Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

February 14, 2013

DCCS to create a clearly defined transfer policy

Greensburg — At its regular meeting Wednesday night, the Decatur County Community Schools (DCCS) Board accepted the resignation of DCCS Technology Coordinator Corey Hill.

According to DCCS Superintendent Johnny Budd, Hill has accepted a position in Greencastle.

“He represents a big loss for our district,” Budd told the Daily News after the meeting. “Anytime you lose a departmental director, it has the potential to be extremely disruptive, but Corey found a great opportunity in Greencastle that really suits his family.”

Regardless, Budd expressed confidence the Board has taken adequate steps to take the loss in stride. “We have contracted our IT services with 5-Star Technology. They’ll deploy a tech person here, on-site every day. There will be a second, off-site specialist who serves in Corey’s role, whom we’ll be sharing with South Ripley. Plus, we’ll have access to numerous engineers who’ll be able to assist us off-site. They won’t necessarily have to be here to fix the system.”

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, Budd announced that he’s currently working to formulate a set of criteria to serve as the corporation’s official Transfer Policy.

“We currently don’t have an official policy in place,” the superintendent explained. “My plan is to tighten the requirements and put measures in place that stipulate a specific GPA level, or attendance requirements from the current school. I think disciplinary criteria would be appropriate, too — no previous suspensions, for instance, and so forth.”

Budd acknowledged that tightening the requirements will likely decrease the number of transfers, but he doesn’t necessarily view the drop-off as a negative consequence. “Tightening the policy will cause a loss of students, but it will likely also improve our overall letter grade from the state, as we’ll be weeding out under-performing or students with disciplinary or other problems they’d otherwise bring into the DCCS.”

More, Budd added, an increase in the corporation’s overall grade will make the community as a whole more attractive not only to individual families, but also, potentially, to new business. Budd expects to have a set of criteria ready for review at the Board’s March meeting.

The superintendent will also have an official job description for a District-wide athletic director prepared for review at the March meeting. The position will consolidate the North and South Decatur High School athletic director positions into a single job.

“For one, having one director overseeing all district athletics will obviously save money,” Budd said. “But it will also provide consistency in our athletic program.”

The superintendent hopes to have the new position filled by sometime in May.

Budd also intends to begin “tweaking” the district’s grading in weighting system in the coming months.

The overall intent, he explained, is to streamline and clarify the way in which student GPAs are calculated “The changes will be system-wide, but will mostly benefit our high school students, by helping them be more competitive in earning scholarships and gaining access into the best colleges possible.”

The Board also agreed Wednesday night to restructure Assistant Superintendent Mike Wilcox’s job to maximize his expertise in mapping the district’s curriculum.

The Board voted unanimously to transfer Wilcox’s Transportation Director responsibilities to Central Office Secretary Cathy Land. Land will receive an additional $8,500 in annual salary.

In turn, Wilcox will transition to oversight of the district’s curriculum-mapping efforts.

According to Budd, curriculum mapping is currently administered through a contractor. At the moment, the district is focused on mapping English, Language Arts and Math; Wilcox will assume full oversight as the district moves into other subject areas.  

Budd explained curriculum mapping as laying out teaching content in a systematic, grade-by-grade order. Curriculum mapping allows teachers, from one grade to the next, to understand what students should have learned in previous grades, what they need to be taught at the current level, and how current learning content will lay the foundation for future learning.

The Board also increased its “Rainy Day” Fund from $100,000 to $500,000 Wednesday night.

“A $100,000 Rainy Day Fund is pretty small for a district our size,” Budd said. “You never know what emergencies might pop up that you won’t be able to cover with the Capital Projects Fund. So it’s important to have backup money that’s above and beyond the yearly, appropriated amount in the CPF.”

The next regular meeting of the DCCS Board will be at 6 p.m., March 13, at the Central Office.

Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011

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