Big changes are coming up in the Greencastle Community School Corporation. Budget balancing and adding new sports teams are just a couple of the things that will change this year.
GCSC Superintendent Lori Richmond updated the Greencastle school board at Wednesday night's meeting on the status of the corporation's finances and high ability programs.
"We are continuing to look at and develop our programs," Richmond said. "We have to be mindful of our costs."
An upcoming grant decrease may provide additional challenges. The district's high ability coordinator and middle school Principal Tamra Walker explained to the board that several things could possibly be cut if the decrease in funding does take effect.
"Our first priority is to protect the pay for the three high ability assistants," said Walker. "For the services, workshops and extra fees we are looking to fund those things elsewhere."
Although, board members will not know for sure if and when this decrease will take effect, they are looking into different options to protect and keep the programs as they are.
The Greencastle Middle School track coach Art Dwiggins made a plea before the board for authorization to start a cross-country program for Tzouanakis Intermediate School. The program will cover grades 3-5 as well as the middle school students.
"If we can get the program approved tonight, there are still three races they could compete in," Dwiggins said. "It's a great program and it's popular."
The children, who have been training since June, would compete in some of the same races as the middle school children. They have also taken the necessary steps such as getting physicals and gathering money for $12.50 for the transportation fee.
"I did not realize we were looking at this for this year," Superintendent Richmond said.
With immense support from the parents at the meeting, the board decided to pass the program as a club sport for this year.
Due to lack of communication with school officials and board members that came and went, this was the first time the board had heard anything about the program. But Dwiggins and the board will be taking the necessary measures to make it an official sport for the coming years.
Board member Kelly Lewis also proposed starting a new sports program this year. Lewis proposed e a youth basketball program that would be open to any student currently enrolled in the Greencastle school district.
"The league will be focused on both fundamentals and competitiveness," Lewis explained. "It's for those with a desire for a more competitive league."
The league will be separated into three divisions -- bronze, silver and gold. The bronze division will be open to children in kindergarten-second grade, which will have hour-long practices. The silver division will include children in grades 3-4 with gold encompassing grades 5-6.
The gold and silver divisions will have separate boys' and girls' practices for around 90 minutes each time. Games will be played on Sunday afternoons. However, this may vary based on how many children sign up for the program.
The program will have volunteer coaches as well as coaching from Greencastle High School varsity coaches Troy Greenlee and Brad Key. Both Greenlee and Key will implement training for all the children involved.
In an effort to cut costs, the jerseys will be reversible and the games will be officiated by high school players. The tentative date for the start of the league is currently after the first of the year with it lasting until the first or second week of March.
The board approved use of the gym facilities for the upcoming year as requested by Lewis.