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Lanesville prepares for ISTEP testing date changes

The Lanesville Community School Corp. Board of Trustees met Oct. 16 for its regular monthly board meeting during which principals Janet Page and Marsha Himmelhaver reported to the board the status of the ISTEP testing changes.
Page said next year’s testing schedule will revolve around fall and spring testing sessions. After next school year, though, the ISTEP will move permanently to the spring.
‘(It will) take a lot for us to adjust to these changes,’ Page said. ‘A lot to get kids ready for testing (twice).’
‘To say that we’re not going to see a blip in the radar, we’d be fooling ourselves to think we’re not going to be seeing something very different,’ she said of the test scores the school corporation could see as a result of the change.
But she and Himmelhaver agreed that the nice thing about Lanesville schools is that they are already teaching to state standards of curriculum, rather than strictly to the test.
Sam Gardner, interim superintendent of Lanesville schools, said the news of the change was ‘sort of a surprise.’ He said he knew there had been meetings discussing the possibility of changing the dates of the test, but he didn’t realize it was that close to becoming a reality.
Page said she is receiving periodic updates from the state and will continue to update the board as she receives information.
Upon Gardner’s recommendation, the board also voted to take precautions against lack of property tax money being given to the schools. There were several measures on the agenda devoted to funding, including the approval to advertise to borrow additional money necessary to finance school operations, approval to extend an existing $1.5 million temporary loan, and the approval to advertise for another $1.5 million temporary loan.
However, the property tax bills have been approved and are in the process of being sent and collected. Harrison County Auditor Pat Wolfe said the property tax money should come into the schools possibly by Dec. 17.
‘If we receive a property tax distribution before the end of the year, we think we will be OK without having to borrow additional money before the end of the year,’ Gardner said.
Once the money starts to come in, the existing loan of $1.5 million will be paid.
In other school matters last week, the board voted to:
‘ Approve accepting donations of more than $5,000 for the school corporation. Donations were given by Lanesville PTSO, Lanesville Heritage Weekend Inc., Target Stores, in conjunction with its Take Charge of Education initiative, and the Knights of Columbus near Lanesville.
‘ Approve an updated coaches list for winter sports and approve teacher contracts for October Intersession Enrichment classes.
‘ Approved facilities use request from the Knights of Columbus for a free-throw contest in the high school gym Jan. 12 from 8 a.m. to noon.
‘ Approved the overnight field trip request from the FFA to attend to the national convention in Indianapolis.

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