School administrators will work out a plan to address students who want to opt out of subjects that conflict with their religious beliefs.
The Greencastle School Board has been studying the issue since a request concerning a high school biology class. A student wanted to opt out of the part in the class where evolution is taught due to religious beliefs.
A policy was worked out for board consideration, but school board members Mark Kannowski, Mike Dean, Barry Fisher, Jack Berry and Barbara Bryan said they were concerned about allowing a student to miss a topic that follows a significant portion of state standards.
Even if the student opted out of the evolution portion, that topic will be on tests. If a student who opted out of a portion of a class does poorly on a future test because of that decision, board members noted, the student's parents might raise concerns about that as well.
The board agreed to allow administrators to work out a plan to address such issues when they arise.
In other business, the board:
* Learned that an agreement has been reached with Putnam County Hospital to provide an athletic trainer for the schools.
* Heard that ISTEP results have been received, and an early look at them appears to be positive, though there are still a couple of areas to work on.
* Heard Green mention there was a prayer given at the fall athletic banquet that offended some people. He said he has researched the issue and found guidelines from the U.S. Dept. of Education on what is allowed. That information has been distributed to the school administrators, and it will be included in next year's student handbooks.
* Saw that the fund report at the end of November was in better shape than where it was a year earlier.
Among the funds, the general fund had a balance of $3.19 million, the debt service fund had a balance of $1.4 million, and the local rainy day fund had $491,961. The financial statement for November also showed that the school district had $6.29 million to operate.
In personnel matters, the board approved:
* Vickie Parker's resignation due to retirement at the end of the school year.
* Michael Glenn's resignation as an instructional assistant for special education at Tzouanakis.
* Vicki McCammack's resignation as athletic trainer at the high school.
* F. Shane Huber as volunteer for middle school eighth grade boys basketball.
* Alex Hirt as instructional assistant for special education at Tzouanakis.
* Michael Schimpf as supervisor of high school intramural activities.
The Greencastle School Board regularly meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Miller Education Center, 522 Anderson St., Greencastle. The meetings are open to the public.