MENTONE — As the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation bid adieu to two of its board members Monday night, Dec. 10, the board also learned of strides made by each of its schools as well as a sizable grant the school corporation received designed to help the district stay ahead of changing technology and education innovations.
The board approved the acceptance of a $30,000 Innovation Planning Grant from the Indiana Department of Education.
“I’m pretty excited about this grant opportunity,” said Lori Tilden-Geiger, the school corporation’s director of marketing, public relations and grants. “The Indiana Department of Education, the office of e-learning, had grants available for districts,” she said. “The scope of the grant includes using an outside vendor to do a technology readiness assessment or audit and an infrastructure audit. This is an outside vendor coming in and looking at your strengths and weaknesses and gaps and also provides our leadership team school visits to other school districts in the state that are doing it very well and the most exciting part of it is all the professional development and learning for our teachers and staff to bring more engagement and enrichment to instruction using new technology.”
The grant has been available for school districts since 2012 and helps those school systems develop plans to support the integration of technology into teaching and learning.
“It’s really setting us up for some great data to go for some more technology grants in the future and really just trying to prepare our students for digital learning and personalized student learning,” said Tilden-Geiger. “So, Valley’s going to be on the cusp of what’s in the future. Our students will be future ready, whether it’s for college or out in the community so I’m pretty excited about this opportunity.”
At the close of the meeting, Superintendent Blaine Conley lauded the efforts of outgoing school board members Stan Miller and Bryan Murphy. Murphy joined the board in 2003 and Miller served a four-year term beginning in 2014.
“I’ve really enjoyed it,” said Miller. “And, I couldn’t have asked for a better group to work with.”
Murphy said his time on the board has facilitated the development of life-long bonds. “I appreciate the community for this opportunity,” Murphy said. “It goes fast. I developed a lot of friendships since joining the board, some I would consider among my best friends.”
In other business, the board:
- Heard a presentation about the high school’s FFA program. On Nov. 14, the school’s forestry team competed in the Ancilla College of Agriculture Forestry Invitational. The senior FFA team finished reserve champions. Team members consisted of Dylan Wood, Haley Hoover, Rolanda Richard and Michael Sexton. Other team members included Tahya Lybarger, Miranda Dotson, Mayson Cooper and Olivia Jones.
- Heard a report from local firefighter Mike Yazel who told the board a recent fundraiser collected $90,000 for the families of the victims of the Oct. 30 bus stop accident that claimed the lives of three Tippecanoe Valley school children.
- Accepted of grants from Kosciusko Endowment Youth services.
- Accepted a donation from First Baptist Church.
- Approved a suicide prevention and awareness policy.
- Approved graduation pathways for Tippecanoe Valley High School.
- Heard a presentation of school letter grades from each building’s principal.