New Program Aims to Curb Truancy


The Starke County Prosecutor’s Office, juvenile probation department and child protection services are joining forces with local schools in an effort to address truancy issues. Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff says this is becoming a significant problem in some schools, where students have anywhere from 30 to 40 unexcused absences. Beginning with the new semester that starts this week, he says the new program will offer a step-up approach. Continue reading

Knox School Board Discusses Insurance Options


Knox School Board Discusses Insurance Options

Knox-School-Board-2014The annual expense and coverage of the Knox School Corporation’s property and casualty insurance programs were reviewed last night for board members by Mark Aldus for the Educational Service Center Risk Funding Trust (ESCRFT). It’s a cooperative self-insurance program service for some 40 school systems in Indiana. Area schools already in the insurance co-op include  Argos, Plymouth, South Central, Eastern Pulaski, the JESSE Cooperative and several others. At the next board meeting the current carrier will make its presentation for renewal of coverage. Continue reading

Knox School Board Reaffirms Support for Programs

Knox-School-Board-2014With the meeting room packed with parents, teachers, and band and athletic fans, the Knox School Board, late yesterday afternoon, assured those patrons it had no intent to “do away” with any particular extracurricular activity in its 2016 budget cutting efforts.

Social media had been reporting all day that budget support of certain programs was scheduled to be drastically reduced or completely removed from the schedule of activities at the scheduled work session.

That didn’t happen.   Continue reading

Schools to Make up Missed Days of School

 Schools closed three days last week due to weather which means students will be making up those lost days of instruction.

West Central School Superintendent Don Street explains what his corporation will do to make up those days.

“Feb. 16 and April 20 are two snow make-up days we have. We’re also exploring the possibility of e-learning days and designate Saturdays as a possibility to make up future days missed,” said Street.

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Teacher Performance Grants Awarded to Several Local Schools

Indiana Department of EducationEducators at several local schools will receive a share of the $30 million in Teacher Performance Grants awarded by the state to more than 1,300 schools. Funds were given to schools with students earning ISTEP+ or end of course assessment passing scores of 72.5 percent or above or with a growth in graduation rates of 5 percent ore more from the previous year. Teachers who are rated effective or highly effective under Indiana’s teacher evaluation system for the 2013-2014 academic year will be paid based on student performance. Continue reading

Hamilton Southeastern Courts Former Knox Superintendent

Dr. Allen Bourff
Dr. Allen Bourff

A former Knox Community School Corporation administrator is being wooed by a suburban Indianapolis school district. “The Indianapolis Star” reports Hamilton Southeastern Schools officials will recommend Dr. Allen Bourff for the superintendent job there when they meet on Dec. 2. Bourff’s career started at Knox High School as an English teacher in 1978. Continue reading

Enrollment Down at Knox Schools

Knox-School-Board-2014The first tally of the fall 2014 student enrollment at the Knox schools shows a drop of some 50 students from the previous year at the same time. Superintendent A.J. Gappa reported to last night’s meeting of the school board the loss of student attendance was across all grade levels. An officiall tally is scheduled later this month which will determine the state’s financial reimbursement to the schools.

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Knox, North Judson-San Pierre Schools Ready for New Year

 Summer is almost over for students attending area schools.

Knox Community School Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the staff is nearly ready for the start of school.

“Everybody is trying to get everything ready,” said Gappa. “The building administrators are getting things going. We have some professional development days this week for all of the staff members. New teachers are coming in Friday and all staff members will report on Monday, Aug. 11. We also have back to school night from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in each of the buildings. Parents can come in and meet the teachers and see what the classrooms are like and get going from there.”

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The Crossing Set to Open Next Week in Knox

The CrossingStarke County’s newest school is set to open on Friday, Aug. 1. The Crossing has leased the old Sears retail location south of Knox on U.S. 35 for it’s alternative school. The mission statement on the Goshen-based nonprofit organization’s website says The Crossing believes in “empowering struggling students to become contributing members of their communities through academics, job training and faith-based mentoring.” Continue reading

Community Leader Honored for Altruism


The annual 1st Source Bank Ernestine M. Raclin Award is given to people in the community who display exceptional selflessness. Cathie Jessee was one of the recipients of the 16th annual community leadership award. She was personally awarded $1,000 and another $1,000 was to be donated in her honor to the organization of her choice. Jessee chose to donate the charity portion to Knox Community Elementary School. Of that, $500 is being donated to the nurse’s office to provide extra clothes in case of accidents. The other half of the money will go into a fund to help under-privileged children afford field trip fees.

Knox School Board Sets School Meal Prices

Knox-School-Board-2014The meal prices for the Knox Community Schools’ 2014-15 school year have been officially set by the school board. The breakfast price will remain the same at $1.15. Lunch prices will increase by 10-cents. That brings the elementary school lunch price to $1.85. The middle and high school lunches will be $2.10. Knox Community School Corporation Superintendent A.J. Gappa says even with the 10-cent increase, Knox Elementary School still has the lowest lunch price in the area.


Books Needed for Knox Kindergarten Countdown


Students who take part in the Kindergarten Countdown program at Knox Elementary School this summer will each get a book of their own to take home every day of the three-week enrichment experience. IU Health Starke Hospital and the Knox Community School Corporation are joining forces for a community book drive. Knox Curriculum Director Peggy Shidaker says books should be appropriate for youngsters in the 4 to 5 years old age range. She says books like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, books from “Pete the Cat” series by Kimberly and James Dean and favorite like “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff are extremely popular. They all teach children sequencing and predicting, which are fundamental to brain development. Continue reading

Knox School Board Approves Courses to Pave Way for Grant

Superintendent A.J. Gappa
Superintendent A.J. Gappa
The Knox Community School Board is looking into applying for a Project Lead the Way grant for a new course at the high school.

Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the grant would be for a bio-medical science course.

“If we were to receive this grant, then we would have to offer, over the next couple of years, four new courses that are not currently in the course description book,” said Gappa. “We had the board approve these courses: Principles of Bio-Medical Science, Human Body Systems, Medical Interventions, and Bio-Medical Innovation. The board did this just in case we were to receive the grant and then we’d be prepared to offer the courses.”

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