Chesterton Tribune



Duneland adds June 5 for snow makeup; summer school dates set

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A long, harsh winter will mean a shorter summer for Duneland students, but only by a day.

The Duneland school board at its meeting Monday unanimously accepted Superintendent Dave Pruis’ recommendation to assign June 5 as a make-up day for the Feb. 5 school cancellation when Mother Nature dumped more snow on the area.

Pruis had hoped to end the school year on time with just three make-up days on Feb. 14, Feb. 17 (Presidents’ Day) and April 25, and is “keeping his fingers crossed” there will be no more cancellations. Students will go to school June 5 which is also the same date Chesterton High School will hold its graduation ceremony, he said.

As for the 2014-15 school calendar, Pruis said changes are still being made and will be ready in time for the board’s next meeting on Monday, April 14.

Summer School/Driver’s Ed

Meanwhile, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Jim Goetz presented the dates and fees for this year’s summer school and driver’s education courses which the board accepted unanimously.

Goetz said the fees and schedule follow last year’s set up.

Summer School for students entering grades 1-3 will begin on June 9 and continue until June 26 with no class on Fridays. Classes will begin at 7:45 a.m. and dismiss at 12:30 p.m.

As last year, there will not be summer school sessions offered for grades 4-8.

For CHS Summer School, there will be two blocks, the first from June 9 to July 2 with class times running from 7:30 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. for 15 days and no school on Fridays. The second block, running 15 days, will be July 7 to July 30, also starting at 7:30 a.m. to 12:55 p.m., with no school on Fridays.

The Bridges program, which helps incoming freshman prepare for high school, will run for 17 days from July 14 through Aug. 8, with no school on Fridays. Times for the program will be 7:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

Fees for all summer school programs will be $125.

For Driver’s Education, the first classroom session will take place June 9 to July 1, with no class on Friday.

The second classroom session will run from July 7 through July 29, with no class on Fridays.

For Driving, the first session will be June 9-18 for a total of eight days. The second driving session will be offered June 19-July 2 for eight days with no driving on Fridays.

The third driving session will be July 7-16 for eight days. And, if there are enough students in the course, a fourth driving session will be offered July 17-30, with no driving on Fridays.

There are three different times for each session -- 7:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.; 10:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; 12:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Fees for Driver’s Education are $375 for traditional driving format with classroom session, $300 for driving portion with an online course and parents must pay $99 extra for the online course, and a $50 charge will be levied on students who come from outside the Duneland School district.

Words of praise

It’s been a “just fantastic” past three weeks for Duneland, Pruis said reading through a lengthy list of proud accomplishments for both students and staff.

Special mention went to the CHS Boys and Girls Swim teams on their successes. The boys team over the weekend garnered a second IHSAA championship and claimed two national records.

Pruis said this is the fourth time the team has won a state championship in the last seven years. The team is coached by Kevin Kinel.

Also at the meet, swimmer Blake Pieroni was the winner of the Herman F. Keller Mental Attitude Award winner, Pruis said.

“It was quite an experience and great afternoon to just watch our swimmers,” Pruis said. “It was fun. It was just fun.” Also attending the meet were board members John Marshall and Kristin Kroeger.

Board president Ralph Ayres said he watched the meet on webcast and said he was pleased to hear the commentators talk about the respect that the CHS team and their supporters displayed toward their competitors.

On the drier side, Pruis congratulated the CHS Debate Team members who qualified for the national tournament in Overland Park, Kansas.

Also, the CHS Japanese Olympiad team won the title of state champions in the third-year division of the Olympiad in Bloomington, Pruis said. It was the sixteenth time the CHS Japanese Olympiad team has been in the state championships.

Kudos were also paid to the 88 soloists and 51 ensembles from Duneland who earned gold medals at the ISSMA District Instrumental Solo and Ensemble Contest.

Pruis too mentioned CMS science teacher Samantha Joll who received the Charlotte M. Boener Award for Innovative Middle School Science Teaching. Her award was based on her class curriculum about watersheds and non-point source pollution.

Adding to the list of kudos, Ayres said Heather Ennis, a CHS alum, has been named the new president of the Northwest Indiana Forum. Ennis for about five years has been the executive director of the Duneland/Chesterton Chamber of Commerce.

Centuries of service

The board also approved this month’s personnel report presented by Assistant Superintendent Monte Moffett.

Adding to the list of nine retirees from last month, Moffett said an additional three Duneland teachers have announced their retirements effective at the end of this school year - Brummitt 1st Grade Teacher Sharon McCasland, Bailly 1st Grade Teacher Jennifer Vidimos, and Brummitt Art Teacher Marie Engleheart.

McCasland has taught 37 years at Brummitt, 35 of those being first grade, Moffett said. Both Engleheart and Vidimos have taught since 1999 for a total of 15 years each.

Moffett said with the 12 retirements, Duneland is saying goodbye to teachers with a total of over 308 years served.

“They shall be missed,” Moffett said.

Pruis expressed gratitude to the retirees on behalf of the community for “three centuries” of service. “You can’t appreciate entirely what each of our teachers have given to our students,” he said.

Meanwhile, appointments this month include Cindy Hodgkiss who will be an RTI aide for Yost Elementary. Hodgkiss recently was a Title 1 aide for Yost.

Catherine Schuster has been hired as a lifeguard and instructional aide for CMS. Rhonda Joseph will be a recess aide for Westchester Intermediate.

Vicki Dalton will coach Boys Intramural at WIS and Andrew Hall will coach Girls Intramural.

Resignations include CMS 7th Grade Girls Track coach Kristen Peterson and Yost RTI aide Erica Swinney.






Posted 3/4/2014