BROOKVILLE — A successful start to the new school year was reported by all members of the administrative team at Monday night’s school board meeting.
“I want to thank our faculty and staff for a great beginning,” said Superintendent Robin Fillman. “We had no water for two days, but you wouldn’t know it.”
Food services director Becky Kammerdeiner added, “with the boil water advisory, sometimes having Plan B, Plan C and Plan D in place pays off.” She commended her staff for their efforts.
“The buildings were impeccable,” said principal Brigette Matson, “and that is important.”
Acknowledged at the meeting were the district’s new teachers and their mentors, who were welcomed at a reception following the meeting.
In keeping with its policy of devoting a portion of each work session to discussing additional sources of revenue for the district, the board discussed two suggestions dealing with the arts.
The first suggestion was to sell advertisements for the six musical concerts at the high school, as well as the all-school musical. For the concerts (choir, band and orchestra) ads would cost $25. Selling 12 ads per program would generate “roughly $1,800,” said president Frank Bartley. Ads for a commemorative program could sell for $50 each.
A second proposal was to create a Cultural Trust, which would guarantee patrons priority seats at musical events. Bartley said that a donation of $100 would include two assigned seats for all musical events, and could generate as much as $5,000.
“The point is revenue,” he said, when members raised questions about the proposals. “These are things that have never been done before in the district. It’s always been free; those days are over.”
No action was taken on either of the proposals.
The board also discussed briefly reinstating the occupational assessment tax, which would require voter approval by referendum. The solicitor is expected to have more information for the board for its October meeting.
Discussion was also held on consolidating all elementary classes at the Pinecreek school. This could open up the Northside building for the district to develop some of the special programs which are available to Brookville students only in other districts, as a significant cost to the district, or to use it as a rental site for other educational programs.
Two visitors addressed the board.
Cindy Manns of Sigel expressed her concerns with the secrecy of what goes on at the Jeff Tech school board meetings, the “protocol that is required” for members of the public to address the board during its meetings, and the removal of the protective services program. She said that she spoke with a person at the Department of Education, who told her “that it is a state mandate that every tech school have an advisory committee. Members of the school board had no idea who is on that committee,” and Manns said that no one can give her the names.
Corry Riley of Brookville again stated his desire to see the district adopt a policy to deal with transgender students, should the situation arise. “I’m still looking for some sort of policy from the school district as to how you are going to handle it if somebody does come into your school district and say they are transgender students. What is going to be the steps that you are going to take with that person?”
In other action:
— principal Ruthanne Barbazzeni reminded everyone of the tailgate party which will be held September 30 before the football game. She said new activities are being planned to complement the traditional activities.
— principal Brigette Matson discussed briefly a proposed school/business partnership, in which local companies would work with individual teachers to enhance learning experiences. So far three businesses — Matson Lumber Company and Miller Welding, Brookville Equipment — have expressed an interest in the program. “The businesses are really on board and I have teachers at the high school that are really on board with it,” she said.
— the board accepted with regret resignations from David Volpe, Chris Wolfe and Meghan Farley. Volpe, a high school guidance counselor, has been with the district for 21 years. Wolfe and Farley, both teacher/child(ren) specific aides, have been with the district nine and two years respectively. All have accepted employment elsewhere.
— Tina Swineford was hired as a teacher/child(ren) specific aide at a rate of $10.25/hour, to fill Wolfe’s position.
The Board will meet at 7 p.m. next Monday, September 19, in the LGI room at Hickory Grove.