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Board questions cost of concession stand

Friday, November 21, 2008

BAINBRIDGE -- North Putnam Community School Board members questioned the costs of building a new concession stand, heard a request from Russellville parents about bus issues, adopted the 2009 budget and reviewed policies for transfer tuition at their Thursday night meeting.

Board members expressed some concern at the cost the corporation would have to pay for the new concession stand built recently.

"We need to know where our money is at because we are responsible to the tax payers for it," said Mark Fordice.

Costs for the building ran over what board members heard as the original cost. One board member thought it was supposed to be $15,000 and another heard $1,500 at earlier meetings. The estimated cost now is at $33,000.

"I thought it wasn't going to cost us anything. That it was all donations," said Carl Blau.

"I don't think we should have spent that much money. We didn't vote on it," claimed Dale McGaughey.

"[Athletic Director] Jason [Sims] did a good job. This doesn't reflect on him. It isn't his fault. It's Murray's (Pride)," said Fordice.

Pride reported that much of the old equipment was used, but some things had to be replaced like rusted faucets and the bathroom partitions.

The group agreed that any future projects would have to be overseen by the board and include blueprints, costs and budgets.

"I think when we heard about this project the person was excited and it was presented a little softer," added Charlie Boller.

Costs for the construction were higher due to having to buy partitions and pay someone to finish the construction prior to football season. The corporation also agreed to pay for the electricity and other costs.

Board members were presented with two options for a policy to control transfer tuition issues at the school. One option would keep anyone living outside the school district from transferring to any schools in the district. The second option would allow some discretion about who to let in.

Neither option addresses allowing the children of employees of the school system to attend North Putnam schools.

Board member Andy Beck told School Superintendent Murray Pride that the group brought up the issue at earlier meetings. He also asked how many students in the corporation now were transfer tuition.

"Four or maybe five, all of whom attend the High School," answered NPHS Principal Alan Zerkel.

Pride told the council, "We can't continue to take people when we are full or continue to take students from outside our area,"

Fordice responded by asking if the corporation could accommodate them if they only took students at the beginning of the year.

Pride felt that would cause issues because out of area students couldn't be accepted until after registration to see if there is classroom available.

The discussion continued for several minutes and ended with the board asking for changes that would include allowing corporation children only to be accepted.

Board Attorney Gene Hostetler told members that no matter what they chose to do they would likely have law suits filed.

"It is a discrimination issue you are facing. I don't believe it is discrimination but you are going to get law suits," said Hostetler.

Pride and Hostetler agreed to work on a new document and e-mail it to board members before the next meeting.

"I think we should close our doors to everyone except employees' children," reiterated Fordice.

Beck responded by saying, "We keep dilly dallying around. We need to forget it and just go by the state law," he said.

The state may put a policy into effect, but it will not be until at least April.

"If they do it will supersede any policy we have anyway. But, we need a policy in place before the state takes over the General Fund," said Pride.

Jim Elliott, Russellville spoke to the board members during the comment section of the meeting. He brought a complaint from a group of parents with concerns about behavior on the bus ride from Russellville to the school, about 45 minutes. He claimed cameras were not on and catching some of the incidents on the bus and that trouble continued on a daily basis.

"We have some disturbing consistencies in comments from our parents. We have bad language, students being taunted by older children. One older child told a younger one to kill himself because he was useless," said Elliott.

"These difficulties are happening frequently if not daily," added Elliott. "I am here tonight because my children have said, 'Daddy, please do something.'"

Elliott asked the board to make a better and safer environment for kids riding on the bus a higher priority.

The board took his remarks under advisement.

In other business, the board:

* Heard parent conferences went very well for all the schools and particularly for Roachdale Elementary who had a 98.7-percent turnout by parents with only three parents not coming for conferences. Bainbridge Elementary had a 91-percent turnout, the middle school a 72-percent turnout, and two percent higher than last year.

* The high school had a 30-percent turnout. Principal Alan Zerkel told the board he was pleased with the numbers and that the event was a positive one.

* Approved the adoption of the 2009 budget including the CPF Fund and the Bus Replacement Fund Plan.

* Gave Pride approval to reduce appropriations at the budget hearing, increase borrowing capacity for 2008 from $ 6 million to $7 million and to advertise for a temporary loan from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2009 for $7 million.

The following personnel changes were approved:

* Resignation of Serena Crum, High School teacher

* Resignation of Audra Millican, Roachdale Instructional Assist.

* Hiring of Kelly Thomas as Roachdale Instructional Assist.

* Transfer of Donna Adams, Bainbridge Elementary from Cafeteria Manager to Instructional Assistant

* Cheryl Edwards from Cafeteria Worker to Cafeteria Manager at Bainbridge Elementary

* Employment of Cheryl Baker as School Bus Aid

* Resignations of Serena Crum as Musical Sound Technician and Winter Guard Director

* Employment of Jason Chew, MS Head Track Coach, George Smith, 8th Grade Asst. Girls Basketball Coach, Curtis Cummings, 8th Grade Volunteer Asst. Basketball Coach, Joshua Stigall, MS Head Wrestling Coach, Gene Winnings, MS Volunteer Asst. Wrestling Coach, Curtis Belcher, 7th Grade Boys Asst. Basketball Coach, Briana Pinson, Winter Guard Director and Jeff McKinney and John Pinson, Share Position.

* Professional Growth Leave Requests for John Pinson and Kelly Thomas

The North Putnam School Board meets on the third Thursday of the month at the corporation headquarters.

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Hopefully taking children's safety and well being under advisement means they will do something and not just sweep it under the rug and hope it will go away. It's easier to argue about concession stand cost over runs than take on the tough task of bullying and harassment. As a patron and taxpayer I hope that action is taken before anything bad might happen that could alter a child's life and cost us dearly through a lawsuit. I am more concerned about a child's well being than money.

-- Posted by hoosierpete on Fri, Nov 21, 2008, at 6:17 AM


-- Posted by blonde bombshell on Fri, Nov 21, 2008, at 8:43 AM

This is to Jim Elliot good luck with the bus issue in the North Putnam district. My child has experienced numerous threats, been told alot of sexual things, harassed etc. I went to 3 principals and 2 superintendents, bus driver and guess what I got absolutely nowhere. They all admitted that the cameras either weren't on or that the sound can't pick it all up. None the less the bus driver refused to pass it over. She also denied picking up the person who was to blame when yet he is the best friend of her child. This bus driver is one that I believe your talking about. Good luck she need to be unemployed. Several complaints from all areas of this school system and shes still employed. In fact took kids on a field trip just this week. But when I read this my child said that someone by the name of Elliot has also threatened her. She also said she heard the comment that was made that you referred to. These bus drivers don't care. They do hear and see and my child even went to one but got no help. Our school system needs a clean up quick. Everyone better start asking their kids what goes on on the bus I was shocked.

-- Posted by ftwaynechick on Fri, Nov 21, 2008, at 3:50 PM

Oh don't step on the Educational leaders toes, he might just turn on you also. Is RETIREMENT in this man's future?? He needs to go along with all his Krohne's !!! Yes man that's Right!!

-- Posted by castaway911 on Fri, Nov 21, 2008, at 4:11 PM

If memory serves me right, after the closing of the school, there was supposed to be 2 buses from Russellville, one HS & MS students, and the other elementary students, that would go directly to the schools after picking up the kids. This never happened.

There is also another bus route in the corporation that a principal and teacher take turns riding on each night just to try and keep order. Why not do this for the Russellville bus?

Or maybe just suspend all bus routes and tell the parents to get their kids to school. We've always been told that having buses is not mandatory.

Or maybe have the "super" ride these routes and experience the realities of life.

-- Posted by teach4ever on Fri, Nov 21, 2008, at 4:36 PM

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