The West Central Elementary School recently received a grant from the Pulaski Alliance Community Education, or PACE, organization.
Superintendent Don Street said the $15,000 grant helps gives books to students for special occasions, including the summer Bookmobile. The money also assists in the purchase of management of reading diagnostic software.
PACE activities range from support for preschool programs to coordination of adult education initiatives.
The West Central School Corporation will see another significant state funding cut to the General Fund budget in the 2016-2017 school year.
Superintendent Don Street gave the school board the hard figures during their meeting last week.
“Based on the state legislature, it is projected that West Central will be down about $300,000 for the 2016-2017 school year in the General Fund,” explained Street. “All of that is based upon our enrollment.”
School lunch prices may increase at the West Central School Corporation after the school board convenes this evening. Superintendent Don Street said the school board will be reviewing a proposal to slightly increase prices for the 2015-2016 school year.
Students participating in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes program at the West Central School Corporation were successful in collecting funds for the Pennies for Patients initiative.
The goal was set at $2,500, but Superintendent Don Street told WKVI News that the goal was surpassed. The students collected over $3,000 to benefit patients who are part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Any loose change was donated by students in the high school, middle school, and elementary school.
Students at the West Central School Corporation participated in their first e-learning day of instruction on Saturday, March 14. The school board reviewed returned surveys last week following the experience.
Superintendent Don Street said that the responses were favorable for this type of method in making up missed days of instruction.
“Out of the parents that responded to the survey, 87.4 percent found that the e-learning day was effective,” explained Street. “From the students that responded to the survey, 65.6 percent found e-learning to be effective. Forty-nine of our staff members responded with 85.7 percent stating that our students made the expectations for the day.”
The West Central School Board heard a report from Principal Patrick Culp and others who recently went to Indianapolis to accept a $82,355 Region 1 Works Council for a Career and Technical Education innovative-curriculum grant.
The grant will fund a Pulaski County Repair and Maintenance Technology program at West Central High School. Superintendent Don Street says a program for machine maintenance will assist students in giving them the skills they need to be productive in local industry.
The West Central School Board held a work session last week to look at the corporation’s strategic plan.
Superintendent Don Street said a presentation of the progression of the one-to-one technology program was given which led into the discussion of e-learning days. Street said the state has approved the corporation’s request to make up missed school days on Saturdays.
“Our first one is March 14 and a few will be held in April as opposed to adding those days on at the end of the year. This will make it a more meaningful and educationally related to our students,” said Street.
The students will receive assignments on Friday which will be due on Monday. The Board also discussed how the staff will prepare for e-learning days.
Principal Patrick Culp discussed a change in classes at the middle school level.
“We’re currently on a four-period day. We would be dividing a couple of those periods up for English and Mathematics. We would go to an eight-period day where those students would get instruction for 40 minutes and go into a lab setting for 40 minutes to get extra assistance if needed.”
More advanced learners would get more challenging assignments during that lab time.
No final decisions were made, but information from the work session will be presented at the March board meeting for approval.
The West Central School Board members discussed their capital projects plan during a work session last week.
Superintendent Don Street said that one focus in the next three years will be work at the high school.
“It’s kind of an aging building so we discussed sewer drains, water lines, water, electric panels, lighting, windows, doors, security, restrooms, storage, locker rooms, sidewalks, and fitness facilities were all discussed. We’ll come back to this later in the spring and review many of those items that we see as a need for the future,” said Street.
The West Central School Board will discuss a maintenance agreement for the corporation’s turbine when they meet for their regular board meeting tonight.
Superintendent Don Street previously reported that the wind turbine has been a positive addition in helping the corporation with energy needs. At last report, the turbine has been working and collecting several credits. The board will be looking at the maintenance contract with the current company. Street said that the board is working with five other school districts in the state to get the best fee possible.
The West Central School Board approved driver’s education fees for this year’s round of classes. Superintendent Don Street said the summer classes were approved as presented to the school board members.
“Driver’s education for West Central students will be $200 and for non-corporation students it will be $300,” explained Street. “Our students also take an online portion of the course and that’s an additional $25. That do that test on their own.”
The West Central School Board closed out the 2014 books and looked at the budget for this year when the members met this week. Superintendent Don Street said the board won’t be making any big changes to the budget.
“There were no big cuts,” said Street. “We anticipated where we would be in our annual budget. Our assessed evaluation has increased for our school district from last year which has reduced, just slightly, the amount of taxes that will be charged for each individual.”
The West Central School Board approved a school calendar for the 2015-2016 school year.
Superintendent Don Street said the calendar is similar to this year’s calendar.
“Our teachers will be starting school on the tenth of August and the students will be arriving on Thursday the 13th of August. We also had a little discussion concerning balanced calendars of the schools in the area that are looking at, if you will, a semi-balanced calendar,” said Street.
The West Central School Board recently approved the addition of a Theater Arts class to the curriculum for the second semester.
Superintendent Don Street explained that more focus on English/Language Arts forced the cancellation of the class, but the class will be revived.
“Now we have an opportunity to have a Theater Arts class where the kids will learn about acting and study different plays,” said Street. “We put that back into our curriculum. That will be a one, nine-week class because we’re on a block schedule. We have some students that have some interest in that. We have a teacher that will be able to teach that. That’s a fine arts credit which counts toward an Academic Honor class for our students.”