Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

November 14, 2012

Two week fall break unofficially official

School Board weighs future calendars

Tess Rowing
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — In the regularly scheduled Greensburg Community Schools Board of Education meeting Tuesday, the school board approved the school schedule for the next two years and changes to school curriculum.

According to GCS superintendent Tom Hunter, the response to the two week fall break was largely positive.

In a survey of 700 people, 82 percent were in favor of keeping the new schedule. The survey also included three options: To stay with the two week fall break (75 percent); To go with a one week fall break with two weeks of snow days (20 percent); or to go back to two days for fall break (five percent).

The teachers were overwhelmingly in favor of the two week break, said Hunter. In a separate survey, 58 out of 60 teachers were in favor of the new break.

Hunter reported that the teachers did not feel the kids lost any information during the break, including the youngest in the school system: GES students.

There were few negative comments from parents to teachers, said Hunter, and some of the parents with farms appreciated having their kids back home to help with the harvest. A few parents were  concerned that the announcement of the 2012 fall break did not leave enough time for planning.

Hunter requested the school schedule be approved for the next two years to include the two week break. The school board unanimously approved the schedule.

Hunter followed the approval by saying that the schedule can still be changed at some point in the future if necessary.

The school board invited GCS Curriculum Director Tammy Williams to address the schedule for the transition to Common Core standards, which was adopted by 48 states.

For the next year, there will largely be changes in literature and vocabulary, with a focus in math vocabulary from March to May 2013.

“We want the students to be able to compare two pieces of text,” said Williams.

Changes in the iSTEP will include a shift from personal to argumentative essays. The Common Core standards are intended to prepare students for the change, and to better learn verbal articulation.

Other changes in the school curriculum were discussed during the October meeting, which focused on preparing students to look at career paths. Sue Auffenberg returned to request that the changes be approved, which they were.

“Thanks to Sue and her staff, because that is a monumental task and Sue is the master of it. We’re appreciative of her hard work.” Tom Hunter said.

The school board proceeded to agree to pay the Indiana School Board Association $3,900 in dues. Being a member of the association provides many benefits, including legal representation.

Three donations were received this month. A contribution of $500 was donated to Greensburg Junior High School from First Federal Savings and Loan; a double bass was donated by Franklin Smith to the high school band department; and a second donation was received from Tractor Supply in the form of thousands of dollars worth of tools.

An Iowa farm’s rent has been raised to $250 an acre. Property owner Wendell Finer signed the new agreement without comment, according to Tom Hunter.

“They’ve been very good for Greensburg schools,” said Hunter.

The income from the farm’s rent amounts to around $40,000 a year in scholarship money for students.

Greensburg schools have decided to decide on winter weather-related school cancellations by 5:30 a.m.

Local radio and Indianapolis stations will be contacted, and parents will receive a phone call .

With the notable absence of protesters leaving nothing to be said during the designated time for patron communication, the school board prepared to close the meeting.

GCS president Al Moore congratulated the boy’s soccer team for reaching the regional championship for the first time.

 Moore also congratulated the boy’s football team for reaching their second sectional championship in Greensburg history. Moore expressed pride at Greensburg kids being proficient at more than one sport, and being involved in extracurricular activities in general.

Heather Simpson was also praised for the work done on the GJHS production of “Willy Wonka Jr.”

“We hope the things we accomplished in the fall carry over to the winter,” said Hunter, “When we have community support like we do, great things happen.”



Contact: Tess Rowing 812-663-3111 x7004