North Putnam School Board forms new special committees
BAINBRIDGE -- A special committee has been formed to discuss the proposal of attendance centers for both Bainbridge and Roachdale elementary schools.
Under the proposed plan, all preschool through second grade students would attend Bainbridge and third- to fifth-graders would attend school at Roachdale.
The committee is to brainstorm ideas on how to best handle the issue before a final vote is taken in January.
School board members Andy Beck and Jackie Simpson, assistant superintendent Kevin Emsweller, Bainbridge Elementary School principal JoEllen Cook, Roachdale Elementary School principal Scott Spencer, teacher representatives Jeanine Peterson from Bainbridge and Jonathan Shannon from Roachdale; and Parent Teacher Organization representatives Breanna Miethe from Roachdale and Dana Young from Bainbridge will discuss the matter at a special committee meeting next week.
Superintendent Mary Sugg Lovejoy said she hopes the committee will be able to come up with a recommendation to be voted on in January.
The first meeting of the Attendance Center Committee will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Central Office Board Room. Other meeting dates and times will be discussed during the first meeting.
The board also received a summary of bids for the renovation project to replace the roof at North Putnam High School and windows at both North Putnam Middle School and Roachdale Elementary School for information only.
Consideration of the bids in relation to the scope of the project will be voted on during the board's next meeting on Sept. 16.
It also unanimously approved a recommendation to charge student-athletes $15 for transportation per playing season.
Members of the community weighed in on the issue of bus routes.
One parent had a concern about the length of school bus routes for his middle school and high school students.
"I know that budgets are tight everywhere and some bus routes have been eliminated, but the length is too much," he said. He said even though his house is five miles away from the schools it takes an hour and 20 minutes both in the afternoon and morning. His students are first on and last off on the route.
"I don't know what the route changes did for all the kids in the school district," he said, noting he has heard of some students spending an hour and a half both to and from school.
Lovejoy said most bus rides were to be limited to 45 minutes to an hour and that she would get back to with him for more information.
Lovejoy also announced staff members would be starting training on the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program during the first semester of classes this year.
Building principals, bus drivers, general education and special education teachers, instructional aides, counselors and parents were trained in late August.
The program is a "comprehensive, school-wide program designed and evaluated for use in elementary, middle, or junior high schools" and its goals are "to reduce and prevent bullying problems among school children and to improve peer relations at school," according to the program's website.
The program will begin after a school kick-off day in late January, early February, which counselors in each building will coordinate. Students in grades 3-12 will also take an online survey about bullying in the schools.
"We're looking to find the hotspots in a school so we can address the particular places where bullying is occurring," Lovejoy said.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the North Putnam Community School Corporation Board of Trustees will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 in the Central Office Board Room (300 N. Washington, Bainbridge).