The North Putnam School Board members made quick business of the items on its agenda Thursday night. But the main topics that all the board members seemed to have a say in was the bus driver salary and policy 6440.
North Putnam Supt. Murray Pride informed the board that the bus drivers have not had an increase in their salary in more than four years. The salary for a bus driver for North Putnam Schools is currently at $27.50 for the first three hours and $6.25 for every hour after that.
Pride also said the school corporation was having trouble getting extra-cirricular activity drivers and he associates that with their wages. After comparing their wages to other schools, Pride recommended that the board increase the salary to $30 for the first three hours and $7 for every hour after that.
Board member Carl Blau wondered if being the highest was a good thing. According to Blau, Greencastle Schools pay more than North Putnam while South Putnam and Cloverdale pay less.
Board member Charlie Boller asked why they did not just bump it up to $7.50 for every additional hour. "Is 50 cents really going to break the budget?" he asked.
Pride said that $7 was the amount discussed, and that the increase should be workable. Fifty cents was not going to break the budget, but instead of waiting another four years, the board was going to look at it yearly.
Debbie Sillery said she saw $7.50 as just an extra boost. But Blau and Patricia Baldwin still had a problem with being the highest.
Board president Dale McGaughey said, "We already have gone up 75 cents, why go up 50 cents more?"
The board approved the recommended salary increases 7-0.
Pride also informed the board about policy 6440, criteria for denial of board consideration of student due process appeals.
The board had a first reading on this policy and had listed all the appeals they would not hear. During a recent court case, a judge ruled that a school board either must hear all or no appeals. Pride recommended that the board amend the first reading to comply with the ruling and hear no appeals.
Boller questioned this by saying that the board should be a part of the process if people come to them with questions because they might feel more comfortable talking to the board.
Sillery said, "In my opinion, the administrators should handle it."
The board approved to amend the policy 6-1.
In other business, the board:
--Learned that the corporation had received three grants recently.
One grant was a servicing learning grant for $10,000 to be used at the middle school and high school for developing service learning opportunities.
Grant two was from Project Lead The Way for $40,000 to be used at the high school for the development of career clusters.
The last grant was given to Bainbridge Elementary for $18, 445 to be used for early intervention for pre-kindergarden through second grade.
--Learned that two FFA teams were named state champions at the food science contest.
Team number one consisted of Jessica Fry who received the highest individual score, Mackenzie Pearson who received the second highest score, Kristin Fry who received third highest score, and Ashley Summerlot.
Team number two consisted of Eric Earley, Mindy Fordice, Ashlee Pinney, and Ethan Stephenson.
--Learned that Pride had been selected as district four superintendent of the year. "It is quite an honor," said McGaughey. "The state is making a good choice."
--Approved the milk bid from Handys Dairy, the bread bid from Interstate Breads, and other cafeteria products bid from BMB Foods and Gordons Foods 7-0.
--Approved unanimously to keeping the lunch and breakfast prices the same as last year.
--Approved unanimously the high school textbook rental and student fees.
--Approved unanimously the budget calender.
A budget workshop is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 17. Advertising the budget is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 25 and Friday Sept. 1.
The proposed budget public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 7, while the adoption of the proposed budget is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 25.
The board also agreed to the move the September board meeting to Sept. 25.
--Approved unanimously to having the football live-in camps Aug. 2-5.
--Unanimously approved to two fundraisers.
The cheerleaders will be waitressing at the VFW breakfast in Roachdale and the volleyball team will be having a car wash in the State Farm Insurance parking lot.
--Learned that the corporation will be receiving the second half of their payment from the state.
--Approved 6-0 the termination of high school custodian Kristine Holmer.
--Approved 6-0 the hiring of high school custodian Katherine Carnes, middle and high school athletic trainer Brandon McGaughey, high school head baseball coach Norman Fish, high school assistant swim coach Mark Lehr, high school assistant volleyball coach Bonnie Osborn, high school strength and conditioning coordinator Dave Pasch, high school strength and conditioning assistants Dan Fouts and Ron Price, Cloverdale Elementary teacher Krysta Watson for Old National Trail, and high school volunteer assistant football coach Chuck Tilton.
--Approved 6-0 the resignation of high school head girls track coach Dave Pasch and high school head boys track coach Dan Fouts.
In addition, the board also approved the maternity leave of absence of Bainbridge Elementary teacher Laura Martin.
Baldwin had announced at last month's meeting, and reiterated that she would not be running in the fall the Floyd Township school trustee and board position. Anyone who wishes to run must turn in their name for the ballot by Aug. 25.
Present at the meeting were Sillery, Jon Buser, Baldwin, secretary Vonda McGaughey, McGaughey, Pride, attorney Mark O'Mara, Boller, Mark Fordice, and Blau.
The next regularly scheduled meeting is set for Thursday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. in the school corporation building.
This meeting is open to the public.