South Putnam board approves EES proposal, kindergarten report card

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Part of an agenda focused on improvements, the South Putnam School Board approved a proposal aimed at better fiscal responsibility, as well as a new report card for kindergarten students at its regular meeting Wednesday evening.

Superintendent Corey Smith told the board that he was looking to contract with EES Analytics to help the school corporation maximize its financial potential and be fiscally responsible and compliant. He put this as “squeezing every penny that we can out of every dollar that we get.”

Smith said that he and staff would work with Brandon Penrod through EES on South Putnam’s 2023 budget cycle. Penrod has been the chief financial officer of Warsaw Schools.

To a question from Board Secretary Wes Hacker on whether the contract would be an annual one, Smith responded that it would be as needed until it would drop off “as we go.” Also responding to questions from Board Vice President Lisa Cooper and member Joseph Roach, Smith said EES would take over Baker Tilly’s function as a separate piece from its data mining service.

“This is taking a deep dive in our finances,” Smith said before the proposal was approved.

Noting the diligence of all the teachers who helped come up with it, Fillmore Elementary Principal Debbie Steffy announced that the new kindergarten report card will be introduced next school year. She noted that the new document was a “much-needed improvement” over the previous version.

In a written statement to the board, kindergarten teacher Brandy Ames provided that the new report card will better explain how scores are done and give parents a guide on their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Steffy added that they will be sent out every quarter instead of twice a year.

“I know that’s a mind-boggling thing to do that,” Cooper said before the new format was approved. “I think you did such a great job of coming up with something that would be helpful not only to teachers in the first grade, but also to parents.”

In other business:

• The board approved purchasing two AEDs, including backpacks, for potential use during recess at both Central and Fillmore elementary schools.

• The board approved the deadlines for out-of-district student transfer requests during the 2022-23 school year to coincide with the state’s average daily membership (ADM) count days. The specific days are yet to be determined.

• The board approved a request by Transportation Director Brad Ogborn to purchase a Mosmatic undercarriage cleaner for South Putnam’s school buses. He said it would work with a Hotsy pressure washer, but eliminate greater part of manual work under the bus, as well as be beneficial for washing salt during the winter apart from general inspections.

Ogborn said he had a quote for $2,750, but had found another vendor selling a Mosmatic cleaner for $2,500. The board’s approval stipulated that the purchase not go over the quote.

• The board also recognized South Putnam’s Students of the Month: Parker Tourtillot (Central Elementary); Emily Ellis (Fillmore Elementary); Bryan Bye (South Putnam Middle School); and Vienna Burkhart (South Putnam High School). Burkhart was not in attendance.

The board also approved the following personnel report:

• Resignations: RaeAnne Kimmel – Central Elementary special education teacher (effective end of school year); Lisa Trump and Allen Landree – South Putnam MS/HS custodians; Emily Bilbrey – South Putnam MS/HS food service (part time); Roshia Scott – South Putnam Middle School track coach; Jamie Basore – South Putnam Middle School volleyball coach; and Matthew Pickerill, varsity boys’ basketball coach;

• Termination: Michael Bridgewater – mechanic;

• Employment: Bobbi Siddons – Fillmore Elementary head cook; Greg Mitchell – South Putnam MS/HS custodian; Janet Zimmerman – eighth-grade volleyball coach; and Anna Kendall – South Putnam Middle School girls’ track coach

Corporation Treasurer Hilarie Logan and Administrative Assistant Terri Beasley joined Smith, Cooper, Hacker, Roach, Board President Hollie Hutcheson and member Gregg Hinchman for the meeting.

The next regular meeting of the South Putnam School Board is set for Wednesday, May 11 at 7 p.m. in the South Putnam MS/HS Learning Center.

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