SYRACUSE — Two days before the start of the 2016-17 school year, the infrastructure put in place to be ready for the 1:1 computer initiative is mostly finished. During its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Aug. 9, the Wawasee school board heard an update from Joy Goshert, director of instruction and curriculum for the school corporation.
Goshert noted there are still a couple of wireless access points needing to be installed in Wawasee High School in areas where construction is not quite finished. Filters have been tested, she noted.
Cases for the Dell Chrome books have still not arrived as of Tuesday evening, Goshert said. She is hoping they will arrive in time to be distributed to students the first day of school Thursday.
Devices will be taken to the school buildings Wednesday, Aug. 10, for those students who were not able to pick up their devices during the rollout Monday and Tuesday. Also, the video that explains the proper care of the devices will be shown again in each of the schools because some students have not seen it yet.
Also during her report, Goshert noted Title I funding was cut by the Indiana Department of Education for the second time in the span of a little more than a year. It is now at $357,039.50, down $72,793.33 from the May 2015 allocation. The cuts in funding could have been the result of a federal audit for Title I compliance.
Previously 15 percent of dollars could be carried over to the next year, but Goshert noted there will be no carryover dollars for the 2016-17 grant cycle.
In other business, during his report to the board Dr. Tom Edington, superintendent, briefly shared some goals for the 2016-17 school year in response to the audit done earlier this year by two retired public school superintendents. He said he wants to establish better communications both within and outside of the school district, recognize classified employees more effectively, study the current middle school situation thoroughly and make adjustments as needed in bus routes based on enrollment numbers. He added one of the concerns during the audit was technology and that has been addressed through infrastructure and computer system updates this summer.
Other agenda items included:
• Wawasee High School received a score of 100 in the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s sportsmanship program for the 2015-16 school year. Edington noted the score is based, at least partially, on comments from officials and visiting teams.
• The WHS competition cheer squad was recognized and each member received a certificate of appreciation for placing first in their division during a competition at the Elkhart County Fair in late July.
• Wawasee Middle School, which has made significant academic improvements the last couple of years, has applied to be a Promising Practices school through IDOE.
• The board approved updates to the WMS student handbook due to the arrival of Brent Berkeypile as assistant principal.
• And the board approved the donation of two sets of bleachers from the high school baseball field to the Lakeland Youth Center. The bleachers no longer met state code and were removed and LYC has indicated it will upgrade them as needed.
• New teachers approved by the board include Cassandra Klenke, WHS business; Kate Gillespie, North Webster Elementary fourth grade; Sharon Matti, Milford School health and math; David Lantz, temporary PE teacher at North Webster through Jan. 4, 2017; Mayra Aguilar, secondary Spanish at WHS.