Chesterton Tribune



School board sets budget calendar, hears technology integration plans

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The Duneland School Board plans to review and determine the school corporation’s budget for 2017 at its upcoming meetings, now through October.

The board will resume regular board meetings on July 13 and Aug. 9. Then on Aug. 22, the board will meet to see the proposed rates and levies and set the budget for public hearing.

The public hearing will take place tentatively on Sept. 12, which will include the tax rates for the capital projects fund and bus replacement plan. The budget is set for adoption on Oct. 10, and Oct. 12 is when the corporation intends to have the budgets and levies in the state’s Gateway system.

In other business at its meeting Monday, the board agreed 4-0 to reauthorize its investment policy for the year. The resolution is the same as it has been in years past, authorizing the school corporation’s investing officer to make investments having a stated final maturity of at least two years but no more than five.

The total of investments may not exceed 25 percent of its total portfolio of public funds.

The investing officer may contract with any federally regulated investment advisor or banks outside the geographical boundaries of the school corporation.

Technology integration

Duneland IT Director Kevin Wilson along with Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Jim Goetz told the board the District Technology Committee will be meeting in the next few months to discuss ways to further integrate technology into classrooms.

Wilson said he hopes to provide professional development for teachers next year on how to use new technology, asserting there is a “dramatic culture shift.”

One other goal is to introduce keyboarding to elementary students in 3rd and 4th grade as state standardized testing will be done on computers.

“We don’t want students’ scores to suffer because they know the right answer but don’t know where the letter (keys) are,” said Goetz.

Integrating technology skills ahead of time will be more successful than trying to use technology and learn it at the same time, Wilson said.

“This is something that is going to take some time and we want to make sure that its done correctly,” Goetz said.

Construction update

In other business, Director of Support Services Greg Lindy gave a slideshow presentation of the progress made so far on summer projects.

“I see piles of dirt and gravel all over town,” commented School Board President Kristin Kroeger.

Dirt and gravel are most visible on Morgan Ave. at the entrance of the middle school where the new canopy entrance is being installed. Lindy said bases had been poured Monday morning. The project also includes installing new slanted parking spaces.

Inside CMS, Lindy said crews have been painting and installing new lights.

At the high school, the front desk has been removed for the new entrance configuration. The storm sewer replacement is also going well and work is being done now to refurbish the tennis courts, Lindy said.

The expansion for the nurse’s area at Liberty Intermediate is underway and the sidewalk replacement is “moving right along,” he said.

Asphalt work at Westchester Intermediate is complete and hallways have been painted. Rooms have been painted, new carpeting installed and bathrooms are being renovated at Brummitt Elementary.

The main driveway at Jackson Elementary will be repaved and topped beginning later this week.

Lindy said bathroom stalls have been replaced at a number of school buildings and added that the exterior restoration job at the Brown Mansion is also coming along smoothly. Crews discovered that a basement door in the mansion will need to be reinforced, he said.

2017 graduation

In his comments to the board, Superintendent of Schools David Pruis said the date set for graduation commencement next year is Friday, June 2.

“Hopefully Mother Nature will be just as kind to us next year as she was this year,” he said.


Prior to adjourning the meeting, board member and self-proclaimed “swim fanatic” John Marshall congratulated the four CHS alums who are competing in trials for the U.S. Olympic swim team -- Aaron Whitaker, Kyle Whitaker, Blake Pieroni and Vanessa Krause.


Posted 6/29/2016





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