The 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.
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.”
Starke 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
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.
The 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.
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
Kindergarten Round-Up for Knox Community School students is set for Thursday, April 10 in the Knox Elementary School Gymnasium.
Four registration times will be offered: 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Registration is open to any child five years of age by Aug. 1, 2014.
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.”
The Northwest Evaluation Association, or NWEA, test is a state-aligned computer-based testing system which adapts to the child in real-time as the test progresses for a pinpoint picture of learning achievement and readiness.
It’s the goal of school leaders and community members to ensure that every child has a successful chance at achieving the maximum amount of learning possible in order to make every child a productive member of society.
While a majority of students achieve that, others fall through the cracks. Home lives may be disruptive which leads to unsuccessful learning and bad life choices, or a child may not have what it takes to learn in a traditional school setting. The Crossing alternative school takes those struggling kids and helps them succeed in becoming a successful student.
Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the purpose of the meeting is for The Crossing officials to speak to the board members in more depth about the alternative school.
The board members will receive an update on the results of the NWEA test as well as a presentation on the Biomedical Science course addition at the high school.
The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT in the administrative office in the Palmer Wing of the Knox Elementary School.
Gappa said that The Crossing is a second chance program to get students involved in school.
Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the board reviewed a memo released by the Department of Education regarding options on how to make up those days.
Superintendent A.J. Gappa said by law the categorization of the school warranted a hearing for public comment.
Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the Jobs for American Graduates organization at the high school boasts over 40 students and it has seen success in its infancy.
“The instructor, Molly Dollahan, and two of the students came in to give a report,” said Gappa. “This is the first year the program has been implemented in Knox. I believe we have 42 high school students as part of the program. It’s in conjunction with Workforce Development and it really helps students prepare for careers and jobs beyond high school. Recently, some of our JAG students participated in a career development conference and they had some different competitions. Two of the students who were at our board meeting talked about the competitions they participated in and some of the first place awards they received.”
The weather on Monday caused the postponement of several government and school board meetings. Many of those have been rescheduled.
The Starke County Board of Commissioners will meet Thursday morning at 9 a.m. in the Starke County annex building. EMA Director Ted Bombagetti will have an update for the commissioners, updates will be given on the proposed sale of property in Parkview Heights to the city of Knox, plus a report on landfill monitoring results. Commissioner Kent Danford will provide a report on the meeting of the Knox planning commission and permit fees. The automatic renewal of Kone Elevator’s service contract and a proposed amended agreement from Lawson-Fisher regarding the County Road 300 East and State Road 8 project are also on the agenda for this meeting.
Two local school boards will hold meetings tonight to discuss various items.
The Knox Community School Board will hold a public hearing tonight at 6:30 p.m. regarding the Knox Middle School being categorized a priority school. The board will also discuss weather related make-up days and the Crossing Alternative School.
Knox Community School Superintendent A.J. Gappa said safety is the number one priority when making a decision to delay or close school for the day. Continue reading
Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the corporation’s public meeting is set for March 6.