Winter’s deluge of
arctic air and mounds of snow will stick around for another week and while
Duneland School students may be getting a kick out of the back-to-back snow
days, they may not like hearing they will be making up one of those on
President’s Day, Feb. 17.
Duneland school board meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dave Pruis said the
district missed a total of five days last month due to the “polar vortex,”
specifically Jan. 6, 7, 8, 20, and 21. The Indiana Department of Education
approved a waiver for Jan. 6 and 7, which leaves three days that Duneland
will need to reschedule.
“It’s in everyone’s
best interest that we make up what instructional time we can for our
students,” Pruis said.
had set aside Friday, Feb. 14 as the first make-up day, with a second on
Friday, April 25. But to avoid tacking on more days to the school calendar,
Pruis announced the decision that Presidents’ Day on Monday, Feb. 17, will
be the third designated make-up day.
Pruis said he
realizes some families may have already made plans for recreational
activities, but asked that all children attend school that day. President’s
Day is a national holiday that students typically have off.
“We hope we don’t
have any more visits from the polar vortex,” said Pruis. “Whenever we cancel
school, we understand it’s a big inconvenience. Students may be cheering but
moms and dads aren’t. The staff and teachers aren’t exactly happy about it
either. It all goes to show that safety is the number one priority.”
Pruis added that
Duneland is lucky to have “dodged a bullet” on Jan. 22 when a narrow band of
heavy snow showers was moving towards Porter County, then moved west dumping
more than 20 inches on some areas of Lake County.
“You can’t predict
it,” he said.
Also in his
superintendent’s comments, Pruis said Monday was the spring 2014 average
daily membership count date, which will be used to determine how much a
school will get in funding for the next six months, or the rest of the
Pruis said the
unofficial number as of Monday stood at 5,687.5 students, about 35 less than
what the count was in September. He said that is “not too bad” considering
there were reportedly 28 students at the high school who graduated midterm.
Also, the school
board signed to receive an Indiana Secured Safety Grant for the 2015 fiscal
year with funds from the Department of Homeland Security for the purpose of
a school corporation or a charter school to employ a school resource
officer, perform a threat assessment and to purchase equipment to aid in
that are Duneland’s size can receive a matching grant of up to $50,000 a
Pruis mentioned a
new ruling by the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission would require the
board to approve an amendment with the Damon Run Conservancy District’s
agreement for sanitary sewer and water utility services.
Board member Ron
Stone said he would be apprehensive giving his approval on a new agreement
with DRCD, saying it bothered him that some constituents in Liberty Twp.
have said they’ve “gotten jacked” with rate increases when they were told
rates would be lower with the annex of Porter Regional Hospital.
of Services Greg Lindy said there are changes to the fee structure but it
will not be an increase on the rates the school corporation is currently
paying the DRCD.
“It’s the same
amount as it used to be,” Lindy said.
With that, Stone
ended up voting in favor of the amendment with the rest of his peers, 5-0.
Field trip to
In other business,
the board approved an out-of-state field trip for CHS students who will
travel to Kennesaw, Ga. to participate in the Locomotive Half Marathon and
Locomotive Thunder 5K events.
Pruis said the 13
students and the five adult supervisors going on the trip are paying the
expenses themselves and providing their own transportation. The group will
leave Friday after school and will return Sunday night, he said.
president Ralph Ayres announced the Porter County Retired Teachers
Association will hold its third annual legislative forum open to the public
at Wheeler High School at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8.
He also noted
Monday was the last day that house bills could be voted on by state
representatives to be passed on to the Senate. The Senate will need to have
their bills ready to pass to the House on Wednesday, Ayres said.
“After this week,
we can get a better photograph as to where this affects public education,”
Pruis also praised
the CHS Debate team, which recently brought home the title of State
Champions. This if the 24th state title CHS has received since 1983, he
Chesterton held a
lead over its closest rival West Lafayette by a total of 15.5 points.
Pruis also lauded
the Westchester Intermediate students who scored high in the 5th/6th grade
Corn Belt Thinking Cap Quiz.
Another mention was
the CHS girls swim team who were champions in the Duneland Athletic
Conference in January.
The board approved
its upcoming meeting dates for Monday, March 3, and Monday, April 14.