The Duneland School
Board thanked the Porter Redevelopment Commission for granting $2,500
towards the Second Step program at Yost Elementary.
unanimously approved accepting the donation at its meeting Monday.
“We’re very excited
about the Town of Porter getting the grant done,” said Board Vice-President
John Marshall, who is also a non-voting member on the Porter RDC. “We really
appreciate everything the Redevelopment Commission member did to take that
step moving forward in supporting programs at Yost.”
The RDC back in
February voted to prepare a resolution for a $2,500 contribution which comes
from revenues within the Town’s tax increment finance (TIF) district. RDC
President Elka Nelson asked her peers to consider the donation after she
heard from Town Council President Greg Stinson that the Second Step program
Second Step is a
school counseling program designed to help students with social and
emotional learning. Minutes from the Feb. 28 RDC meeting indicate that
several speakers talked about the benefits of the program, teaching students
how to empathize and communicate with each other in healthy ways.
State law gives
Redevelopment Commissions the ability to grant a percentage of its revenues
to schools or educational programs that help prepare a workforce, resulting
in economic benefit.
On another note,
Board member Mike Trout also thanked the Town of Chesterton for waiving
$21,000 of building permit fees for projects this summer.
“I thought we as a
board would like to acknowledge we appreciate the response,” Trout said. “It
all helps and it shows that we all like to work together.”
In other business,
the board received a presentation from students and leaders of the High
Five 3rd Grade
students -- Caden Koedyker, Turner Enderle, Han Phan, Ella Taylor and Lauren
Yarosz -- told how they worked together this year to construct a paper yeti,
or what is sometimes called the legendary abominable snowman of the
Yarosz said they
studied a whole unit around the yeti and decided to make one to scale. Phan
said they concluded that the yeti was twice their size and that is how they
decided the measurements for the yeti.
With all the body
parts assembled, the team named its creation “Eddie the Yeti,” said Enderle.
The students then put full-size Eddie together for the board.
Director and Liberty Elementary Principal Christy Jarka, accompanied by High
Ability teacher Holly Koedyker, showed the board where information about the
program can be found on the Duneland Schools website with specific sections
on the K-4 program as well as the program in intermediate, middle school and
high school levels.
There is also a
resource page for parents and a blog that the teachers write entries for.
Jarka said the
curriculum used this year was drawn from “Mentoring Mathematical Minds” by
Kendall Hunt Publishing.
Next, CHS incoming
senior Eli Ontiveros introduced himself as the program director for the WDSO
88.3 FM radio station and presented to the board copies of a resolution that
was made by the Indiana House of Representatives honoring the station
marking its 40th year on the air. The station’s first broadcast was on Nov.
State Rep. Chuck
Moseley, D-Portage, sponsored the resolution which he introduced before the
House, along with local State Reps. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, Ed
Soliday, R-Valparaiso, and Mike Ayleworth, R-Hebron. Senate sponsors were
Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, and Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso.
eleven students involved at the station were present on March 14 when the
resolution was passed. Accompanying them was Station Manager Matthew Waters
and CHS Assistant Principal Robert Blumenthal.
Those named in the
resolution included Waters, Station Operations Manager Michele Stipanovich,
station staff, Schools Superintendent Pruis, Assistant Superintendent Jim
Goetz, and school board members.
“Thank you for your
support of our station,” Ontiveros told the board and administrators.
The board voted 5-0
in favor of allocating $890,000 in the schools referendum fund for
instructional technology, following a public hearing.
Pruis said the goal
is to move the schools closer to becoming a “one-to-one” environment where
each student can use an iPad or tablet device to enhance their learning.
The hearing and
vote for the allocation was needed because the 2017 budget for the
referendum fund did not earmark the funds for technology, said Pruis, who
noted that the funds are already in the budget.
No one from the
audience spoke during the public hearing.
Meal charge policy
Also, the board
unanimously agreed to adopt the Meal Charge and Meal Debt Collection
policies required by the federal government under the National School Lunch
Financial Officer Lynn Kwilasz developed the policy along with Food Service
Director Kay Nallenweg, Business Administrator Mary Jo Brust and Director of
Support Services Greg Lindy.
The schools have
had a meal charge policy since the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010,
but there hasn’t been a policy for collection of delinquent meal debt, Pruis
Nallenweg told the
board that the current positive balances in the meal collection
significantly outweighs the negative balances and that “we do not have
issues with this in our school corporation.”
However, the board
needs to approve the policy because it is required to have a policy in
place, Nallenweg said.
recommendations by Goetz, the board voted to adopt new textbooks for Health
and Science as well as the 2017-18 textbook rental fees.
The grand total of
textbook rentals and instructional fees for next school year in grades K-6
will be $117.92 for kindergarten, $166.92 for 1st Grade, $138.39 for 2nd
Grade, $138.02 for 3rd Grade, $123.79 for 4th Grade, $125.10 for 5th Grade
and $140.99 for 6th Grade.