Several changes are on the horizon for the South Putnam schools.
Monday's school board meeting included such things as approval of a lengthy personnel report, a presentation by the Area 30 Career Center, and the possibility of budget cuts.
South Putnam Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt presented a list of resignations, maternity leave, and new hires to the board for approval.
Several retirements were announced during the meeting, Debora Swinford as elementary counselor, Angie Wyatt as part-time custodian at Reelsville, Jill Nichols as part-time food service for the high school, Becky Brothers as student council and fellowship of Christian athletes sponsor at the high school, Matthew Edwards as assistant boys' and girls' swim coach, and Todd Crosby as assistant wrestling coach at the high school.
Meanwhile, teachers Kristin Scott of the high school and Jacqueline Casebeer of Central Elementary were approved for maternity leave.
There were several new hires approved, including Carol Carter as a part-time Reelsville Elementary custodian.
Several changes were made at the high school level, Doris McMains for food service, Natalie Hodge for student council, Tracey Heet as the FCA sponsor, Matthew Edwards as the boys' and girls' varsity swim coordinator, Lindsey Blackman as the girls' varsity basketball coach, Kate Atkinson as the girls' junior varsity basketball coach, John Briones as the eighth-grade girls' basketball coach as well as the girls' elementary basketball coordinator, and Amanda Yeftich as the eighth-grade volleyball coach.
The board approved all new hires, resignations and maternity leaves.
Area 30 Director Lora Busch presented the board with an overview of all programs offered at the career center. She explained several programs including culinary arts, law enforcement, EMT, auto tech and nursing.
"The goal is to develop dual credits and/or certifications in all of our programs," explained Busch.
Dual credits allow students to receive college credit at certain universities within the area. At this time Area 30 current offers about 90 dual credits through several different programs. It is the goal of Busch to offer either dual credits or certifications in all of their programs by 2013.
The Area 30 Career Center gives students the option of exploring a career they are interested in. The benefit of this is being able to save money before entering college and a career the student may not be interested in.
The center will be hosting the 2011 Putnam County Area College Fair at the Dixie Chopper Business Center on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Colleges such as Vincennes University, Ball State University, Butler University, as well as several others will be in attendance. There will also be college and career planning representatives from the Putnam County Foundations, Indiana Youth Institute and ISM College Planning. The fair will run from 6:30-8 p.m. and is open to all parents and students.
Bernhardt ended the meeting by discussing the school's finances. He informed the board that each year the corporation is losing more and more students. This year it is currently down 60 students.
"It's a serious enough number that we've got to look at revenue," Bernhardt said. "We're at the point now we need to move a little stronger."
Bernhardt explained that more than $400,000 in state funding has been lost due to the decrease in students. The board will discuss short-term goals such as expenditure, program and staff cuts at next month's upcoming meeting.
"We need to look at and find out how much we can afford to cut," Bernhardt said. "We have to live within our budget."
Nothing has been decided yet, but big changes could be coming. Bernhardt explained that with the loss of the $300,000 small schools grant as well as the loss of students, there some major changes are needed to stay within the budget.
He plans on presenting a list of suggestions at next month's board meeting.