Administrators received permission from the School Board Tuesday to apply
for a second set of Common School Loans for the one-to-one school
Duneland received a
Common School Fund Loan in May this year for $580,900 from the Indiana
Department of Education that would pay for 2,200 tablet computers and
keyboard cases. The DOE makes Common School Fund Loans available to school
corporations for construction and technology.
At Tuesday’s School
Board meeting, Duneland’s Chief Financial Officer Lynn Kwilasz said she is
not sure what the DOE will award for the loan this fall but the school will
accept if it is given. The loans will be paid back through Duneland’s Debt
Service fund, she said.
Superintendent of Schools Ginger Bolinger said with interest rates being low
currently, about one percent, it is advantageous for the schools to borrow
money at this time.
“We would incur
limited debt at a very reduced price to do things we would like to do in our
district,” Bolinger told the board. The board voted 5-0 in favor of the
computing school is where each student would have access to a computer or
smart technology device. The students would complete assignments digitally
on the devices.
Kwilasz said the
loans will free up more funds in Duneland’s Capital Projects Fund which pays
for both technology and building construction projects.
Public silent on
also included a public hearing for the schools’ Capital Project Funds
budget, the Bus Replacement Plan budget and the overall proposed budget for
No one from the
public made any comment.
The total budget is
$69,958,347, which is $2.6 million higher than what was advertised for 2017.
The general fund,
which is the largest fund and is determined by the State’s school funding
formula and pays for teacher salaries and programs, is at $39.1 million in
the 2018 budget. Kwilasz said the basic tuition support per pupil funding is
what determines the general fund and is based on the schools’ Average Daily
Membership count taken on the second Friday after Labor Day. Duneland is
expected to be down somewhat from the 5,858 students counted last year but
the state’s per pupil funding is $105 more than in 2017.
Projects Fund is advertised at $9.5 million, but Kwilasz expects for it to
receive a little under $9 million when the budget is approved. Figures are
overstated, Kwilasz said, so the school corporation can get the maximum
amount of money allowed from its levy. About $3 million is earmarked for
building acquisition, construction and equipment while $1.3 million is
advertised for technology.
Kwilasz said about
65 percent of items in the CPF budget are fixed costs.
Duneland plans to
replace eight buses next year, with an estimated $826,130 in its Bus
Also advertised in
the 2018 proposed budget is the Transportation Operations Fund at $4.3
million and the School Referendum Fund at $7.6 million.
estimated levy is advertised is $28.3 million with $711,230 as the estimated
property tax cap credit based on Duneland’s assessed value.
Kwilasz said the
schools’ advertised tax rate for 2018 is $1.0766 per $100 of assessed
valuation, comparable to 2017’s advertised rate of $1.0694. The state
eventually approved the 2017 rate at about $.96, she said.
The school board is
expected to adopt the proposed budget at its next meeting in October.
In other business,
the school board approved 5-0 the list of members of the Materials
If there are
objections made to any materials used in classrooms or in libraries, the
committee, which includes staff, teachers and students at different grade
levels, will review the concern, Bolinger said.
Brummitt Elementary are acquainted with the fundamentals of online
Cammarata, in presenting to the School Board, said that the issues related
to cyberbullying have been present since the first computers but they are an
integral part of our lives, so the school wanted to create a “digital
“This is somebody
who thinks critically, who acts appropriately online and makes responsible
decisions while they are using technology,” he said. The concept has been
part of teachers’ professional development and the school is prepared to
roll it out to students and parents.
Elissa Dortmund said she saw a presentation this past summer using digital
citizenship at the eVillage conference and felt it necessary to dive into
the curriculum with the transition of the one-to-one initiative that gives
each student a tablet computer to do lessons. The concept will be used to
help Brummitt become a Common Sense School for digital citizenship, she
The lessons will be
taught in media classes, Dortmund said. The mission is for students to
become responsible for using technology safely by protecting their private
information, respecting others, staying safe online, balancing their device
time and standing up to cyberbullying, she said.
The school will
invite parents to an informational session in October on digital
citizenship. Each grade level will learn subjects appropriate for their age
level, Dortmund said.
geared toward kindergartners was demonstrated during the presentation. The
software is called Learning Alive which uses graphics and sounds of animals
-- “augmented reality” -- to teach letter sounds, words and sentence
Bolinger at the end
of the meeting congratulated the six Chesterton High School seniors who are
among the nation’s 16,000 semi-finalist for the National Merit Scholar
competition -- Raymond “CJ” Connors, Tristan Dooley, Karlyn Layman, Bryan
Pamintuan, Nolan Poczekay and Kristina Stevenson.
Duneland will have
yard signs available with the names to recognize the students and their
achievements. “We are very proud of them,” said Bolinger.
Also, Bolinger said
CHS will have a Drug Prevention and Outreach Program event on Wednesday,
Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. in the CHS auditorium. Indiana University basketball
player Todd Jadlow will speak on his struggle with drug and alcohol
Duneland Schools are collecting monetary donations for the Pasadena
Independent School District in Texas, that was devastated by Hurricane
Harvey. Bolinger said Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Human
Resources Monte Moffett has a brother who works in that district. Donations
will be sent to the Pasadena Education Foundation.
A 5K fun run and
walk to support the Duneland Education Foundation will be held on Saturday,
Sept. 30, at 9 a.m., at CHS during homecoming weekend.