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WRV to offer adult education program and full day kindergarten

Friday, May 25, 2012

SWITZ CITY -- White River Valley School District will offer a new adult education program that is open to students wanting to finish their GED study or complete high school degree requirements, following approval by the WRV Board of School Trustees on Thursday night.

The board hired Misty Hunt to head up the new program that will offer Adult Basic Education and GED preparation classes.

The program will meet two evenings a week.

Superintendent Layton Wall stressed that the program is open to any students regardless of their residency in the county.

"It's amazing how many students just need two or three credits to complete their high school diploma," Wall said. "Then a lot of these students, if we can get them to come back and qualify for the 21st Century Scholarship program, which will give them free college. I'm extremely excited about this and I think it will help our enrollment. We'll get those students to graduate and therefore their diploma will say White River Valley."

Hunt, who formerly headed up Open Arms Christian Ministries near Switz City, will be paid $10,000 from Title VI Grant funds, Wall told the board.

As a follow-up to the on-going discussion about what the board plans to do in the future with its elementary school buildings in Worthington and Lyons, WRV Board President Jason Davidson announced that the board will be bringing in a company to talk about the district's future building or remodeling needs.

"We don't know what we are going to do. We don't have a clue. We want someone who will lead us in the right direction, give us some figures on what the savings would be, what the costs will be," Davidson said. "We are hoping to bring them in on possibly working on good faith and maybe not charge what they would normally charge -- hopefully they'll say nothing as long as you would go with us if you decide to do something. Trust me, we have not signed anything. We are trying what is best for our community."

In other action, the board unanimously approved offering full-day kindergarten for the second successive year.

Wall pointed to additional state Department of Education funding that was approved by the last session of the General Assembly as a major help in offering the program again.

The state reimbursement is now $2,400 for a full-day kindergarten student, which according to enrollment projections will provide the school corporation with about $130,000.

There will be two kindergarten classes offered at WRV Worthington and a single class at WRV Lyons.

Wall pointed out that parents who wish only to send their child half day only will be allowed to do so.

The superintendent noted that high school music instructor Candy Johnson will be traveling to the elementary schools in Lyons and Worthington two days a week to provide fifth and sixth grade band following the retirement of former elementary band teacher Virgil Franklin.

"I really don't see it changing much in terms of services offered," Wall told the board.

The board approved its second straight year of summer school classes and hired the following teachers: Mandy Buskirk at Worthington; Betty Conklin at Lyons; Nichole Walters; Retta Lindsey, junior high language arts; Matt Spencer, high school math; Rebecca Harris and Jean Peacock, high school language arts.

Wall said he was happy to see expanded course offerings this summer.

The board also approved a plan to equalize pay for Title I Teaching Assistants at $14,000 a year.

Acting on a recommendation from Wall, the board approved notifying the West Central Education Service Center in Greencastle of the school district's intention to terminate its membership after the 2012-13 school year. WRV will then join the Southern Indiana Educational Services Center in Jasper. Eastern Greene and Shakamak are already members of the Jasper-based service center.

In other matters, the board:

* Hired Amy Jackson as kindergarten teacher at Lyons; Ashley Smith as one-half day special education teacher at Worthington; Leah Ellis as high school language arts teacher; Amber Rash as high school art teacher; Christine Brown as high school social studies teacher; Laura File as third-grade teacher at Lyons; Sharon Sloan as sixth-grade teacher at Worthington, Nichole Walters as junior high math teacher; Rebecca Harris as junior-senior high school guidance counselor; Alexandria Harris as art/music teaching assistant; Matt Spencer as APEX monitor, and Claire Records as Lyons athletic director.

* Hired Jason Chestnut as the girls high school varsity and junior high golf coach.

* Approved Chris Cornelius as Babe Ruth baseball assistant coach.

* Accepted the resignation of English instructor Kim Hale.

* Tabled discussion of building a baseball/softball practice facility until a future meeting.

* Approved the non-resident transfer of two students -- a first grader and a fourth grader, from the Spencer-Owen School District. They will attend WRV Worthington Elementary School.

* Approved FFA field trips -- June 4-7 to Springfield, Mo., for the Mid-America Grassland and Pasture Contest; and June 18-20 to West Lafayette for the State FFA Convention at Purdue University.



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