West Central School Superintendent Don Street has been in that position for a little over two weeks now and he seems to be fitting into the corporate office quite well since Charles Mellon’s retirement on June 30.
The West Central School Board members tackled the issue of missed school days during their meeting last week.
Superintendent Charles Mellon explained that six days have been missed due to weather. Two of those days will be waived by the State, two days will need to be made up by using built-in snow days within the calendar and two will need to be added to the end of the school year. Mellon said that other options have also been presented.
If below-zero temperatures and accumulating snow keep up in the Kankakee Valley, days may be added to school calendars this May.
When school officials generate a school calendar for the year, several days are built into the calendar to be used as school make-up days. These are days in which students may have off if weather-related school closures are not needed.
West Central School Superintendent Charles Mellon gave a positive report to the school board regarding the corporation’s wind turbine.
“It produced enough in the month of December that once again we just had our $20 service fee to NIPSCO. That’s all we had to pay for our electricity. That is a good thing through the winter months. We normally accumulate credits that we can use through the summer when the air conditioners are running and we’re using more electricity. It was good to be able to present that information to the board,” stated Mellon.
The West Central middle school and elementary principals went over the ISTEP+ test results with the board and Superintendent Charles Mellon said there is room for improvement.
“We had very good results in the elementary school but the middle school wasn’t quite what we wanted,” explained Mellon. “We will be spending some time and looking at that, searching to see what we need to do to kind of produce better student performance in those areas.”
Mellon also shared the Average Daily Membership (ADM) count with the board.
“We went from 833 students to 806. Our vocational numbers were up so we got a little bit of extra funding in the vocational line. That will help.”
The West Central School Board heard a report from Elementary Principal Dan Zylstra about grading changes that will affect certain subjects areas.
Superintendent Charles Mellon said the changes have to do with the adoption of the Language Arts series.
The Average Daily Membership count for students at all school corporations is this Friday, Sept. 13. It is imperative that all students make it to school that day. The state takes the number of students at the corporation for the day and that number is what determines the funding for the corporation.
If a corporation is less a few students, then that money does not come to the school.
The West Central School Board is going forward with the field lighting project at the football field. Superintendent Charles Mellon told the board during their recent meeting that some activity should be happening in the project in the next couple of weeks.
The West Central School Board members took some time to review the county tax draws from Pulaski County and Jasper County and Superintendent Charles Mellon commented that there was some excess levy.
“I think that’s mainly due to late payment of taxes from the prior years and then and I think the counties many times underestimate for their own protection. They’re making sure that they have enough money to give out when it is due,” stated Mellon.
The West Central School Corporation approved an early transfer of funds. Superintendent Charles Mellon said the action is just to make sure there is money in the transportation fund until the end of the year.
“If we don’t get our county draw by June 30, then our transportation account would be in the red instead of the black. The auditors don’t like to see that, so we moved money from the Capital Projects Fund to Transportation. We’ll move it back before the end of December,” stated Mellon.
The West Central School Board members approved raises for staff members at their recent Board meeting– the first such change in three years. Superintendent Charles Mellon explained the employees did, however, receive stipends each year.
West Central School Superintendent Charles Mellon told the School Board Thursday night that the search is on for substitute bus drivers.
“We have different flyers out in the different areas in the community and hopefully we can come up with some interest in people wanting to drive a bus for us,” stated Mellon. “On that flyer it’s noted that there are a couple of seminars coming up in the near future that people can participate in that are fairly close — Twin Lakes has one in April and Kankakee Valley has one in July. We’re encouraging our community to get involved in the school in this matter and that would definitely help us out.”