NH opts to cancel classes for Red for Ed day
J.C. Lyell, Staff Writer, [email protected]
All three of Harrison County’s public school corporations canceled classes yesterday (Tuesday) for Red for Ed Action Day.
The event corresponded with the state legislature’s opening day and involved thousands of teachers from throughout the state occupying the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis with the goal of raising awareness of educational needs among lawmakers.
After initially opting not to cancel school, North Harrison administrators reversed that decision on Friday.
At the North Harrison Community School Corp.’s November board meeting Thursday, Dr. Lance Richards, superintendent of the corporation, clarified his position on the matter.
“Our intention is to be open that day so our parents have somewhere to send their kids,” he said.
The next day, however, North Harrison parents received an email saying classes would be canceled due to the number of teachers who requested off for the event.
“This was not a decision that was made lightly. We simply are unable to have a productive and safe day with that many subs,” the email read.
The corporation’s teachers’ union representative, Ron Zink, said he couldn’t be sure exactly how many teachers planned to attend.
“It seems that several more teachers put in for a personal day (after the board meeting), so there would not be enough subs to cover classes,” Zink said Friday.
At the meeting Thursday, board members approved a long list of new policies as part of an overhaul of the board’s bylaws.
A first batch of 1,663 policies was adopted, and the board also conducted the first public reading for a second batch of 1,426.
The changes are being advised by Neola, a Midwest educational consulting firm, in order to ensure the bylaws are in line with state regulations. They will be available for reading at the end of the process.
“For the most part, it’s all statutorily-driven,” Richards said.
In other business, the board approved a 25-cent-per-hour salary increase for all non-certified employees, excluding bus drivers and bus assistants, effective Dec. 6.
All corporation bus drivers and bus assistants also received a salary increase of $5 per day and an increase from 35 cents to 50 cents for each mile over the base rate of 30 route miles per day.
Richards said the mileage rate update was long overdue.
“Our 35-cent rate has been 35 cents for over 30 years,” he said.
Also starting on Dec. 6, teachers will begin receiving their portions of the corporation’s teacher appreciation grant. That fund increased by about $12,000 from what was given last year.
In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation of North Harrison Elementary School instructional assistant Laura Whitlock.
Appointments made included: JoAnna DeWitt, as North Harrison Middle School science Olympiad sponsor; Kelly Book, North Harrison High School science Olympiad sponsor; Fancy Kathleen Ott, volunteer middle school cheer coach; Dusty Rhodes, volunteer high school wrestling coach; Andy Nash, volunteer high school wrestling coach; Barry Geltmaker, girls’ basketball biddy ball director; and Louis Lefevre, boys’ basketball biddy ball director.