SYRACUSE — During the regular monthly meeting of the Wawasee School Board Tuesday, Oct. 9, in Syracuse, the board heard a brief report from Kim Nguyen, Wawasee High School principal, about a partnership being formed with the Jobs For America’s Graduates program.
JAG is a state-based, national non-profit organization dedicated to helping high school students of promise who have experienced challenging or traumatic life experiences achieve success through graduation. JAG students receive adult mentoring while in school and one year of follow-up counseling after graduation.
Nguyen said JAG is a federally funded grant and pays for the program. Candidates for jobs are interviewed both by the school corporation and JAG. “How could we not want to join this program?,” he said, noting it will not cost the school corporation anything.
The school board approved the partnership.
In other business, during his report to the board Dr. Tom Edington, superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation, noted enrollment for the school corporation is down this year with a total of 2,956 students. “We would like for it to be around 3,000 students,” he said.
But, he noted, 80 percent of the school districts in Indiana are seeing gradually declining enrollment as the population shifts to the more urban centers in the state.
Edington also reported to the board substitute teacher pay for Wawasee schools “compares very favorably” to several other local school districts. Substitute teachers are needed the most Mondays and Fridays, he added.
Also on the agenda, the school board approved the Wawasee High School Building Corporation buying part of the Wawasee Middle School building and then it will be leased back to the school corporation in a somewhat complicated arrangement. This is a resolution in conjunction with the summer of 2019 construction and renovation projects throughout the school corporation.
Other agenda items included:
• The board approved an Indiana Department of Homeland Security grant in the amount of $96,052 that will provide a county-wide system placing a “panic button” in the hands of all teachers and staff members. Law enforcement within a 25-mile radius would be notified immediately in the event of an active shooter situation.
• The board approved the Wawasee Community Education Foundation receiving $4,024.73 as surplus from a state superintendents activity in June.
• WHS boys soccer player Chris Pena was recognized for his outstanding sportsmanship during a soccer match against Plymouth.
• Several overnight or out of state trips were approved including WHS Academic Super Bowl teams to Chicago, WHS German classes to Chicago, WHS cheerleading to Greenfield, Ind., WHS robotics to Sandusky, Ohio, WHS Student Council to Indianapolis, WHS FFA soils judging in Morgan County, and the WHS cross country teams in the event they qualify for the state finals in Terre Haute.