A few years ago the Wawasee Community School Corp. implemented several energy saving measures and has been utilizing Indianapolis-based Performance Services to monitor energy costs. During Tuesday evening’s regular monthly meeting of the school board in Syracuse, the board heard a brief report on just how much money is being saved from Mike Lindsey of Performance Services.
Lindsey’s report covered the period of March 2013 to February 2014. He said the Wawasee corporation avoided paying $246,510 in energy costs, amounting to a savings of 22.1 percent. Lindsey noted the data had to be adjusted for the weather and northern Indiana had a very harsh winter. Though students missed several days of school, buildings still had to be heated to avoid pipes and coils from freezing.
The actual measured energy savings was $154,646, still about $42,000 higher than first estimated, Lindsey said. The savings from the energy leadership program utilized by school corporation employees was $91,864.
In other business, Dr. Bob Cockburn gave his stat of the month presentation on spring 2014 ISTEP+ testing. He presented graphics showing by grade level ISTEP+ results since 2008, though he did not specifically talk about any one graphic.
Cockburn noted the graphs will show a dip in test scores in 2013 when there were testing problems. Otherwise, though, the trend has been mostly upward in test scores, he said. English and language arts has been a focus for improvement in the school corporation, he noted.
Also on the agenda, the board heard from Clifford Clevenger and his daughter, Glenda Pruitt. Clevenger said he has lived in the school district for 37 years and doesn’t understand why he is being banned from attending any of his grandchildren’s school events. Dr. Tom Edington, Wawasee superintendent, noted a letter was sent to the family advising of the ban.
Without mentioning specific details, Edington said he consulted with legal and law enforcement experts and was told due to the specific nature of the situation the entire family should be banned. It was noted certain members of the family were being disruptive at sporting events, though no specific names of family members were mentioned.
Clevenger and Pruitt were advised to meet with Edington to try to work out an agreement.
In other business, the board approved the adoption of updated policies. One will allow the board to accept or reject the resignation request of a teacher trying to avoid being terminated. David Cates, attorney for the school corporation, said the policy was implemented as a precaution because it was learned the Indiana State Teachers Association was looking for a test case. “It’s not very likely this will happen at Wawasee,” Cates said.
Another policy update involves minimizing the number of committees teachers can be involved in so they can be in their classrooms as much as possible. And the weapons policy was updated to comply with Indiana law. For example, it is not a felony if a teacher or staff member has a gun locked in a trunk or somewhere out of sight in their car while on school property.
The board also approved a change in a summer construction work order for $5,600 to repair damages to wires caused when a bulldozer hit a conduit controlling parking lot lights at Wawasee High School. Wawasee will pay about $1,600 for electrical improvements, but it was noted the contractor should pay for the actual damage costs.
Other agenda items included:
• The board approved a donation of $50 from the North Webster Church of the Brethren Women Fellowship for the North Webster Elementary Boomerang Backpack program.
• The board approved a grant of $3,000 from the Kosciusko County REMC Roundup Fund for the ECO Challenge summer camp, and a grant of $3,000 from the Kosciusko County Community Foundation for aviation operations at the Goshen Municipal Airport.
• And the board approved a donation of 100 backpacks from the Knights of Columbus — 25 each will be given to Syracuse Elementary, North Webster Elementary, Milford School and Wawasee Middle School.