Knox Schools Budget Shrinks

Knox-School-Board-2014The proposed 2016 budget for the Knox Community School System, according Superintendent A.J. Gappa at last night’s board meeting, is $12,805,868. That’s significantly less than the approved budget of $13,219,575 last year. The Board reviewed the 2016 budget in detail. A public hearing is scheduled for September 21st; adoption is expected on October 19th.

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Drug Search Conducted at Knox Middle School

 Starke County K9 Terror with handler Rob Olejniczak, along with other K9 officers from Pulaski County, Marshall County and Plymouth, conducted a drug sweep of the Knox Middle School this week. Additional officers were asked to join the Starke County K9 unit due to the size of the middle school.

According to the Starke County Sheriff’s Office, the K9s swept lockers in addition to vehicles in the parking lots. No illegal substances were found on school grounds.

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ISTEP Testing Delayed at Knox Schools


The icy conditions yesterday, causing cancellation of a school day, also delayed the start of ISTEP testing in the Knox Middle School. Testing there was scheduled to start Tuesday.

At Monday’s meeting of the Knox School Board, Superintendent A.J. Gappa reviewed the constant changes in the ISTEP provisions by the State. In a visual presentation, he compared last year’s testing plan with the current year.

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Knox Superintendent Discusses Proposed Elementary Project


A final public hearing on the renovation and addition project for the Knox Elementary School is scheduled for Monday, November 3rd. Superintendent A. J. Gappa explains the proposed 5,500 square foot addition.

“When the referendum failed a year ago, plan B was as things go along and failed,” explained Gappa. “We had to fix them but that can become expensive in the long run. One of our major perceived needs was our kitchen situation where we have a 60-year-old cafeteria doing all the cooking and then carting the food down for the half of the building at the west end serving and warming the food at that point in time.”

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Knox School Board to Hold Budget Hearing Tonight

Knox School Board

The Knox Community School Board will meet in special session tonight to discuss regular business and to hold a public hearing regarding the all funds budget.

If anyone has any comments on the published budget, the board will take them under consideration during the hearing. A budget adoption will occur in October.

The board will also consider an authorization for a project hearing and approve a teacher document of agreement.

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Knox School Board Receives Update on First Week of School

 The Knox Community School Board received an update on the first week of school when they met this week.

Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the principals gave building reports and said it was a smooth opening week of school.

“Other than some minor bus on the first day getting the elementary students on board and then getting to the middle school, which is now the last school dismissed this year and is a change from last year, everything else has gone very smoothly,” said Gappa.

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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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Knox Community School Board to Meet in Work Session Tonight


The Knox Community School Board will not have a regular school board meeting tonight. Instead, the board members will have a work session to talk about the elementary facility study.

According to Superintendent A.J. Gappa, the board is expected to discuss different options that the board can move forward with after receiving information in the facility study that was done on the elementary school prior to the referendum.

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Knox Community School Board Approves Contract with The Crossing

The CrossingThe Knox Community School Board members discussed entering into a contract with The Crossing alternative school during their meeting this week.

Superintendent A.J. Gappa said The Crossing is a second-chance opportunity for students who have dropped out of high school, been expelled or transitioned to home school. Education is delivered in a way that best fits students.

Gappa confirmed that the board is moving forward to help those students.

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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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NWEA Results Relayed to Knox School Board Members

Superintendent A.J. Gappa
Superintendent A.J. Gappa
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.

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Knox School Board to Hold Meeting to Gather More Info on Alternative School

Superintendent A.J. Gappa
Superintendent A.J. Gappa
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.

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