For the past few months, a school resource officer has been present in Milford School. During Tuesday evening’s regular monthly meeting of the Wawasee school board in Syracuse, the board heard a report about the SRO pilot program from Ryan Connor, assistant principal.
Connor noted the officers helped in various ways such as filling out paperwork in custody situations, going to pick up truant students and assisting with defiant or out of control students. They also helped during school wide lock downs, investigated an alleged assault off school property involving Milford students and families, checked to make sure doors were properly locked in the school and also checked on suspicious vehicle or person reports.
“Overall, the SRO has been seen as helpful and friendly,” Connor commented. “The kids have a good impression of them and see them as another staff member wanting to help. It has been a good thing overall for us.”
The SRO pilot program is scheduled to end Dec. 20, the last day of school prior to Christmas break. There was no further discussion about the program by the school board and no indication was given if funding will be pursued to keep it going.
In other business, the board approved several new courses to begin with the 2014-15 academic year at Wawasee High School. WHS Principal Mike Schmidt gave a brief report to the board about the new classes and noted no new staff members will be needed.
Among the new courses is a photography class where students can earn college credits through IPFW. Other classes include peer tutoring, advanced placement calculus, communications, medical interventions a young entrepreneur academy and more.
Schmidt noted a Grace College professor will teach the young entrepreneur academy once each week at WHS and students can earn credits from Grace. Kim Nguyen, director of the Wawasee Area Career and Technical Cooperative, told the board manufacturing classes will be offered, too, through the Conexus program. Conexus is an initiative designed to encourage the development of manufacturing opportunities in Indiana.
“The highest need for employees in Indiana is in manufacturing,” Nguyen said. He said the classes will be available to lower level grades, students can earn college credits from Ivy Tech and he is particularly excited professional certifications will be given.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, during his Stat of the Month presentation, Dr. Bob Cockburn gave a report on SAT results for WHS from 2007-08 through 2011-12. He noted the more kids who take the test, the lower the scores tend to be. “Better than half of our kids take the test,” he said.
Three out of the five years of the report, Wawasee was above the state average in the number of students taking the SAT. For the math portion of the SAT, Wawasee was above the state average in 2011-12, but below the state average in the other four years. Reading and writing scores were below the state average in most years.
(For a more in-depth account of the school board meeting, see today’s issue of The Mail-Journal.)