Smith-Green School Board split about “GREEN” decision

Superintendent Steve Darnell proposed the “GREEN” electronic approach at the November 1 Board meeting, at which time the Board requested cost comparisons of ink, paper and delivery of Board packets versus the cost of netbooks—small, portable computers. 

Based on data gathered during the past month and research provided to the Board, including information Board Member Cathy Petrie gathered from Dave Emmert of the Indiana School Board Association, Darnell recommended that the Board consider the electronic format. 

With the new electronic procedures, Board packets will be emailed to Board Members. Members will bring the packet to the meetings on a flash drive to be loaded onto the netbook at his or her seat. The agenda will be displayed on screens for audience review. Members may record notes directly on the packet pages using the software provided. 

The vote passed 3-2 with Petrie and Board President Tanya Young dissenting. At the November 1 meeting, Young noted her preference for printed copies of Board packets to jot down notes during meetings and to have on hand when constituents ask questions outside of meetings. Young also said she did not want to type during meetings. Petrie voiced concerns about the costs and the necessity, saying she did not want to have fancy gadgets when the students may still have old desks and other needs going unmet. 

According to Darnell, the electronic format should be in place around February 2011. 

In other Board news:

Janet Mangan, CES Special Education Teacher, submitted a letter stating her intention to retire at the end of the 2010-11 school year. 

CJSHS Principal Austin Couch presented several donations to the Board that have been submitted to assist with funding CJSHS programs. Gilbert Davis Post #157, Whitetails Unlimited Inc. and Wal-Mart each donated $500 for the Archery program, and Rick’s Archery Shack, Inc. donated $100 toward the program. The Whitley County Community Foundation donated $830 for Project Lead the Way. 

Superintendent Darnell presented the results of a 2010 Violence, Bullying and Harassment Survey conducted at all levels at SGCS. A total of 40.9 percent of CES students reported being bullied or harassed at school, while 44.8 percent of CJSHS students said they were bullied—below the national average of 47 percent. A program called Character Counts! is in place this year within both buildings. The purpose of the program is to help build appreciation and self-worth of each student within the student body. The program is rooted in six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. 

Custodian Dave Fletter was named CES Staff Member of the Month for his dedication to his work and his positive attitude. According to CES administrators Shellie Miller and Nicole Veit, “Dave’s dedication to making CES a safe, secure and clean place of learning is admirable. He goes above and beyond the call of duty each and every day. Dave’s positive attitude and quick smile help make our school welcoming and inviting to all our students, staff and community members.” 

First grader Clayton Egolf, son of Christy and Chad Egolf, was named the CES Spotlight on Success. Clayton was recognized for helping others and for being a great role model. 

The next regular scheduled Board meeting will be Monday, January 3, 2011 at 7 p.m. in the Administrative Building.

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