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Today's News

N.J.-S.P. Business Manager Outlines Financial Challenges

North Judson-San Pierre Admin buildingA combination of steady declines in enrollment, changes in public education funding and additional unfunded mandates are taking a toll on the North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation. Business manager Guy Richie says the state changed the way public schools are funded in 2008. Instead of basing funds on local property taxes, money now follows the child.

That means when children move away, so does the tuition support. Richie says it’s never in such a way though that the corporation can eliminate one staff member and make up the difference. Instead the enrollment declines are scattered, which makes cutting expenses more challenging. Continue reading

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

N.J.-S.P. Officials Looking to Legislature for Education Reform

North Judson-San Pierre Admin buildingA combination of declining enrollment, cuts in state funding and unfunded service mandates has North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation officials facing some difficult choices. They’ve already had to cut $800,000 from their budget this school year. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says eight staff members have been notified they will not have jobs after the school year ends. She says the corporation is looking to the Indiana General Assembly for meaningful education reform when the legislature convenes in January. Continue reading

N.J.-S.P. Pool Activities Approved and Begin in January

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert
Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board this week approved the proposed pool activities list for members of the community. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says they will offer swim lessons and have open swim times for kids and their families. 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

North Judson-San Pierre Votes Yes on Balanced Calendar

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert
Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation is the second in Starke County to adopt the balanced calendar concept. The school board unanimously approved the plan last night. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says until state test dates are released a set calendar cannot be made. She says they are usually released in January or early February. Continue reading

Starke County Council Sets Budget Adoptions

Starke County Courthouse

Starke County Courthouse

The Starke County Council will adopt budgets for several taxing units when they meet this evening. Their advance meeting agenda includes adoption of the county budget for the upcoming year as well as those for the Starke County Airport, Starke County Solid Waste and North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation. Continue reading

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

N.J.-S.P. Revises Budget Adoption Calendar

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

Michael Shireman, Jim Menis, Larry Lambert
Marsha Reimbold and Patricia Goin

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board has revised its budget adoption calendar. The corporation was selected as part of a state pilot program and as a result cannot adopt a budget until Oct. 15. The Starke County Council will conduct a public hearing on Monday, Aug. 18 on the school corporation’s general, debt, pension and transportation funds. The next day the school board will meet in special session to adopt the 2015 Capital Projects Fund and Bus Replacement Plan. Continue reading

NJ-SP Board Studies Alternative School

Superintendent Lynn Johnson

Superintendent Lynn Johnson

North Judson-San Pierre school officials like the idea of the proposed Crossing alternative school but aren’t quite ready to commit to it. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says Knox and Oregon-Davis are also looking at the hybrid program for students who have fallen through the cracks.

“It’s really to focus on kids who have dropped out of school. The cost is really their enrollment, their ADM, Annual Daily Membership, we get for them re-enrolling at our school. They would be our students on paper, but they would go to The Crossing,” said Johnson.

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NJ-SP Board Votes to Extend School Day, End School in May

Superintendent Lynn Johnson

Superintendent Lynn Johnson

North Judson-San Pierre students will trade a slightly longer school day for an earlier start to summer vacation after action this week by the school board. Starting April 9, classes will dismiss at 3:05 each afternoon instead of at 2:35. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says this was the most workable of the options offered by the state to make up missed instructional time.

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NJ-SP Board to Discuss Budget Reductions, Alternative School

Superintendent Lynn Johnson

Superintendent Lynn Johnson

North Judson-San Pierre School Board members are faced with the formidable task of slashing $1.2 million from their budget. That’s the amount of money the state is cutting from the corporation’s general fund due to a decline in enrollment. Discussion of proposed budget reductions is one of several items on the agenda for tonight’s school board meeting. Superintendent Lynn Johnson previously told WKVI news that the general fund is 85 percent salaries and benefits. Options Johnson previously mentioned include not filling vacancies created by retirements or resignations, reductions in force, non-contractual salary freezes, increasing class sizes and reducing or eliminating extracurricular activities.

Board members will also discuss The Crossing, which is the proposed Starke County Alternative School. Other agenda items include approval of the 2014-2015 school calendar, the superintendent’s contract and facility fees for the upcoming school year. The N.J.-S.P. School Board meeting starts at 7 p.m. CDT in the central office meeting room.

School Officials Meet to Discuss The Crossing Alternative School

The CrossingIt’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.

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Knox School Board to Meet, Public Meetings Scheduled This Week for Balanced Calendar Discussion

The Knox Community School Board will meet tonight with a light agenda.

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.

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NJ-SP School Corporation Facing $1.2 Million Cut

Superintendent Lynn Johnson

Superintendent Lynn Johnson

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board has some tough decisions to make as they face cuts in their General Fund of more than 12 percent. Superintendent Lynn Johnson explained the corporation is suffering from a $1.2 million reduction in their General Fund caused by the reduction in revenue caused by their decreasing Average Daily Membership.

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RoboNinjas at PHS Continue to Push Toward World Championships

The robotics team at Plymouth High School continues to push forward in the championship as they now head to the Indiana State Championships on Saturday, March 1, to defend their title as the 2013 Indiana State Champions. This past Saturday, Feb. 15, the RoboNinjas, comprised of Josh Kuhn and Kennedy Schnieders, traveled to Warren Central where they competed against 85 other teams from Indiana in a VEX Robotics Competition.

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NJ-SP Releases Snow Make-Up Day Information

North Judson-San Pierre High School

North Judson-San Pierre High School

The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation this week released information regarding weather-related school cancellations and the days that those cancellations will be made up. The release indicated that Monday, Jan. 6 was a scheduled teacher workday and was reported to the Department of Education in June as a non-instructional day, with no loss of a snow day but no waiver; and Wednesday, Jan. 8, school was closed with a teacher make-up day scheduled for that day. This day is not waived and must be used as a snow make-up day.

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Missed School Days May Affect School Calendars

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.

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Financial Aid Night Scheduled at NJ-SP Schools

A financial aid night is set for Monday, Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. CT in the North Judson-San Pierre High School library.

A college representative will discuss the financial aid process with parents and students. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form will be reviewed. The application must be completed online this year.

The deadline for the federal processor to receive the FAFSA is March 10.

If you have any questions, call North Judson-San Pierre High School Guidance Director Colleen McCarthy at (574) 896-2158 ext. 225.