North Putnam board considers new policies, food service

Friday, November 22, 2019

BAINBRIDGE -- A pair of new policies relating to metal detectors and harassment, as well as the approval of a new food management provider, were two major items on the North Putnam School Board’s agenda Thursday evening.

The board heard input from Corporation Attorney Daniel Taylor regarding those two policies, which address school safety and bring North Putnam Schools into both state and federal compliance.

The first concerned the use of metal detector wands on school premises and school-related events. Superintendent Nicole Singer began that while the state provided the wands last year, the corporation was required to have a policy for them.

Taylor explained that the policy takes into account what authority administration has in searching persons, saying the metal detectors could certainly be implemented at high-volume events. However, the policy also stipulates that “reasonable suspicion” must guide whether a person is searched, and that North Putnam’s student resource officer (SRO) could be present as necessary.

The second policy being considered related to harassment. Taylor said that this new policy prohibits discrimination and harassment as defined by Title IX, as well as stipulates the duty of faculty and administration to report incidents. These would be forwarded to the superintendent to make sure the policy is being followed.

Taylor also provided that the policy sets out a prohibition of retaliation by anyone against a complainant, as well as the necessity for training on harassment procedures and channels.

These two policies will be up for a vote of approval by the board at its next regular meeting next month.

The board also approved Chartwells as its new food management provider. A representative of the company provided that Chartwells will bring in a new director of service, and that 15 food service employees will become full-time and still receive benefits.

The representative said the company would work with school nurses to determine students’ allergies, and that daily meals can be accessed online through Chartwells. She also said that food would be made from recipes, and that salad bars would be an option for students.

Singer, Director of Operations Terry Tippin and Corporation Treasurer Tonya Pearson made up a committee which reviewed Chartwells as a candidate, as the corporation has been looking at working with another company following issues with its current provider.

She acknowledged that employees have been nervous about the change, but ensured that the new management would provide training prior to Day One on Jan. 6. With this, Singer said she had consulted with other school districts who employ Chartwells, with no complaints about food quality.

While expenses might be higher, Singer added that the corporation would begin to see revenue, and that “you pay for what you get.” Part of the change in the first place stems from North Putnam Schools sustaining consistent food service debt.

In other business, the board also approved the disposal of surplus books at North Putnam High School. Principal Jason Chew said it would be optimal for them to either be recycled or let other schools to have them. He provided that recycling companies might not want them, but would contact those who might be interested.

The board also approved the school calendar for 2020-21. Singer stated that classes would start later than other area districts, mostly due to students potentially attending the Indiana State Fair. The calendar will also incorporate “flex days” to work with e-learning days, during which teacher conferences may be held.

Board members also approved a resolution authorizing for funds to be transferred from the Education Fund to the Operations Fund, so that operations expenses not allocated for instruction can be reimbursed.

The board also recognized science teacher Matthew Couch from North Putnam Middle School as North Putnam’s Teacher of the Month.

The board also recognized Monroe Beaman as the winner of the 2019 Darrell Wiatt Family Philanthropy Essay Contest. The body also accepted a donation from the contest which Beaman wished to go toward the art program at North Putnam Middle School.

Additionally, the board approved the following personnel report:

• New hires: Craig Armitage, major production assistant director/technical director, musical technical director/sound technician; Linda Gjesvold, major production art director, musical art director; Kirstin Mindiola, musical choreography; Jake Waterman, permanent substitute teacher; Jack Wright, full-time bus driver; Alisha Bell and Mariah Jarboe, Winter Guard assistants; Andrea Smith and Cindy Mindiola, parent chaperones and assistants, Kim Curran, middle school/high school concessions manager; Greg Lyons, ninth-grade boys’ head coach; Ryan King, third-grade boys’ basketball coach; Jeremy Windmiller, fourth-grade boys’ basketball coach; Brent Conner, fifth-grade boys’ basketball coach; Kevin Young, fifth-grade boys’ basketball coach; Jenny Heron, ninth-grade girls’ basketball coach; Lynn Buescher, third-grade girls’ basketball coach; John McCarty, third-grade girls’ basketball coach; Justin Judy, fourth-grade girls’ basketball coach; Jay Burdine, fourth-grade girls’ basketball coach; Lisa Asher and Jason Monnett, sixth-grade assistant basketball coaches; Jason Woodall, seventh-grade head basketball coach; Robert Helderman, seventh-grade assistant basketball coach; Dan Farrington, eighth-grade assistant basketball coach; Fred Shorter, middle school/high school assistant wrestling coach; Jeremy Tidd and Adam Logan, middle school/high school assistant swimming coaches; Andrew Hardy, middle school head golf coach; Jacob Bender, middle school assistant golf coach; Terri Daigle, middle school head softball coach; and Jeremy Windmiller, Jason Woodall, Robert Helderman and Brian Tefertiller, middle school assistant baseball coaches;

• Leaves: Lynn Hedge, bus driver/Bainbridge Elementary School instructional assistant; and Shannon Kinkead, Bainbridge Elementary School teacher;

• Resignation: Lisa Asher, Bainbridge Elementary School teacher;

• Retirements: Jo Ann Culley, North Putnam High School cafeteria manager; and Patricia Beams, North Putnam High School cafeteria aide.

At-large member Mark Hoke was absent from Thursday’s meeting.

The next regular meeting of the North Putnam School Board is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. in the North Putnam Schools Administration Office in Bainbridge.

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