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Full-day K approved at South Putnam

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

South Putnam Community School board members voted to approve a full-day kindergarten option, swore in two new board members, elected officers and agreed to pay for physicals for bus drivers at Monday night's meeting.

Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt told board members that the state will pay a minimum of $665 per student to the school with the possibility of more based on how many Indiana schools participate in full-day kindergarten.

"We had to send the state projected numbers of kindergarten students earlier this year. That number ($665) is based on all schools in the state who said they were participating If schools pull out, the amount per student could go up," he stated.

Bernhardt told the board he expected the vast majority of kindergarten students to go full day. The current plan is to have any students who choose to only go half day to attend in the mornings only.

Kindergarten students attending full day will leave school at the same time as regular students and can ride the bus home or to daycare, stated the superintendent.

He also told the board that they may need to hire additional kindergarten teachers.

"We have a list of teachers who have been riffed in the past from the school system. We will go down that list by seniority and offer any new positions to them first," he noted, referring to teachers released from their contracts due to a Reduction In Force.

Meanwhile, kindergarten registration will take place at the same time as regular school registration in early August.

Also, two new board members were sworn in at the start of the meeting. David Bombei and Darwyn Nelson replaced Howard Bowen and David Mendenhall on the board. Nelson nominated a new slate of officers which was approved by the board. Board president is Mike Rissler, vice president is Nancy Wells and secretary is Steve Cash.

The school district treasurer is Becky Samsel and deputy treasurer is Terri Beasley. John Zeiner will remain as attorney.

The board also okayed the corporation paying for commercial driver's licenses for bus drivers.

"This will allow us to tighten controls. It is a safety issue for a busload of kids. And it will save the drivers money," reported Bern-hardt. Some discussion followed regarding the best way to provide the physicals. Transportation Super-visor Chuck Shaffer recommended a clinic in Clay County and quoted an approximate start up cost of less than $1,000 for the first year and $375 per year thereafter. Nancy Wells suggested the possibility of bringing a physician or nurse practitioner into the school once a semester or looking at other alternatives. The board left the decision of who would administer the physicals up to the corporation with the provision that the board be informed who prior to the exams being given.

In other business:

* Performance bonds were approved for Marsha Sutherlin at Fillmore, Angie Nichols at Reelsville, Lisa McCammack at Central and Annabeth Smith as food services manager. All bonds were for $10,000.

* School registration dates and times were reported by the superintendent as Friday, Aug. 3 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at Central Elementary and South Putnam High School. Monday, Aug. 6 and Tuesday, Aug. 7 from noon-8 p.m.; Fillmore and Reelsville Elementaries will have registration on Monday, Aug. 6 and Tuesday, Aug. 7 from noon -8 p.m. and Wednesday, Aug. 8 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

* Special budget meeting dates were set beginning Aug. 6

* Approved an overnight stay for the high school cross country team at McCormick's Creek State Park

* Announced book fees and lunch costs were posted on the school website accessible at sputnam.k12.in.us

* Approved meeting dates for through June 2008. They will be on the third Monday of the month with the exception of January and February which will both be on the third Tuesday. The South Putnam school board meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month at Central Elementary.

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