South Putnam school board approves administrative stipends
The South Putnam Community School Corporation Board of Trustees this week approved an administrative performance stipend to be paid out of corporation funds.
Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt explained teachers that were on staff last year and are still teaching this year were eligible for the performance stipend as determined in previous negotiations. Based on Indiana Department of Education specifications, the teachers had to receive a positive evaluation to be eligible to receive the state-funded stipend.
Bernhardt said at Monday's meeting he was pleased to announced all eligible teachers received a positive evaluation, which was based on several qualifications, including ISTEP scores. The state sent a lump sum of money to the school to be distributed evenly among the teachers, which came to $664.31 for each eligible teacher.
He noted that by law, the administrative staff was not eligible to receive any of the funds provided by the state. He requested each of the administration members in the three school buildings receive a stipend in the same amount using corporation funds.
"They (principals) weren't included in that legislation. Since they are the instructional leaders of the buildings, they are responsible for receiving that grade also," Bernhardt said, referencing the school's 'A' letter grade for the 2013-14 school year.
Susanne Sullivan updated the school board on the London/Paris trip taken over Spring Break. Trip coordinators Advanced Placement (AP) Social Studies teachers Brady Rhodes and Zach Love were unable to attend the meeting due to sporting events.
Sullivan started by thanking the school board on behalf of the 16 students and staff members that were able to make the trip for the opportunity to go overseas to learn more about the cultures in London and Paris.
The students were able to see the Crown Jewels, the London Bridge, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace before making their way to France.
Students were able to ride the train system during all times of the day, and she noted they thought it was funny watching the teachers try to speak French to figure out where they were.
They tried escargot -- which she noted the students loved -- saw the Mona Lisa while visiting the Louvre museum and were able to see a live performance of "Les Miserables."
Sullivan said the students were on their best behavior during the trip, and the staff at the hotel where they were staying mentioned how much better the students were compared to other visiting classes.
This trip is the first put together by the two teachers for the International Travel Program. A second trip, set for Spring Break of 2017, will take students to Italy.
At the March school board meeting Rhodes and Love explained the importance of these trips, which allows students to not only travel the world, but see some of the places being discussed in their text books.
"It's one thing to talk about the importance of British government, but it's another thing to actually see the Halls of Parliament," Rhodes said previously.
In other business, the board:
* Approved the retirement of part-time English teacher Harriett Dobson. Board members noted this is the second time Dobson has retired, the first time in 2000 but she came back to work at the school part-time.
* Approved the hiring of RtI counselor Heath Pruitt in the middle and high school and Lori Thomas as instructional assistant in the middle and high school.
* Recognized the following students of the month: Central Elementary Trevor Vanihel, grade 5; Fillmore Elementary Siddalee Cox, grade 5; South Putnam Middle School Garrett Heavin, grade 8; and South Putnam High School senior Collin Berry.