By Maggie Kenworthy
MENTONE — The Tippecanoe Valley School Board heard an update on how the re-opening has gone after five months of no in-person school during the meeting held tonight, Aug. 17.
Superintendent Blaine Conley announced that the school corporation has 200 students enrolled in e-learning, which makes up around 11-12 percent of the school’s total enrollment. But, Conely reported that the number continues to shrink with 16 students having moved from e-learning to in-person learning since the start of the school year.
“Our teachers and support staff, they’ve been outstanding focusing on the social-emotional aspects of our students here as we’ve gotten back. It’s been five months since we’ve been together,” said Conely. “We appreciate all the extra cleaning that our custodians and our bus drivers and our cafeteria staff have been implementing … Just really proud of how hard our staff is working to bring our students back.”
The board then accepted a $65,000 grant from the CARES Act. Tonia Grimes, director of curriculum, explained that 10% of the CARES Act funding had been reserved for the state to use as competitive grants. Tippecanoe Valley applied for and received a grant to go towards technology and instructional tools.
The grant will be used to fund technology carts for the new elementary devices, camera devices to enhance remote learning, wi-fi hotspot devices and a platform to support student learning loss.
The board also approved a request to rename the Viking Room. An area resident contacted Conley about renaming the room in Jeff Shriver’s honor.
“For 29 years Jeff Shriver was a teacher, coach, sponsor, mentor, leader and friend to all at Tippecanoe Valley High School and the Valley community,” said School Board President Aaron Zolman. “Jeff embodies the vision of doing whatever it takes for students to be outstanding today, tomorrow and beyond by focusing on building quality relationships … Jeff is a true legend to our community and our school corporation. We are forever grateful for everything Jeff brought to our corporation.”
The tentative date for the dedication is Sept. 18, before the 2020 Bell Game against Rochester.
The next regular school board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, at Mentone Elementary School.
In other matters, the board:
- Was introduced to the new student representative Jada Carpenter.
- Heard an update on the softball facility project. The building is about 95 percent complete.
- Approved the hiring of Brandon Webster, PE and health teacher at TVMS and Angela Bogle, cook at Akron Elementary.
- Approved the extra-curricular assignments of Jeff Krotke, varsity assistant softball coach at TVHS; Katelyn Bradley, varsity boys and girls swim coach at TVHS; and Victoria Miller, assistant boys and girls cross country coach at TVHS.
- Accepted the resignation of Gina Hierlmeier, athletic director at TVHS; Jenny Nelson, 7th-grade volleyball coach at TVMS; Erin Eastgate, JV softball coach at TVHS; Patricia Rudolph, custodian at TVHS; Tonya Engle, instructional assistant at Akron Elementary; and Abby Martin, cook at TVMS.
- Approved the 2020-2021 teaching and extra-curricular assignments.