By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — Warsaw Community Schools’ Board of Trustees heard several updates on the school corporation’s financial and nursing departments, as well as construction projects, during a meeting on Wednesday, July 14.
WCS Nurse Coordinator Tracey Akers provided a report to board members about the innumerable tasks school nurses tackled in the 2020-21 school year. One of the nurses’ primary goals was providing education on COVID-19 protocols and procedures to parents, staff and students.
“Normally in the past we worked on, as school nurses, getting kids back to class,” said Akers. “But I didn’t look at that this year because we sent a lot more kids home this year than we ever would in the past. In the past, if a kid came in with a sore throat, I wouldn’t necessarily send them home. But this year, we had to. We sent a lot more kids home this year than ever before because of the guidelines.”
In financial business, the board approved two quotes for new desks, chairs and cafeteria tables at Edgewood Middle School. The quote for new desks and chairs totals $21,703.50; the new cafeteria tables were quoted at $72,101.20.
Director of Facilities Jim Lemasters told the board that construction projects are happening within the school corporation but some aren’t moving as fast as his department would like. The tennis court project has been affected by wet weather and a bathroom update has been delayed due to slow shipment of supplies.
School board members also toured WCS’s STEM education bus, the Warsaw Inquiry Learning Laboratory, or WILL. The mobile STEM lab can support up to 30 elementary school kids at a time and is equipped with touch screen monitors and iPads at learning stations.
WILL was created to implement project-based and inquiry-learning focused lessons to students at each WCS elementary school. The bus is in its eighth year and updates are being considered for the technology within the lab.
“It’s a very full schedule,” said Emily Dennie, the instructional coach for the bus, on WILL’s classes. “In a normal year, we make it to all students at all (elementary) buildings.”
In other business, WCS’s board also approved several administrative transfers and separations. Matthew Barrett, Amanda Nine, Brett Eberly and Terry Roe will no longer work as assistant principals at Warsaw Community High School.
Joshua Wall will transfer from being an instructional coach at Washington Elementary School to principal at Jefferson Elementary School. Tim Devlin will transfer from being a social studies teacher at Edgewood Middle School to WCHS. Michele White was also approved as Lakeview Middle School’s new assistant principal. Leah Sprunger will transfer from science teacher to assistant principal at WCHS.
Human Resources Director Sheila Howe said some of the new administrative hires will be at the board’s August meeting for introductions. The school is also currently hiring bus drivers and a speech-language pathologist.
The school board also reminded parents to register their children online for the 2021-22 school year if they have not done so already. Registration numbers help determine teacher placement and bus assignments. Those with questions about registering their kids can call WCS’s central office. Parents can also seek assistance for registering their children at Combined Community Services’ Tools for School event on Thursday, Aug. 5, at the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds.
Prior to the conclusion of the meeting, local resident Don Zolman addressed the board and thanked them for the work they did in keeping WCS open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This board has done a fantastic job and the community really appreciates what you have done,” said Zolman. “I firmly believe it’s the best-run school corporation in the United States and our kids had in-school instruction this last year when many did not. It’s just been great to have a school and a board that’s been so dedicated and does a super job.”
The board’s next regular meeting is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10; the regular session is at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16. Both meetings will be held in the school corporation’s central office.