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
The 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
With 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
A Knox man is jailed after reportedly making threats on a social media website that prompted a school lockdown. 20-year-old Paul J. Esparza entered Knox High School twice yesterday and was escorted from the building both times, according to police. A post on Esparza’s Facebook page led officials to believe he was in possession of a handgun. Continue reading
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.
Criminal charges will not be filed against a Knox Middle School teacher involved a shoving incident last month with a sixth grade student. A video camera at the school captured the scuffle, which police say occurred when the teacher got between two children running in the classroom and pushed one into a table. Continue reading
Educators 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
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
Every year the Knox Community School Corporation helps families and students in need over the holidays. Area clubs, agencies and civic organizations all work with Knox Community Schools to provide food baskets to families that appreciate the extra help over Christmas break. Continue reading
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.
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.”
The Knox Community School Board members heard from Elementary Principal Glenn Barnes and Middle School Principal Dave Miller who presented the NWEA analysis during the board’s recent meeting.
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.
The Knox Community School Board will host an informational meeting on Thursday at 10 a.m. CT in the administrative office in the elementary school with members of The Crossing alternative school.
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.