The Oregon-Davis School Board approved the purchase of a bus for special education students. Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney commented that the deadline was approaching for the purchase of these buses before the prices go up.
“If we waited a new more weeks on it, the prices probably would have gone up about $1,500 per bus,” explained Disney. “It’s a 66-passenger special education equipped bus with harnesses and a lift. Our bus was nearing 145,000 miles and we did not have a backup special education bus. This way we will have a backup when needed.”
Disney added that it’s important that the school provide properly equipped state required transportation for special needs students.
The Oregon-Davis School Board members approved the employment of a new high school principal during their meeting Monday night.
Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney said a search team was formed which consisted of faculty members, administrators and the superintendent and they all reviewed 26 applications that were submitted for the position. They screened the applicants and chose 10 to return for the first round of interviews. From there, four were selected to present plans to the committee that pertained to leadership of the Oregon-Davis High School and its future. Three were then selected to present those plans to the committee and the school board.
The Oregon-Davis School Board is looking to update its camera security system.
Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney noted that the current system is 11 years old and with the growing age of technology and the need to provide the best security available for the staff and students, the board will be upgrading its system. Quotes will be received and the system will be installed once a bid is accepted.
Nothing came of the alleged threats that were made on a boys restroom wall at the Oregon-Davis schools.
School officials were notified of graffiti in the bathroom that reportedly appeared threatening in nature over the weekend after an event was held at the school. Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney said police officers were at the school throughout the day and officials will remain on alert at the school on Tuesday. The threat level will be a yellow which indicates a moderate threat and not an emergency situation as experienced Monday.
The Oregon-Davis School Board is actively searching for a high school principal for the next school year. Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney said that Greg Briles is contracted through June and the board is advertising for the opening.
A committee will be formed to help in the search and the process should be getting underway in March.
The Oregon-Davis School Board adopted the 2013 budget at their meeting earlier this month, which Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney says is healthy.
“Nothing changed based upon the budget hearing,” said Disney. “At this point in time, we will work with the Department of Local Government Finance which will review the budget. We would hope to find out about our adopted budget sometime late December, early January.”
The Oregon-Davis School Corporation had a smooth start to the school year, according to Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney.
“We’ve had a terrific start and I think that’s a compliment to all of our staff,” said Disney. “Our custodial staff and maintenance staff worked hard over the summer and the technology staff worked hard to get everything ready that goes into the planning for a new school year.”
He said the teachers worked especially hard.
“Teachers put in a lot of time over the summer. We had high school teachers go to New Tech planning and elementary teachers working on the teacher evaluation process and getting ready for the eight-step and all those things have fallen into the great start to the school year.”
Oregon-Davis taxpayers will be noticing a reduction in their future bills because of action taken by the school board Monday.
“We approved the resolution to finalize the refinancing of our existing debt,” explained Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney. “What that means is that the previous debt from 2002 was at 5%, and with refinancing that goes down to 2.3%. We’ve been working on this for about nine months and this will mean a one million dollar savings to the taxpayers. It will knock about four cents off the property tax rate in 2013.”
Oregon-Davis and South Central Schools are partnering to bring in a noted anti-bullying expert to talk with students today. Michael Dorn is one of the nation’s most experienced and highly credentialed school safety experts who has authored or co-authored 18 books on the subject. His program is entitled “Weak-Fish”.
Oregon-Davis Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney is very aware of bullying in school, and has added an individual to help with student intimidation.
After meeting with Oregon-Davis Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney last week, the Starke County Farm Bureau has decided not to oppose the upcoming referendum. Farm Bureau President Brad Lawrence said the board is encouraging its membership to “vote their conscience” on the referendum on May 8th.
The Indiana State Board of Education recently notified Oregon-Davis School Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney that the elementary school will be honored at the Indiana Statehouse today.
“They extended an invitation to me to bring our Elementary Principal, Mr. Bennett, and four of our elementary teachers to be recognized at the Indiana Statehouse on Thursday morning,” said Dr. Disney. “They’re recognizing the ten most improved schools in the State of Indiana and said that Oregon-Davis was 9th and that’s out of almost 900 schools.”
The Oregon-Davis proposed operating referendum will not impact the Circuit Breaker if approved. That information was received yesterday from Curt Pletcher of Umbaugh and Associates in Plymouth.
“With a referendum, a school corporation would have a question on the ballot which would have a maximum tax rate,” explained Pletcher. “When a school really pursues an operating referendum, they look at their state support for their General Fund. If a referendum is passed, it is not subject to the Circuit Breaker caps. In other words, the levy would not impact the current Circuit Breaker tax credits for the school or the overlapping taxing units.”
What’s ahead for Oregon-Davis schools? Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney appeared before the Starke County Council Monday night to discuss the school’s General Fund Referendum that will appear on the primary ballot in May. Because of a decrease of almost $400,000 in funding announced by the State Board of Education in October, Oregon-Davis has been left scrambling for revenue.
The Oregon-Davis School Board heard a presentation of a request for the purchase of some school property at its most recent meeting.
“We heard a presentation by the Township Trustee with the investigation to build and go after property for a new fire station in Hamlet and they’re looking at the property where the old school used to sit,” said Superintendent Dr. Steve Disney.
There was excitement in Superintendent Steve Disney’s voice as he talked Friday about the beginning of the school year at Oregon-Davis. The school ended the summer on a high having seen ISTEP scores increased greatly in the 2010-2011 school year. Disney said the staff is building on the momentum of that accomplishment. He talked about walking through the elementary school last week, and feeling that excitement.
North Judson-San Pierre and Oregon-Davis Schools will be in grave financial trouble next school year. North Judson-San Pierre stands to lose $1.2 million and Oregon-Davis stands to lose $500,000 in funding next school year because of a change in the state funding formula.
They say larger class size, fewer programs offered and teacher layoffs may be the only way to make the necessary budget cuts. According to North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent, Lynn Johnson, and Oregon-Davis Superintendent, Dr. Steve Disney, education reform is making it difficult for public school administrators to provide the best opportunities possible. Mrs. Johnson, for one, is leery of what vouchers will do to her corporation.