[Nameplate] Mostly Cloudy ~ 68°F  
High: 73°F ~ Low: 48°F
Friday, May 6, 2016

New way to 'ride the bus' considered

Thursday, July 12, 2007

(Photo)
Greencastle School Board member Jack Berry accepts the oath of office for the start of his fourth four-year term from Greencastle Schools personnel director Ruth Schroeder during Wednesday's school board meeting. Berry was reappointed to the board by the Greencastle Township Advisory Board.
Getting children to school safely and healthier is the plan of a new program presented Wednesday to the Greencastle School Board.

The Walking School Bus is a program used in other states that allows children to walk to and from school on designated pathways, with adult supervision.

Joy Marley, organizer of the People Pathways project in Greencastle, asked the board to consider the Walking School Bus to go along with the Safe Routes to School project that will see the Albin Pond connector trail and the Campus Link trail developed.

"It's a very low-cost program," Marley said, but it does require commitment from the schools and participants to schedule and organize the program.

The city already has six miles of People Pathways in place, and other grants and donations are in place to take on an additional six miles of pathways.

"I think this is an opportunity to show the world that we are trying to be a pedestrian- and bicycle-safe community," Marley told school board members Mike Dean, Mark Kannowski, Barry Fisher, Jack Berry and Monica Fennell.

A Walking School Bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. It can be as informal as two families taking turns walking their children to school, or as organized as a structured route with meeting points, a timetable and a regularly rotated schedule of trained volunteers.

Students could also ride bicycles or skateboards to schools along the route.

Marley suggested that the program start small, with one area of the city designated as the starting point for a route. It could then grow to other areas as the idea catches on.

The program addresses two major issues, the health of children and the economics of fluctuating fuel prices.

School board members seemed receptive to the idea, but they did agree the planning would be essential.

Weather would be a factor during the winter and during spring storms.

"You will still have to have a bus on reserve for those kids," Fisher said. "You still have to own that bus and employ the driver in case of bad weather."

Marley agreed that such issues would have to be worked out, but since school districts in Pennsylvania and California are already using the program, they could be contacted to find out how they solve any concerns that arise.

Board member Dean agreed that the program could also help solve some current issues, such as students from the city's south side crossing Ind. 240 at Percy Julian Drive to get to the middle school and high school.

With the planned construction of Ivy Tech Community College at the Rokicki Park location, the city could likely work with the state for a pedestrian crossing at that site, Marley said.

A retired elementary teacher, Marley said she started hatching the idea for People Pathways when the current graduating class members were first-graders. She has spent many of her retirement years promoting the pathways and encouraging the community to take advantage of healthier activities.

"I think it's a wonderful idea," Dean said of the Walking School Bus.

The issue will come up for a vote by the school board in August.In board matters, new officers were selected with Mike Dean as president, Barry Fisher as vice president, and Mark Kannowski as secretary. Jack Berry took the oath of office to begin his fourth term on the board.

Meanwhile, board member Monica Fennell will be leaving the board to take a position in Washington D.C. Her replacement on the board will be named in August.

In other business, the board:

* Reappointed Glen Gill to the Putnam County Library Board.

* Learned that funding from the state for full-day kindergarten will be $665 per student, which will cover the cost of the expanded program. Half-day kindergarten will be offered for those families who chose that option. The board voted to offer full-day kindergarten. Additional staff will be hired as needed.

* Received the annual cafeteria report, which showed a good year financially. However, more than $42,000 in new equipment will be installed at the high school cafeteria, and those costs are funded by the lunch program.

School lunch director Linda Nelson also noted that having full-day kindergarten should also increase the lunch and breakfast counts. She noted that other than the extra food cost, serving the extra meals won't cost any additional labor since the cafeteria crews are already on site.

* Learned that the school districts cost for milk will go up by $10,000 this year, and fresh fruit and vegetable prices will also go up due to rising gas and transportation costs. The school board voted to raise school lunch prices by 5 cents each to be set at $2 for the elementaries, $2.10 for the middle school and high school, and $2.60 for adults. The increase will help maintain the program.

* Approved textbook rental prices for the coming school year. Most of the prices remained the same as last year, however an $8 increase occurred at the middle school due to a new textbook.

* Granted permission to advertise for fuel bids for the coming school year.

* Approved an overnight field trip for the volleyball team to have a team camp-out Aug. 9-10 at Raccoon State Park.

* Granted permission to advertise the 2008 budget, and the annual financial report.

In personnel matters, the board approved:

The next monthly meeting of the school board is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8 in the media center at Greencastle High School due to the anticipated completion of the high school renovation project.

The board reaffirmed its meeting date, time and location as the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at Miller Education Center, 522 Anderson St.

* The resignation of Christy Schmeckebier as middle school teacher of the emotionally disabled.

* Wanda Fleming as cafeteria assistant at Deer Meadow.

* Hiring Jody Rogers as temporary teacher to fill a vacancy created by the temporary transfer of Kathy Asbell to elementary counselor.

* Andrea Farrow as cafeteria assistant at Tzouanakis Intermediate School.

* The resignation of Jon Stuckey as athletic director.

* Hiring Scott Knapp as athletic director.

* A temporary contract for Lacy Newland.

* Hiring Melissa Hoskins as a kindergarten teacher at Deer Meadow.

* Amy Small Howard as middle school teacher of the emotionally disabled.

Bill Shuee, he is co-president of the Greencastle All-Sports Booster Club, along with his wife Polly.

Background is they -- the concession stands are the biggest money-makers. Last year was a campaign put together to sponsor a couple of graduating seniors, will continue that scholarship program. On a big membership drive. Will reinstitute a program book to be handed out at home sporting events.

They are proposing to build a concession stand/ticket booth at Harbison Stadium with their own funds and some donated funds. In the process of soliciting dollars. Has a rough sketch of a permanent structure.

The high dollar amount to finish it is $30,000 but they think that is high. They already have $10,000 and are looking for cash donations as well as in-kind donations of labor and material.

The current snack shack is unusable, Bill said.

They would like to be open by Aug. 24, which is the first home football game.

They grant preliminary approval as long as some building plans are approved by the administrative office.By LISA MEYER TRIGG

Editor

Getting children to school safely and healthier is the plan of a new program presented Wednesday to the Greencastle School Board.

The Walking School Bus is a program used in other states that allows children to walk to and from school on designated pathways, with adult supervision.

Joy Marley, organizer of the People Pathways project in Greencastle, asked the board to consider the Walking School Bus to go along with the Safe Routes to School project that will see the Albin Pond connector trail and the Campus Link trail developed.

"It's a very low-cost program," Marley said, but it does require commitment from the schools and participants to schedule and organize the program.

The city already has six miles of People Pathways in place, and other grants and donations are in place to take on an additional six miles of pathways.

"I think this is an opportunity to show the world that we are trying to be a pedestrian- and bicycle-safe community," Marley told school board members Mike Dean, Mark Kannowski, Barry Fisher, Jack Berry and Monica Fennell.

A Walking School Bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. It can be as informal as two families taking turns walking their children to school, or as organized as a structured route with meeting points, a timetable and a regularly rotated schedule of trained volunteers.

Students could also ride bicycles or skateboards to schools along the route.

Marley suggested that the program start small, with one area of the city designated as the starting point for a route. It could then grow to other areas as the idea catches on.

The program addresses two major issues, the health of children and the economics of fluctuating fuel prices.

School board members seemed receptive to the idea, but they did agree the planning would be essential.

Weather would be a factor during the winter and during spring storms.

"You will still have to have a bus on reserve for those kids," Fisher said. "You still have to own that bus and employ the driver in case of bad weather."

Marley agreed that such issues would have to be worked out, but since school districts in Pennsylvania and California are already using the program, they could be contacted to find out how they solve any concerns that arise.

Board member Dean agreed that the program could also help solve some current issues, such as students from the city's south side crossing Ind. 240 at Percy Julian Drive to get to the middle school and high school.

With the planned construction of Ivy Tech Community College at the Rokicki Park location, the city could likely work with the state for a pedestrian crossing at that site, Marley said.

A retired elementary teacher, Marley said she started hatching the idea for People Pathways when the current graduating class members were first-graders. She has spent many of her retirement years promoting the pathways and encouraging the community to take advantage of healthier activities.

"I think it's a wonderful idea," Dean said of the Walking School Bus.

The issue will come up for a vote by the school board in August.In board matters, new officers were selected with Mike Dean as president, Barry Fisher as vice president, and Mark Kannowski as secretary. Jack Berry took the oath of office to begin his fourth term on the board.

Meanwhile, board member Monica Fennell will be leaving the board to take a position in Washington D.C. Her replacement on the board will be named in August.

In other business, the board:

* Reappointed Glen Gill to the Putnam County Library Board.

* Learned that funding from the state for full-day kindergarten will be $665 per student, which will cover the cost of the expanded program. Half-day kindergarten will be offered for those families who chose that option. The board voted to offer full-day kindergarten. Additional staff will be hired as needed.

* Received the annual cafeteria report, which showed a good year financially. However, more than $42,000 in new equipment will be installed at the high school cafeteria, and those costs are funded by the lunch program.

School lunch director Linda Nelson also noted that having full-day kindergarten should also increase the lunch and breakfast counts. She noted that other than the extra food cost, serving the extra meals won't cost any additional labor since the cafeteria crews are already on site.

* Learned that the school districts cost for milk will go up by $10,000 this year, and fresh fruit and vegetable prices will also go up due to rising gas and transportation costs. The school board voted to raise school lunch prices by 5 cents each to be set at $2 for the elementaries, $2.10 for the middle school and high school, and $2.60 for adults. The increase will help maintain the program.

* Approved textbook rental prices for the coming school year. Most of the prices remained the same as last year, however an $8 increase occurred at the middle school due to a new textbook.

* Granted permission to advertise for fuel bids for the coming school year.

* Approved an overnight field trip for the volleyball team to have a team camp-out Aug. 9-10 at Raccoon State Park.

* Granted permission to advertise the 2008 budget, and the annual financial report.

In personnel matters, the board approved:

The next monthly meeting of the school board is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8 in the media center at Greencastle High School due to the anticipated completion of the high school renovation project.

The board reaffirmed its meeting date, time and location as the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at Miller Education Center, 522 Anderson St.

* The resignation of Christy Schmeckebier as middle school teacher of the emotionally disabled.

* Wanda Fleming as cafeteria assistant at Deer Meadow.

* Hiring Jody Rogers as temporary teacher to fill a vacancy created by the temporary transfer of Kathy Asbell to elementary counselor.

* Andrea Farrow as cafeteria assistant at Tzouanakis Intermediate School.

* The resignation of Jon Stuckey as athletic director.

* Hiring Scott Knapp as athletic director.

* A temporary contract for Lacy Newland.

* Hiring Melissa Hoskins as a kindergarten teacher at Deer Meadow.

* Amy Small Howard as middle school teacher of the emotionally disabled.

Bill Shuee, he is co-president of the Greencastle All-Sports Booster Club, along with his wife Polly.

Background is they -- the concession stands are the biggest money-makers. Last year was a campaign put together to sponsor a couple of graduating seniors, will continue that scholarship program. On a big membership drive. Will reinstitute a program book to be handed out at home sporting events.

They are proposing to build a concession stand/ticket booth at Harbison Stadium with their own funds and some donated funds. In the process of soliciting dollars. Has a rough sketch of a permanent structure.

The high dollar amount to finish it is $30,000 but they think that is high. They already have $10,000 and are looking for cash donations as well as in-kind donations of labor and material.

The current snack shack is unusable, Bill said.

They would like to be open by Aug. 24, which is the first home football game.

They grant preliminary approval as long as some building plans are approved by the administrative office.



Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: