By Leah Sander
SOUTH WHITLEY — Whitko Community School Corp. is planning for an $18 million budget for 2021.
At its Monday meeting at Whitko Junior-Senior High School, the board had its budget hearing. The board plans to vote on the budget at its next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19. The location of that meeting has yet to be determined.
The corporation is seeking $10 million in its education fund. It’s also seeking $5,854,528 in its operations fund with a maximum tax levy of $3,767,279. That’s an increase of 20.16%.
The district is also seeking $2,478,849 for its debt service fund with $2,081,921 to be raised through property taxes. That’s actually a drop of 19.37% from the current levy. The corporation is also planning $500,000 for its rainy day fund.
The board also heard a report on social-emotional learning (SEL) in the district from Kelly Goode. Her title was corporation mental health therapist but has been changed to director of social-emotional learning.
SEL helps students learn how to interact with others and control their emotions. In Indiana, there are seven points focused on: mindset, collaboration, critical thinking, insight, connection, regulation and sensory-motor integration.
Goode noted to InkFreeNews the corporation has always incorporated SEL into the school day, but there was never a formal emphasis. The corporation used SEL recently through its observance of National Suicide Prevention Month in September.
Elementary students observed it by having a Kindness Day, and older students learned how to prevent suicide.
Goode also said Dr. Lori Desautels, who helped create the points of focus in Indiana, should be coming to the corporation this school year.
In other business, the board also:
- Heard from Whitko Superintendent Dr. Brandon Penrod that the corporation’s preliminary count for the state count day was 1,243. Whitko still needs to verify that information with surrounding corporations to make sure no students transferred since then.
- Heard that the corporation plans to have a ribbon-cutting and open house at the new Whitko Career Academy from academy director Joe Luce. The event is 3-8:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at the academy in Larwill. The event is open to the public but tickets are required for at least part of it. To learn more or to purchase tickets, go to www.wcabanquet.com.