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Reelsville Elementary to close

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

(Photo)
Reelsville Elementary School
In what seemed like an inevitable situation, the South Putnam School Board voted Monday to close Reelsville Elementary.

Reelsville Elementary will close for good at the end of the current school year.

"We've had numerous suggestions about other things we can do," Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt said during the school board meeting Monday night. "Unfortunately, they don't add up to the amount of savings needed."

The school's closing comes after numerous budget cuts and a decrease in enrollment. As previously stated by Bernhardt, the school corporation is currently spending nearly $500,000 more than it is bringing in.

"We've got a huge deficit, we're spending way too much," explained Bernhardt. "We have to do something drastic."

Financial issues arose after the state of Indiana cut the small schools grant, which provided nearly $300,000. The school corporation also lost 66 students this year, 38 more than the 28-student loss last year. The increase in the lost students alone created a $400,000 deficit.

"We've had a continual decline of students and that affects our funding," Bernhardt previously stated. "It's created somewhat of a perfect storm."

Bernhardt came prepared for the school board meeting on Monday night and provided exact amounts of where the savings will be coming from by closing the school.

Listed was the cost to the corporation of the six lowest-paid teachers, which included salary, insurance, social security and retirement. The corporation will save at least $290,752 by letting the six lowest paid teachers go. Also, the corporation could save more if a higher paid teacher chooses to go into retirement or transfer to a different school.

Bernhardt also provided the total costs of the four lowest-paid custodians and secretaries which would save the corporation $160,770.

By closing the school, the corporation would save $95,734 on utility costs which include such things as water, fuel oil, electricity, sewage, security systems and various others.

The total costs of savings from eliminating six teachers, four secretaries, custodians and utilities will be $547,256.

"This savings is not immediate," explained Bernhardt. "We won't see the savings begin until midway through 2012."

It has yet to be determined which teachers will be transferring over to either South Putnam or Central Elementary. Those decisions will not be made until the end of the current school year.

"When administers have completed their evaluations for the year it will then be an administrative function," explained Bernhardt. "The principals and I will look at the staff and make a recommendation on which teachers will transfer."

Bernhardt stressed that the total cost amounts provided were for the six lowest cost teachers. That number may change based on who decides to go into retirement or possibly transfer. Therefore there could be an increase of savings depending on which teachers decided to leave voluntarily.

"There's a max of six teachers we can save," Bernhardt said. "If it's not the six least expensive the savings would be much greater."

One concerned Reelsville staff member voiced her opinion on the closing multiple times during the meeting. Although many believe this will provide more opportunities for the children, it's still a hard transition.

"This is a corporation problem not Reelsville," said Angie Nichols. "Now is the time for you to take the best of the best ... the best of what this corporation has to offer and we need to keep that. The ones that need to go need to go."

Although, only a maximum of six teachers will be transferred over, Bernhardt said that it is not just Reelsville teachers that may be eliminated.

Cash balances were provided for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011. On Dec. 31, 2009 the cash balance for the school corporation was $968,000. That number went down to $885,000 just one year later and it is projected the cash balance will be only $350,000 at the end of the year.

"Our cash balances are diminishing quickly," Bernhardt explained. "We have to make large savings in order to keep us from spending all of our cash and being broke in the future."

Bernhardt touched on several of the ideas brought up through the various board meetings as well as meeting with the parents. Though many had good ideas, Bernhardt explained that they just don't add up to the kind of savings needed.

With this move, kindergarten through fifth grade will be transferred from Reelsville Elementary to Central Elementary. Grade six, from Fillmore, Reelsville and Central will be placed in the junior high wing of South Putnam High School.

A major concern for parents was that their children would be placed in larger class sizes thus not giving them the individual attention they may require.

"We've got excellent teachers in the school corporation," said Bernhardt. "We provide a good solid education for students, and that's not going to change."

The board assured the community that class sizes in most cases will even be smaller than they are now. Instructional assistants will not necessarily be eliminated due to budget cuts. The board will look at each class and base that decision based on the classes needs.

"Every class is looked at individually," explained Bernhardt. "We will certainly look at all of the classes and determine what classes have the most need."

Many voiced concerns that within five years the corporation would be in a similar situation.

"We're graduating more students than we are bringing in," said Bernhardt. "If there are no declining enrollments due to students moving away, we do know that within the next five or six years we'll continue to lose less students, but we'll continue to lose students because we are graduating more than are coming in."

The board knows there is a good possibility fewer students will be coming in. If that were to continue the board would make plans to further cut their budgets to live within its means.

"Part of that may be by eliminating a class here or there," said board member Steve Cash. "Each year we tolerate and try to adjust to save a little bit here or there when we can."

If population were to decrease the board would look at combining classes from three sections to two sections. Board members stressed that there is no way to predict what will happen, but they will try to monitor it the best they can.

Some parents also expressed concern that Reelsville actually has the smallest budget of the school's four buildings.

"I'm afraid that five years down the road we're going to be in the same situation and we're getting rid of our least expensive building, the one we can afford the most," said parent Jicasta King. "Reelsville fits our budget. The building's been there for a million years."

Although Reelsville may not be the most expensive building in the corporation to run, it does need the most work. The school is in need of a new heating system and heating controls as well as a new roof within the next few years.

In an effort to save money and try to get the budget on track, it is not feasible to make all the repairs needed for the building at this time. Closing Fillmore was not an option as it just had major renovations done to the building.

"There's a sizeable amount of taxpayer dollars that would have to be spent on upkeep of that building, that we wouldn't spend otherwise," Bernhardt said.

Planning for the upcoming school year will begin shortly after the administration returns from the holidays.

"We're going to hit the ground running when we get back from the holidays," explained Bernhardt. "We would much prefer we would not have these budget problems. This was the last option that we could go to."

The board voted 3-1 Monday to close the school with Nancy Wells, David Bombei and Wesley Hacker voting for the closing. President Mike Rissler voted against the measure, while secretary Steve Cash abstained.

The board also approved the personnel report during the meeting. The resignations of Desiree Vardman of South Putnam High School, effective Nov. 24 and Farrah Adams of South Putnam High school effective Jan. 1.

Missy Smith of Central Elementary was granted maternity leave beginning Feb. 16 until the end of the school year, Lisa Gall of Reelsville beginning Jan. 30 until the end of the school year and Heather Perkins of Reelsville beginning March 8 until the end of the school year.

John Crosby of Central Elementary was granted retirement effective July 31 and Brian Gardner of South Putnam High School was transferred to guidance counselor.

Many supporters of South Putnam agriculture teacher Dave Davies showed up at the school board meeting. However, Davies was not a topic of discussion at the meeting.

Davies is currently on administrative leave due to a pending investigation.


Comments
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What's the stock price for the South Putnam School Board Corporation (SPSB) these days?

-- Posted by Balding Eagle on Mon, Dec 19, 2011, at 10:10 PM

Guess they shouldn't have bought that brand new watering system for their foot ball field, or those brand new buses for the sports teams. I bet that could have saved them at least $80,000 alone on the buses. Or what about Bruce taking a pay cut as well as the principals instead of firing teachers and aids for the Special needs kids. So not doing well to budget their money

-- Posted by DMV84 on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 12:14 AM

maybe getting rid of the transportation department would have been a good idea with the number of parents who pick their kids up everyday to begin with

-- Posted by relguy on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 12:25 AM

There are a lot of people that rely on the buses to transport the children to and from home. I am talking about the two little white buses that they bought for the sports teams. There was nothing wrong with driving the school bus to and from sports.

-- Posted by DMV84 on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 12:41 AM

As a parent of a Reelsville 5th grader and a Reelsville alumni myself I do have mixed emotions over this. I do not wish to see the school closed because of the history and nostalgia of it. However, I do believe next years 6th graders will benefit from this. They will be exposed to the culture of a bigger school sooner and be more apt to take part in the numerous extra-curricular activities offered at SP. We will be catching up to the other county schools who have gone with the middle school long ago. I do not believe Mr. Puckett or the board will force 12 yr olds into the same environment as the high schoolers. SP is staffed by alot of really good and caring educators. I have seen this first hand as I have a junior and a freshman at SP. My only concerns is that the "bugs" will be worked out of the system on my daughters class and what will happen to the reelsville buildings and park area? Lastly, my Daughter is concerned over not having a 6th grade graduation. Sounds silly to us adults but i'll bet most of the kids agree with her.

-- Posted by js584 on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 3:00 AM

Sad, once again we are hurting our children....we never think about the children always the dollar..

-- Posted by cato on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 7:45 AM

js584...totally agree with you.

My daughter is very excited about going to SP next year. And I am excited for the opportunities that she will benefit from.

-- Posted by smltwngrl on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 8:37 AM

@cato No $$$ = nothing for the kids. They go hand in hand.

The students will benefit from being together in one school.

-- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 8:51 AM

Why not consolidate SP and Cloverdale, as was proposed in the 60's when SP was being formed? This would combine the two corporations with the lowest enrollments and highest tax rates and maybe the economies of scale will work to bring those rates down as there would only be one superintendent and administration building to maintain. There are a whole host of other benefits to doing this, but divisions and pride will probably keep this from occurring. Time to swallow your pride and do what should have been done forty plus years ago.

-- Posted by rosco&ginger on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 9:22 AM

If I am not mistaken, in the 60's Cloverdale saw what was coming, they took steps to, I believe it was incorporating itself from a town status to a city. I believe that once it was made a city, then the state could not force them to consolidate with any other schools. I may not be exactly right on how they managed to do it, but it was something close to that. The smartest small town in the county as far as I am concerned.

-- Posted by oldfarmgal on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 9:36 AM

I want a voucher for my tax dollars so I can choose a responsible school corp. to send them to. Now that we have closed Reelsville(Merry Christmas unemployed staff)next meeting they will be sending out RIF letters, and adverstising for a demo company for the school. How much will that cost? I don't see any savings coming , because they will just spend it somewhere else. I just hope we can still remonstrate when next year they start talking about new construction.

-- Posted by areuserious on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 11:12 AM

The board did the responsible thing in voting to close Reelsville. SP student population is not enough to support 4 schools. 1242 students. Its not fiscally responsible to keep that many schools open. There are 3 other schools systems in this county with a larger student population than SP and only 1 has more schools. That is GC. They have 787 more students than SP.

Cut all the programs and more students leave, another school closes. Its not rocket science.

-- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 11:50 AM

All the students are obviously already leaving SP school corp. If the board was so responsible, they would have closed Fillmore 10 years ago instead of pumping 5 million into the smallest and oldest building in the corporation. I know the board has changed members in that time but there are still members there who were then. I am not buying what they are selling. We are closing a school to save $400,000.00 and telling our parents that there will be better programs?Where is the money coming from for that? I thought the closing was to save money and they are already spending it, so ,no I don't think that is responsible!

-- Posted by areuserious on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 12:10 PM

"oldfarmgal"--If your theory was correct why does Owen Valley exist instead of Spencer HS and Northview instead of Brazil HS, etc.??? It was all due to politics at the time. SP demanded that the HS be built at US 40 & 231 and Cloverdale said the HS would be in town, so the rift developed and they could not agree on a location, so they split up and SP went and got Marion Twp. to go with them instead of GC. Cloverdale is not a city, but a town. Greencastle is the only city in the county. A city has a mayor and common council, whereas a town has a three-member town board. We have four school corps. in Putnam County when two or three would be more appropriate.

-- Posted by rosco&ginger on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 2:12 PM

I have never understood why we have four different superindents, when 1-2 would do for all of Putnam County, now there would be some great savings !

-- Posted by NPmom66 on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 2:23 PM

Your right they should have closed Fillmore 10 years ago, but that didn't happen. We can't fix that unless you have a time machine.

-- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 4:25 PM

Everyone is talking about how the kids will be better off. I am having a hard time seeing how. My daughter will be leaving a 4 star school early to go to a school that is far from successful. Look at the DOE website and look up SP. Far from impressive. I understand the fact they have to budget the books. But dont kid yourselves saying there will be more opportunity for the kids. 11 year olds in same facility as 18 year olds. That is not a good situation by any means.

-- Posted by ou812 on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 7:03 PM

Again a school board jumping through hoops for a superintendent.I hope they have thought this out .Again its all about the ole mighty dollar. Is it really about the kids? Its a sad day when a community school has to close its doors and sad when they tell you thts the only way to save. More people losing their jobs but they tell you they understand how you feel. I THINK NOT! IT is time to clean house in this corporation.

-- Posted by cat eyes on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 7:04 PM

I find this to be such a shame!!! Putting 11 year olds with highschool students is a mistake! I went to South Putnam after they had built the Jr. High wing and let me tell you one thing, these children do interact with the highschool students and if anybody tells you any different they are kidding themselves. I witnessed it first hand 13 year olds hanging out with 18 year olds! Now what does an 18 year old have incommon with a 13 year old?? Lets get real kids will find a way to do what they want! I can't understand how education is not priority! Instead it's all about money. You can not tell me there was no way to keep it open! Maybe budget the sports team, fund raisers (when they seen this coming), charge to ride the bus (many schools do this now), I would have donated as much as I could and I know many other people would have too! I can't believe not even one fundraiser was done, not one!!! It seems like they didn't even try!There was no reason to vote or act like they (school board) cared Let us see what new sports item they get next year or improvement they do for sports teams! I'm not anti-sports, I am pro education, EDUCATION COMES FIRST!! What is going to happen to all the wonderful teachers at Reelsville?? This whole situation makes me sick and I am not standing for it anymore! South Putnam has made too many mistakes with funds and I think it is time for my children to leave this school corpoation and look at Greencastle instead! South it's time to get your priorties straight!

-- Posted by whyohwhy on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 8:11 PM

IS IT TRUE THE GREENCASTLE MIDDLE SCHOOL IS UNDER STATE CONTROL, FOR NOT MAKING THE GRADE?

-- Posted by farmer on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 8:40 PM

Better do some research on the schools in the County.

If you would have attended some school board meetings you would know that Reelsville teachers will be moving to Central. You would also know that the 6th graders will have the same 6th grade teachers at South.

Pretty sure Greencastle Middle School has a D rating. So go ahead and move there. There is not one County school that is rated better than South.

Have fun with the appointed School Board at Greencastle. You have a voice at South by voting for you School board members. Instead of complaining maybe you should get your name on the ballot.

-- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 9:02 PM

Looking at the 2010-2011 elementary school rankings for 3rd & 4th grade combined ISTEPS English/ Language Arts/ Math, of the 1029 schools in Indiana Reelsville ranked 262, Fillmore ranked 339, Roachdale ranked 412, Central ranked 520, TZ ranked 622, Cloverdale ranked 708, and Bainbridge 717. So I guess your suppose to close the school who's students preformed the higher Isteps. schooldigger.com for rankings

-- Posted by farmer on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 9:19 PM

The original plan of south putnam county school corporation was to tear down belle union, fillmore, and reelsville and consolidate into central elementary, build a middle school, and have the high school. This way everyone was in one area and it would cost a lot less money in the long run. Instead they remodeled reelsville and rebuilt fillmore costing millions of dollars. This was totally absurd for the few amount of children the corporation actually has. Belle Union took the first step by tearing down their school( they even started tearing down the doors when the kids were walking out of the school building on their last day!), but fillmore and reelsville did not follow suit. We are now starting to see that they should have followed through with the plan that was originally agreed upon.

The entire county has 4 administrators and assistants that collectively make over 520,000$ a year. Marion, clay, and vigo county have only one administrator. In comparison, there are far more students in the counties listed above than putnam county. Therefore, it is totally insane to have 4 administrators in one county who have assistants as well.

They have cut and slashed teachers paychecks as low as it can go. Teachers are the real heros, they are the ones who deserve the most money. They are more important than any other of the staff in a school system. Granite they all work together, but the teachers are the ones who deserve the credit for making our children succeed. Why would anyone choose to go to school and become a teacher when you make around 30-39,000$ a year when you pay over 60,000$ to get your degree. This doesn't even count graduate school either.(also you have to pay your interest rate on your student loan, and with a teacher's salary this will take much longer than most other jobs).

South putnam laid off many of the teacher aids who truly care about the children they were helping. They have seen them change and grow from when they first started school. Maybe if the administrators, principles, and vice principles would take a cut we wouldn't have as many problems in the south putnam school corporation as we do.

-- Posted by hoosier22 on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 9:31 PM

Here's a novel idea: Make Central and Fillmore Elementary schools...and Reelsville the Junior High School with 6, 7, and 8th grades. They have the room and lockers there for all.

-- Posted by Countryguy on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 9:47 PM

OK, true I should have attended the school board meetings, but I work and go to school in the evenings so that is not possible for me!I would love to attend! I am well aware of South Putnams statistics and the rest of the county. I am just tired of South mishandling funds! It has been going on for years and you can't deny that! I just want to know why nothing else was done to prevent this? It's as if they did not try. I am fed up with schools and teachers salaries/jobs being cut! It is ridiculous! I am not saying this will or will not work! I am just tired of education getting slashed everywhere! Education is priority for our children and our future and it's getting tossed out the door!!!

-- Posted by whyohwhy on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 10:38 PM

Oh, by the way, regarding what will happen to the Reelsville school building after it closes..... the school board or Mr. Bernhardt has never really said...but it will be bulldozed down. They don't want to pay utilities or maintenance on it. What a waste of a school building that is in great shape.

-- Posted by Countryguy on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 11:08 PM

We all have heard about the success of the South Put. Softball team and the Sectional Championship of the football team. But are you aware that Fillmore Ele. Spell Bowl Team placed 10th in the state in their division. This is the second time in 5 years. Where is the Sup and School Board in showing recognition to this outstanding feat. Thanks go to Mr. Hayes and the staff/pto of Fillmore for making these kids feel special for all their hard work. Just another example of the misguided priorities of this Administration.

-- Posted by ou812 on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 7:02 AM

I'm waiting to see how quick they have to build onto SP so a certain board member can get their name on another plaque! They will most certainly want to refinance Fillmores bonds for this AGAIN,and then it will be ALL FILLMORES FAULT that the debt is over-berring AGAIN! It happened last time,,and will happen again,unless this board member is VOTED OFF AGAIN and kept off!

-- Posted by Ya THUNK on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 7:05 AM

My Mother graduated from Reelsville High School in 1949. All of my siblings and I went to this school. I was just up in Indiana this past June, and that building is beautiful.

This is a sad, sad story.

I hope you can find a way to save this facility and its memories.

-- Posted by ZooKeeper on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 7:36 AM

I agree with country guy on making Reelsville a middle school after all isnt that what they want to do ,combine? Create a middle school out of a standing building and save JOBS! I have heard talk of a new building for a middle school. Time will tell.And whyohwhy is right the middle school will mingle with the high school,I have seen it! Sports are great for kids but WAY to much focus is spent on it. If your not in sports you are considered a a nobody even teachers treat you different. How SAD. Lets vote in people who truly care about education .

-- Posted by cat eyes on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 9:27 AM

Spell Bowl teams were recognized at a School Board meeting along with all the other the sports teams. The Spell Bowl teams were also in the paper. So don't try to play that card!

-- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 9:51 AM

Then why was the parents and kids not notified about them being recognized. My daughter was a PERFECT SPELLER for the Fillmore Spell Bowl team and not one note came home about them being recognized. If we were notified of it we would have made sure our daughter would have been there. What is the point of recognizing someone and not letting them know they were?

-- Posted by ou812 on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 10:16 AM

Consolidate SP and Cloverdale and get rid of all of the superintendents and Asst. Supers...principals, asst. principals, then we might see a savings...money wise and teacher wise. The teachers are the people who are really the educators, not those sitting in offices all day. Of course, we need those folks too as the leaders, but not as many as we have.

-- Posted by Cloverinterest on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 10:31 AM

the football team and softball team were not there either.

-- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 11:31 AM

It is heartbreaking to think that Reelsville is going too bulldozed down. My family has spent many long days there working and going to school. When I think of the SP school corporation there are downfalls just like with any other school corporation. When I think of the corporation I actually think about how the Superintendent's office is located in an old building where three people are housed during the work day. If money is such an issue why not close down and bulldoze that building. Relocate the three people to another building that is already being used. I understand there are cuts that need to be made but let's think logically on where to make the cuts and what people will be affected. Why not inconvenience three people rather than hundreds?

-- Posted by js_hutch30 on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 11:48 AM

oh never mind. It's a done deal.

-- Posted by exhoosier2 on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 12:00 PM

umm, wrong answer timetothink, the school board said it is possible that SOME of the Reelsville teachers will be at Central next year. They are only adding 3 positions for the combining of the 2 schools.

No, the 6th graders will not have the same teachers.

It appears that so many people complain about others not going to the meetings, that they don't listen to what is going on.

The only thing matters now is for us to help our children make a smooth transition.

-- Posted by sammee09 on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 1:25 PM

timetothink..... oh !!! I was not aware of that rule. If no one is told that makes it fine. My bad !!! Guess you should get your fact straight before you post.

-- Posted by ou812 on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 1:54 PM

Central has 2 of each grade K-6. There will be 3 sections of each grade at Central next year K-5.

3 sections of 6th graders.

You loose 1 6th grade teacher.

I believe there are 2 sections of 3rd and 4th at Reelsville. 2 slots gone.

There would be 3 classroom teacher slots gone. plus 1 LD & 1 Title one teacher.

1 teacher from each of the following grades from Reelsville will move to Central

K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th.

That adds up to 3 Classroom teacher slots not being replaced. You stated only 3 teachers would move over. There will be at least 6 Reelsville teachers move to Central. The 7th could be going to South with the 6th grade.

It was also stated that this could change if teachers retire. If that would happen it would open up positions.

Teachers will be evaluated. This means Central teachers could loose their classroom.

That also means an LD teacher or Title 1 teacher could take over the position at Central.

Not sure there is a rule on being recognized. The spell bowl teams from all elementaries were mentioned and that is typically printed in the paper. Its not a formal event that the students would be invited to.

-- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 3:46 PM

It's easy to see you have no valuable information timetothink...all your post start with " I believe " Thats great they mentioned all the spell bowl teams. Only one placed 10th in the state. sorry you don't believe they should have had more than a mention with the other schools. But I do, these kids spent many of hours working toward a goal and accomplished it. My daughter studied her butt off, on top off all her other homework and basketball. Which for her is a significant amount, sense she is high abilities and a straight A student. Its time to place education over sports. Have you thought maybe its people with mind sets like yours the reason this corperation is losing so many students? We are not just losing kids to other schools, parents are taking their kids out of SP and doing online schooling. That just may be the direction I will be heading.

-- Posted by ou812 on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 4:32 PM

just checked only 1 "I believe".

-- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 4:49 PM

I stand corrected...only one I believe and one pretty sure.

-- Posted by ou812 on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 8:02 PM

I was sad to hear that Reelsville would be closed and torn down. It holds a special place in my heart as I went there in kindergarten and first grade, before moving away. It has been a part of my family for generations including parents, aunts,uncles and cousins. But like everything, money talks. A sad loss of history. My thoughts go out to the staff who will be losing their jobs.

-- Posted by Bubbaandboo1 on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 11:30 PM

"Pretty sure" is being used sarcastically. GMS does have a "D" rating.

I am providing facts. If you would rather read the "fiction" on this forum be my guest. When I see things being written that are not accurate I am going to state the facts, not rumors or hear say.

There are items in the above article that are not reported correctly by the Banner.

The board member that abstained was Mike Rissler.

(He is the President and is the deciding vote if needed) It was not needed since the vote was 3-1

Steve Cash voted against.

Darwyn Nelson is no longer on the board.

While the Banner has attended all of the meetings not everything the have reported is accurate.

-- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 4:52 PM

Once again our administration don't make cuts to save the kids education and stability! Imagine that

-- Posted by concern on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 8:23 PM

timetothink: I must applaud you for your efforts on these forums to keep the facts straight. Do you happen to have any information on the Ag program? If so, please email it to me, as I do not want it posted on here for a free-for-all. randydkuhlman@yahoo.com Thanks!

My inclination is that there has been a massive mis-handling of funds in SPSC. HOWEVER, Reelsville closing was the only VIABLE solution. Believe me folks, I have spent (and am continuing to spend) lots of hours of research on this. I wish there were alternatives more viable, but they simply would not add up. Yes, cutting administrator salary to teacher salary would be significant (i.e. Superintendent, HS Principal/VP, two elementary Principals), however, it doesn't save us $400,000 we are in the hole.

In the end, we have to continue to save money. I have recommended cutting ALL coach pay, head and assistant alike. Every penny counts towards our FUTURE financial state. I would also like to see more money put into Educational programs over Athletics. The football field watering system-Really?

Now, having said that, many of you will probably agree, some will disagree. BUT, when it comes down to it, parents choose sports over education programs every time. That has been what I have discovered through research and from talking with board members about all of this.

In closing, it comes down to the parents more than the board. Yes, I said it. Parents are what matter in what to cut. Voices make a difference! Again, many will disagree here.

Once again, I would like to thank you timetothink and ask you to email me with any information you have. Everyone else, please attend as often as you can! There is a lot of information that is easily chopped up by the time it hits the press! Thanks for reading!

Sincerest Regards,

Randy D. Kuhlman

-- Posted by RandyDKuhlman on Fri, Dec 23, 2011, at 7:29 PM

Mydaughter told me they are doing awawy with the AG program and turning the fish lab into a weight room? Are you kidding me? Students were actually learning and having a hands on in that room, Mr. Davies seemed like a good teacher something fishy is going on here. What is going on @ S.P.????

-- Posted by cat eyes on Fri, Dec 23, 2011, at 10:40 PM

I am not so sure it is mishandling of funds that has caused the current situation. This has been ongoing for at least 10 years. The Board and Administrators did not follow the long range plan that was established in 1985. That plan was to move all elementary students to Central as the other buildings started to decline.

Eliminating Sports and Coaches pay will not solve the issue. While everyone thinks Sports are evil and terrible for education that is not the case.

South Putnam has some very intelligent kids and a majority of them play sports. If sports programs are cut I can guarantee that SP will lose a huge amount of students!

Another option would be to have the Sports programs fund at least and 1/4 to 1/2 of their cost or at least pay the Coaching cost.

-- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Sat, Dec 24, 2011, at 9:00 AM

Employee insurance is an area to look. SP pays 99% of teachers and administrators insurance. It is "very good" insurance. A teacher or administrator that is on this plan pays 1%. The family plan of insurance cost $21,000.00 per year per teacher or administrator with that plan. That money comes out of the General Fund.

-- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Sat, Dec 24, 2011, at 10:25 AM

The South Putnam Teachers are among the lowest paid in the state. They have opted to keep their "very good" insurance as opposed to asking for a pay raise. Please get your facts straight on how much they pay of their insurance. They will be paying even more in the near future.

-- Posted by gussie on Sat, Dec 24, 2011, at 11:32 AM

They will be paying more in the near future due to the State requiring it. I am aware of what SP teacher salaries are as I am aware of what the teachers in the rest of the County are paid and what their insurance cost are. I know our teachers wanted to keep that insurance and why. Major companies are scaling back their employee insuracne during these tough times. SP offers a family plan and and single plan. The other county schools offer different tiers of insurance so the employee can decide what coverage they want. While some teachers at SP would like to keep the wonderful insurance plan there are others that would like that money in their pay check.

-- Posted by letmegetbacktoya on Sat, Dec 24, 2011, at 12:01 PM

no, you are wrong timetothink...

Steve Cash abstained from voting, Mike Rissler voted to keep it open, that is where the 3-1-1 vote came in (3 voted to close, 1 abstained from voting, 1 voted to keep it open).

Like I said earlier, not all teachers from Reelsville will come to Central. In the meeting at Reelsville, the Superintendent said specifically "it is possible that SOME of Reelsville teachers will be teaching at Central."

Randy had suggested to eliminate the assistant coaches pay, that was it.

-- Posted by sammee09 on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 3:36 PM

schooldigger.com is such a great resource. It just showed me that our South and Greencastle schools aren't THAT much different. South Putnam middle school students scored 75.3 Math and 78.1 English while Greencastle Middle school students scored 77.2 Math and 74.8 English. While I can't pull up attendance records on this website, I can see that there are only 10 schools in between the two on these rankings and 1.4 percentage points on the average of the scores. I post these records because we are too busy fighting with one another about which environment is better for our kids and making each other feel bad about we are doing when this grading system our wonderful state came up with is based on student achievement. Teachers in our county are making much less money than other schools in the state, but I'm also pretty sure you can find districts making less than our teachers. I say that to shed light to the fact that ALL of our county's teachers (no matter which school district) care about teaching and are trying their very hardest to educate our youth of today. Might I suggest that instead of arguing about all of these details, we help volunteer our time to the youth that occupy these schools who aren't doing as well. This responses are so lengthy and well thought out, that maybe all of our time might be better spent helping our teachers instead of pitting them against each other's student achievement statistics.

-- Posted by ttocs on Sat, Dec 31, 2011, at 1:00 AM


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