In the regularly scheduled Greensburg Community Schools Board of Education meeting Tuesday the main topic was the 2013-2014 curriculum, which was presented by Director of Guidance, Sue Auffenberg.
Greensburg Schools are waiting for feedback on the new two-week Fall Break. Some board members expressed that they felt the break was too long, but permanent changes will be left to the opinion of students and parents.
Diploma requirements have changed for the freshman and sophomore years, when compared to the junior and senior requirements. Options for duel credit classes have become more restrictive, though seven out of nine classes that could apply to state certifications are now being offered.
Board of Education President Al Moore expressed concern that the state certifications could narrow options for college for some students.
Auffenberg responded that the certifications are positive assets to future college applications, and are not intended to hold kids back if they decide to pursue a career unrelated to their certification.
Additionally, an Ivy Tech class has been made available which will qualify for AP English credits. AP English can also be taken during the junior years, so as not to isolate kids who didn’t feel they were ready for the course during their sophomore year.
Teaching Algebra in the eight grade is coming closer to being a reality. “It seems every year we’re raising the bar a little,” Auffenberg said. There are challenges with getting students to look forward enough in their school career to understand the new mathematical challenges in their future, she explained.
AP Calculus students are now required to have their own scientific calculators. There are grants in place for students who cannot afford the expensive calculators.
More energies are being put to Algebra 1 Special Education to help students who may otherwise be left behind.
Environmental Science is planned on being dropped due to lack of interest. AP exams for AP Biology and Chemistry are now available during the summer.
Moreover, as part of Project Lead the Way, there has been discussion of offering Ivy Tech classes in Chemistry and Space Science for eight grade, particularly for students who do not test well. The problem lies in the lack of teachers on the freshman level. There is also the potential for an honors class in Biology 1 for freshmen, but there are still not enough teachers at the sophomore level.
On the “priority list” is an AP duel credit for Social Studies. History has been expanded to include AP World History which will cover 800 B.C. to the present.
Extracurricular programs will also see changes.
Archery has been added as a junior high option for advanced Physical Education due to success at the high school. Jazz Band has been dropped as a class, though it remains as an extracurricular activity. Greensburg Community High School (GCHS) Principal Phil Chapple said 24 students attended the 7:45 a.m. Jazz Band practice, indicating high interest. The reason Jazz Band was dropped because scheduling was conflicting with Marching Band. Show Choir has been expanded to include Freshmen. The choir director felt there were a handful of exceptional Freshmen who were losing an opportunity because Show Choir was not offered for the Freshmen grade.
The AP Art class description has been changed to stress that the class’ intention is to create and expand portfolios. There has been discussion for begin an Art History and Digital Design classes, but there are not enough teachers.
Computer classes are largely remaining the same, though Programming has been dropped due to lack of interest.
A Business class for Freshmen has been added named Personal Financial Responsibility.
Chapple thanked Auffenberg for her efforts in creating and bettering the school curriculum. Chapple said Auffenberg thought of many questions about the classes that had not been addressed. “It’s good to have a leader in the state who looks at career paths,” he remarked.
The complete curriculum guide is planned to be finished in November.
The board also made note of several donations received from various organizations.
First Federal Savings and Loan donated 66 letter jackets for Greensburg High School students which amounted to $9,474.35. Target Take Charge of Education donated $354.44 to GES; Encore Insurance Group donated $500 to the high school’s Football Player of the Game; and Rural King donated approximately $1,500 worth of supplies to the Industrial Tech. Department.
The Greensburg Schools have owned a property in Iowa since the ‘20s, which has been rented by the Finer family for 30 years.
The school system has received word that the Finer’s current rate of $135 an acre is well under the current market rate, likely leading to a raise in rent. Finer has been sent a letter informing him that the Greensburg Schools will be reevaluating the property’s value, though no more contact has been implemented, and the reevaluation has not yet occurred.
Superintendent Tom Hunter requested that the school’s current 1990 pick-up truck, which is used for snow removal, be disposed, and a new vehicle purchased in its stead.
The board approved the request, given the current truck can no longer be repaired. An auction will be retrieving the old truck, and a new vehicle estimated at $25,000 will be purchased.
Hunter congratulated Mike Novak, Engineering and Technology Education teacher, for being in the top 10 candidates for Indiana Teacher of the Year.
He also expressed condolences regarding two recent deaths: Richard Lee Revalee, principal of Greensburg Junior High School for 26 years, and Gary F. Wolter, husband of GES teacher Karen Wolter. Gary Wolter was killed in a motorcycle accident late last month.
For the second straight meeting, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equal rights organization “Get Equal” were present at Tuesday’s meeting.
A representative spoke during the alloted time for communication from patrons. He repeated Get Equal’s demands that three educators be placed on administrative leave while litigation against them is still pending in regards to the Billy Lucas case.
Following the first speaker was Shaleese Grimes, who identified herself as the mother of a severely bullied student.
She expressed that she was immensely disturbed by the lack of discussion of bullying in Greensburg schools during the school board meeting, and described adults’ responsibilities in protecting children. “Billy Lucas will never take advantage of the classes offered. All this stuff this lady (Sue Aufenberg) talked about means nothing if our kids are not here.” said Grimes.
Unable to respond to the protesters because of the pending litigation, the meeting was closed.
Contact: Tess Rowing 812-663-3111 x7004