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Thursday, May 5, 2016

South Putnam discusses possible budget cuts

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

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.


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Area 30 presents great opportunities for students, and many of them are doing serious work. Good to see that the school is planning for the future.

As for SP, well, good luck figuring out the budget. Maybe they can sell photo ops on that expensive new football field.

-- Posted by Balding Eagle on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 7:03 AM

When did they get a new football field? No big deal any way, that would be different funds.

-- Posted by mad-mom on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 9:55 AM

There is no NEW Football field. The field has a new automatic sprinkler system that is more efficient than the manual system. Doubt anyone would want photo ops on the field since it has huge bare spots on it. Now the track has been resurfaced and painted. I would recommend having photo ops on the track instead of the field. Since we host the Sectional Track meet every year I think that was a good choice.

Area 30 has great opportunities, but at what cost to the school system. Not knocking Area 30 but is the amount spent on Area 30 students equal to what we would spend on students in the classroom?

-- Posted by whatdoyouknow on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 10:46 AM

Okay people, what alternate world do we live in where property taxes go down? Seriously! I'll tell you what, I sure would like to have a more efficient (paid and in the classroom) staff member than a more efficient (sprinkler system)!

And just because I am from the county does not mean I just fell off the hay wagon. So, I realize the sprinkler money was paid from a different fund. But, it looks really really BAD to everyone when the corporation has to hand out pink slips to real people with families to support. But hey, at least the dude in charge of the sprinkler system has it easier. For now...

Boo!! Boo!!!

-- Posted by Hairy Tiger on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 6:47 PM

Cuts are being made. I was told that it was not going on seniority but at the principals choices in all the schools. I sure hope that is not true, I would hate to think it's the principals favorites that get to keep their jobs. Will cuts be made on every level? Administration? Like reducing the amount of principals we have in our small district could save a big chunk, maybe combining elementary schools might save also. Saving jobs can be moving Sup's office into a school also. Just a thought

-- Posted by Bullwinkle1986 on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 8:04 PM

@whatdoyouknow ... Thanks for taking my comments so seriously and correcting my facts. Glad to know we all still have a sense of humor.

@Hairy ... That almost sounds like a form of accountability. Bet you're popular!

-- Posted by Balding Eagle on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 8:37 PM

"We need to look at and find out how much we can afford to cut," Bernhardt said. "We have to live within our budget." - With this statment in mind I would like parents to ask all the school principals and schoolboard members why the principals need a personal IPad. Is that a direct asset to the children in the classrooms? Is the computer in their office and the cellphone in their pocket not enought? Is it "within our budget?" Oh, thats right it is from a different fund.....

-- Posted by AlwaysLearning on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 9:54 AM


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