August 24 HSE School Board recap

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School representatives Clint Cushman (Thorpe Creek Elementary), Deb Jackson (New Britton Elementary), Rod Sutherlin(Geist Elementary), Tara Bertrum(Harrison Parkway Elementary) and Jaime Spears(Fall Creek Elementary) with HSE School Board President John DeLucia and HSE Superintendent Dr. Allen Bourff. (Photo by James Feichtner)

School representatives Clint Cushman (Thorpe Creek Elementary), Deb Jackson (New Britton Elementary), Rod Sutherlin(Geist Elementary), Tara Bertrum(Harrison Parkway Elementary) and Jaime Spears(Fall Creek Elementary) with HSE School Board President John DeLucia and HSE Superintendent Dr. Allen Bourff. (Photo by James Feichtner)

A Hamilton Southeastern School board meeting was held on Aug. 24 at the HSE Administration Building. All board members were in attendance.

What happened: This meeting’s Snapshot of Success honored Hamilton Southeastern Elementary schools in their efforts to raise money for the American Heart Association. Since HSE schools have been involved with the American Heart Association they have raised over $1 million in funds, which equates to more than 20,000 lives saved. Total amounts raised in 2015 were $134,986.66. The top five schools each had representatives at the school board meeting to be honored.

Why it matters: Each year, AHA provides free resources to Physical Education teachers and programs, promoting health lifestyles for students and families. Because cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, remain the leading cause of death in Indiana. AHA also partners with schools to host fundraising/awareness events like Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart.

 

What Happened: Dr. Bourff introduced a new staff member to the board. Sneha Shah will be joining staff to work closely with the board in developing the upcoming referendum plan.

Why it matters: Recently the board had voted down the decision to move on with the proposed referendum for the school budget formula. The board decided it would like more feedback from the community before proposing the referendum, which could go into the May 2016 election ballot.

 

What happened: A second read of the policy in response to a new law regarding non-resident employees to enroll their students into the school they are employed with. The first reading had minor changes in legal terminology and grammar. The board unanimously approved the policy.

Why it matters: At the last board meeting, members were presented with the policy. The new Indiana law allows kids of staff members not living within the school district to attend the school their parent or guardian holds employment at. In order for students to qualify they must meet three requirements: The student’s parent is a current employee of the corporation; The student’s parent resides in Indiana; Hamilton Southeastern Schools have the capacity to accept the student. For the 2015-16 school year 17 students were added to various schools within the district as result.

 

What happened: The board approved the ratification of a new contract for HSE teachers. A complete version of the contract can be found under the Aug 24 HSE school board meeting agenda at http://www.boarddocs.com/in/hses/Board.nsf/Public

Why it matters: Teachers can expect to see an increase in salary based upon experience. The board unanimously approved the new contract.

 

What happened: Board members discussed the lack of full time and reserve substitute teachers available to the district. Board members also made note that there was a shortage of bus drivers within the district.

Why it matters: Schools within the district were experiencing a shortage of about 100 substitute teachers. Qualifications for substitute teachers can be as much as 30 hours of college course work or about one year of full time college work. The district is short of approximately 10 bus drivers.

 

Other topics covered: Dr. Bourff discussed/reviewed with board members three annual goals for the 2015-16 school year. The three main goals included:

  • Growth in student academic achievement – By July 2016, in recognition that student achievement data are more than the sum of test numbers, HSE will demonstrate a 5 percent growth in student achievement as measured by at least three indicators at each building.
  • Enhanced student services – By January 2016, in recognition that a world class school system must offer wrap-around student support services, HSE will increase the availability of academic and mental health counseling services for students at all grade levels, K-12.
  • Spring operating referendum – By January 2016, acknowledging that the community demands for excellence exceeds the financial capacity of the school system, the Board will adopt a resolution and timelines for a Spring 2016 General Fund operating referendum.
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