gibraltar Design of Indianapolis, said population growth in Harrison County is 14.7 percent above the state average of about 9.7 percent. The largest growth is in Corydon along the Interstate 64 corridor with slower growth in the south-central area.
“These percentages are based on new housing starts and new residents to the area,” Peterson said, while reminding the board, “Predicting future growth is not an exact science, but plans for updating educational facilities should incorporate steady growth, not decline.
“This survey will take into consideration the educational needs of students and the present condition of the facilities. Future plans should include relieving overcrowding, creating areas of flexible space, and the expansion of programs, such as adult education and technology classes.”
Todd Cass, an architect with Gibraltar Design, gave a quick review of the physical condition of the buildings, noting that many of the buildings lacked fire sprinklers, a way for teachers to call the school’s main office from classrooms and outdated lighting systems, among other physical system deficiencies that will need updating.
“The junior-senior high school is in quite good shape for a while,” but classroom size in the intermediate school averages 750 square feet under the state-suggested size of 900 square feet.
Peterson said that the survey will be on-going and take into account many factors because, “The results of this survey will affect the educational needs of students for generations to come.”
Lana Dougherty, the first itinerate elementary school counselor in the South Harrison school district, introduced herself to the nine-member board and gave a presentation about her job.
She has introduced herself in about 65 classrooms to about 1,500 students at the five elementary schools in the district.
Another presentation involved a method developed to track students throughout their educational careers using ISTEP+ test scores. The average test scores of students tested in grades 3, 6, 8 and 10 will reflect their progress in various subject areas and allow educators to pin-point areas where students might need more help.
Supt. Neyland Clark said, “Because we have such a small population of students in each class which we are tracking, it is possible that one or two students doing exceptionally well or exceptionally poorly on these tests can affect the results for the whole class.
“Because of this, these results will be a general indicator of student progress, not an absolute.”
The board approved $39,926 to fix a storm water drainage problem at the South Central Junior-Senior High School. It agreed to install a drainage pipe and construct a detention barrier to slow storm water runoff from the school parking lot onto adjacent property owned by Gene Stewart.
Remodeling at Heth-Washington Elementary School in Central was reported to be well ahead of schedule and is expected to be finished this summer.