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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Deer Meadow roof saga may be nearing end

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Like clockwork, the roof of Deer Meadow Primary School has been a topic of discussion at each Greencastle School Board meeting since March.

With bated breath and crossed fingers, school officials said at Wednesday meeting the roof problems may almost be over. Contractors recently completed work on the roof of the 10-year-old school.

"I believe they finished two days ago," Principal Gwen Morris said.

Problems with expansion joints, roof valleys and faulty shingles led to extensive leaks during last spring's heavy rains. Since then, a debate over who was at fault, and to what extent, has caused the process to drag on.

"I know more about expansion joints and valleys than I thought I'd know in a lifetime," Morris said.

School attorney Bob Rund said the only issue remaining is of the shingles themselves. The manufacturer has since been bought out, but the new company has made a monetary offer for the failure of the shingles.

The school corporation is still considering the offer.

With heavy rains going on during Wednesday's meeting, Morris added a final thought to the discussion.

"Let's just hope it doesn't leak," she said.

The board also received an update on the calendar options for the 2012-13 school year. Several proposals for an adjusted schedule have been posted on the Greencastle Community Schools website since last month.

Greencastle and other local school systems are looking at moving toward a balanced calendar, with a shorter summer break, and two-week breaks between quarters.

Superintendent Lori Richmond said comments on the options have been mixed. Some respondents like the options the two-week breaks provide, but day care concerns remain for many parents.

Possibilities include keeping the schedule essentially unchanged or moving toward the balanced calendar. These moves could be done all at once, or incrementally, with small changes next year and the new calendar fully implemented in 2013-14.

A committee will convene during January to come up with two calendar recommendations for the board. The proposal will be made to the board in February or March.

On the board, views about the options appear mixed.

"I've talked to people in the public and they are generally in favor of the traditional calendar," Mike Dean said.

"I've found just the opposite," fellow board member Mike White said. "The same here," Kelly Lewis added.

One change sure to come in the fall of 2012 is the state-mandated merit pay for teachers. A 12-person committee has worked on an evaluation and compensation plan for the school corporation to help with this new program.

With a plan in place, Greencastle can apply for a grant to help with merit pay. Teachers rated as effective or highly effective will receive pay increases based upon the evaluations.

One of the biggest adjustments to the merit-pay system will be for building principals and assistant principals, who will spend much more time in classrooms evaluating teachers.

"Our administrators feel strongly that they can handle this," Assistant Superintendent Dawn Puckett said.

School officials will know by summer if they've received the grant, with the compensation to go into effect at some point in the fall.

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