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 School Board Makes Three Library Board Appointments

February , 2008 - The Charles A. Beard School Board approved three appointments to the seven-member Knightstown Public Library Board at its Feb. 12 meeting.

The school board voted to reappoint Ross Miller, whose term on the library board ended Decemeber 31, 2007, and approved David Steele and Jane Selvidge as replacements for Lois Brooks and David Blower. Brooks, who finished her fourth term at the end of 2007, had been ineligible to remain on the board due to state-imposed term limits, and Blower had asked not to be reappointed.

The appointments of Miller, Steele and Selvidge are for four-year terms, and were OK'd by votes of 6-0, with one abstention. School board member Larry Selvidge abstained from the vote due to his marriage to appointee Jane Selvidge. In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation of Knightstown High School custodian Mary Pribble. CAB's interim superintendent, Ray Pavy, said he thought Pribble had taken a job with the New Castle-Henry County Public Library.

The board also gave retroactive approval to Pavy's appointment of Mark Simmerman as a volunteer coach for the KHS girls basketball team for a two-week period near the end of the team's season. While he acknowledged he had OK'd this without the board's prior approval, Pavy said it would have been too late if they had waited for the board's next meeting to act.

Acting on a recommendation from CAB Athletic Director Dave Bradford, the board approved Cynthia Hammer as the KHS girls varsity tennis coach for the spring season. Bradford and KHS principal Ray Willsey had previously recommended Knightstown Intermediate School teacher Vee Ann Schmidt for the position, but the board had taken no action on that recommendation.

KIS teacher Tom Crawford, head of CAB Classroom Teachers Association, once again asked the board to hire a social worker for elementary students. He provided board members with copies of a survey from the state Department of Education that he said supported his request.

Acting on a recommendation from former Superintendent David McGuire, the board had voted last spring to eliminate the elementary school social worker for the 2007-2008 school year. At each of the school board's regular monthly meetings since last September, Crawford has asked board members to reinstate the social worker position.

"Folks, you've got the money," Crawford told the board at the Feb. 12 meeting. "You just need to set your priorities for students. You've got your priorities someplace else. We're here for students and we need a social worker."

In other business, Pavy told the board that CAB was recently notified that three of its five schools met adequate yearly progress standards based on last fall's ISTEP-Plus exam. The two schools that did not make AYP, he said, were KIS and Knightstown Elementary, each of which had a single group of special education students that did not pass one portion of the test.

The board was also advised by Pavy that all three of CAB's elementary schools recently received an "exemplary" rating from the state, which he said was the highest rating given. He said KIS was given a "commendable" rating, which is the next highest, while KHS was placed in the less favorable "watch" category.

Pavy reported that CAB will be receiving a grant from AT & T through the Henry County Community Foundation. He said the grant, worth a little more than $23,000, will pay for installation of components of a wireless system for CAB's buildings, starting with Kennard Elementary.

The board was also advised by Pavy that state law now requires every school corporation to adopt a "high ability plan." Pavy said a "field coach" has been meeting with a committee of CAB administrators and teachers on development of a three to five year plan for high ability students. He said he hoped this committee would have a recommendation for the board by May.

CAB's business manager, David Bundy, told the board that a representative from the Henry County Auditor's office had been "very noncommittal and didn't have a lot of answers" when he called recently with questions about property tax distributions. Bundy said the county has not yet received final tax rates from the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) and that, like last year, CAB likely would not receive a spring payment this year, but would just receive a payment in the fall. Bundy said CAB used to meet with the DLGF in the fall to discuss the school corporation's budget for the coming year. However, he said that meeting has not yet taken place on CAB's 2008 budget, which was submitted to the state last fall.

The board was advised that if the spring property tax installment is not received, the school corporation may need to borrow money. While Bundy said some school corporations are already asking the county for advance draws on their tax payments, he said CAB has not had to do this yet.

Pavy told the board that CAB has enough money to get to May, when debt service payments are due on bonds that financed construction of KHS. However, he said if the spring property tax payment is not received, CAB will not have enough money by the end of June.

The board voted unanimously at the Feb. 12 meeting to approve a request for an eighth grade field trip to Washington, D.C., and Gettysburg during the 2008-2009 school year. The board also approved minutes of its January 15 meeting and claims totaling $757,351.98.


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