South Putnam School board members made quick work of its business during Monday's meeting. But there were some concerned tax payers who had questions for the board members.
Bette Bertram, Greencastle, commended the board for making cuts, but then questioned why members voted 4-1 to allow the high school to hire an additional office worker.
In Bertram's opinion, the additional help was not needed. She then asked the board, "What is so hard about saying no?"
Board member Mike Rissler said that the high school needed more help. Supt. Bruce Bernhardt said, "We want the schools to operate successfully."
"It was necessary to add some much needed help to assist the personnel in order to make the whole program work without expensive administrators."
Bertram asked the board how much investigation was done to see if the high school really needed the additional worker.
Bernhardt said board members did a lot of work on it because their goal "was to be able to operate the schools as inexpensively and economically as possible, and yet successfully without gaps."
Board member Steve Cash said the board had been looking at the structure of the high school office for two years.
A parent asked about the art classes at the elementary. Before the beginning of the year, the board had decided to divide physical education, music, and art up. That meant the students would take music for one third of the semester, and then rotate to art and P.E.
According to Bernhardt, the board later decided to bring music and P.E. back full-time and increase art from one-third to one-half, or per semester.
"Right now the plan is that it (art) is a one-semester program," said Bernhardt.
The board also performed a second reading of the new policies presented at last month's board meeting.
According to Bernhardt, the schools are required by the state to have a wellness and a bullying policy.
The policies were designed by high school Principal Kieth Puckett, who modeled them off of the examples that were provided by the state.
The policies are available at the South Putnam School Corporation Building for anyone interested in looking at them.
Bernhardt said that one statement would be added to the end of the bullying policy.
The statement says, "The superintendent shall develop administrative guidelines as necessary to implement this policy in conjunction with any other discipline policies of a school corporation or individual building."
Bernhardt informed the board the statement means that the superintendent can implement guidelines for the building administrators to follow if there is any conflict between a building rule and the policy.
The board approved the wellness policy and bullying policy with the statement added by a vote of 4-1.
The next regular scheduled meeting is set for Monday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. in the music room at Central Elementary.
A special meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 6 for a public hearing on the proposed budget.
Both meetings are open to the public.