SYRACUSE — A few years ago, the Wawasee Community School Corp. entered into a partnership with Syracuse Family Medicine in order to try to control medical costs for the school corporation and also to provide more direct access and better choices for school corporation employees. This is the sixth year for the partnership.
During the regular monthly meeting of the Wawasee school board Tuesday evening, Dr. Larry Allen of Syracuse Family Medicine presented a report to the board. The DirectCare program was designed to promote wellness and prevention, offer more services full-time and reduce the number of urgent care and emergency room visits. Allen said it is hoped prevention and health care can be focused on more rather than waiting for serious problems to require an ER visit.
Allen noted anywhere between 100 and 178 visits per month are being made with higher numbers in October for wellness visits. There have been a total of 1,898 visits so far this year. He said 62 percent of visits are to see a provider.
The cost of medical care rises every year, but he said the school corporation costs have been below the national trend. Later in the meeting, the school board approved renewing the DirectCare contract.
Also during the meeting, Cindy Kaiser, principal of Milford School, presented the school improvement plan to the board. She said improving reading comprehension and test scores has been a priority at the school and test scores have improved, such as with IREAD-3 given to third-graders.
A grant from Dekko and other grants have changed the approach to teaching for kindergarten and first grade. Teaching is now more student-centered, Kaiser said.
Milford was recognized as a Promising Practice school by the Indiana Department of Education last year and also has the active Warrior Outdoor Club and Make an Impact, which focuses on community service projects.
School goals include continued improvement in comprehension of and response to reading, as well as using math skills to think critically, among other goals.
Other agenda items included:
• Warrior Radio 93.7 FM has formed a partnership with Willie 103.5 (WAWC) to broadcast high school boys basketball games this winter. Wawasee students Rhett Coblentz and Mason Gray will provide play-by-play and color commentary. Also part of the package is broadcasting the Wawasee-Warsaw girls basketball game Saturday, Dec. 17, in Knightstown.
• Wawasee Building Trades students provided meals for several families for Thanksgiving Day.
• The board approved an anonymous donation of $500 to purchase food and supplies for the annual craft bazaar at Wawasee Middle School.
• The board officially approved the donation of the former Syracuse VFW building to the school corporation. Approval was also given at the national VFW level.
• Approval was given for a Wawasee High School FFA soils judging team to travel to Oklahoma City.
• Eleanor Hooker was reappointed to serve on the North Webster Community Library Board and Diana Castell was reappointed to served on the Syracuse Library Board.
• The board approved renewing the casualty insurance contract with Northern Lakes Insurance and it was noted casualty claims were down $27,000 compared to a year ago.
• Construction is still on schedule at the new Syracuse Elementary with a projected move in date of July 1, 2017. Brick work is finished and much of the roofing is done.
Although it was not mentioned during the school board meeting, accountability letter grades for 2015-16 were released by the Indiana Department of Education Tuesday. All Wawasee schools received a C grade.