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3 SH school buildings Energy Star certified

3 SH school buildings Energy Star certified 3 SH school buildings Energy Star certified
J.C. Lyell, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Three of the South Harrison Community School Corp. buildings are now Energy Star certified. Dr. Mark Eastridge, superintendent of the school corporation, provided the update to the school board during its monthly meeting last Tuesday.

As a result of energy-efficiency upgrades during the last several years, Corydon Central High and Junior High schools and Heth-Washington Elementary have received the certification.

“That would be something that we, over the course of my tenure, have saved $100,000 to $200,000 with,” said Eastridge, who has been superintendent of the corporation since 2014.

He said the corporation had the incentive to drive energy costs down in an effort to find money in the budget for increases in teachers’ and other staff’s compensation this year.

The corporation owns five more buildings that could eventually get the same certification.

“Our desire would be to get them all Energy Star-certified,” Eastridge said.

In other business, Eastridge told the board that a table-top simulation exercise/meeting was conducted at Corydon Intermediate School with representatives from all of Harrison County’s school corporations, emergency departments and agencies in attendance. He said they discussed specific scenarios and disaster-readiness plans during the four-hour meeting.

“We’ll continue talking about that, and we’ll continue to look at ways to keep the county safe,” Eastridge said.

Also at the board meeting, the corporation’s preschool coordinator, Wendy Erwin, updated board members about the status of the Jump Start Pre-K program.

The program recently received good results from its annual evaluation, which found above-average growth in students in three testing areas: language development and reading, math and quantitative reasoning and social and emotional development.

“We work very hard with our South Harrison program to mirror the kindergarten classroom,” Erwin said.

She said the students who attend Jump Start Pre-K go on to become role models in kindergarten because, among other things, they know how to walk in lines in the hallway, they know who the librarian is and they have experience with structured schedules.

Students in the Jump Start program learn pre-reading skills, such as letters in the alphabet and phonics, Erwin said. With the prevalence of technology in homes today, simply having a child who knows how to hold a book right-side-up and turn pages is an accomplishment, she added.

“We are educating a different child these days. Many children are not coming from print-rich environments at home.” Erwin said. “When you think about it, they just don’t have books in their hands.”

Later in the meeting, board members voted to approve a 5% raise for Eastridge. His salary, $122,788.10 in this year’s budget, will now increase to $128,927.50 for the 2019-20 school year.

The corporation’s next board meeting will be at Corydon Central Junior High School on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m.