Board Approves All-Day Pre-School at Bradie Shrum

Board Approves All-Day Pre-School at Bradie Shrum

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The Salem School Board approved all-day pre-school at Bradie M. Shrum to begin this fall in a partnership with the Washington County Family YMCA. 

The cost will be $100 per week for students attending the all-day pre-school Monday – Friday. 

The cost for 1/2 day pre-school three days per week will be $87 per month.

There will be $20,000 plus available to subsidize the program for families who meet the YMCA’s financial guidelines. 

The YMCA will provide supplies and pay the salaries of the teachers. Salem Schools will allow the use of three classrooms in the safe room area and and provide transportation on their current bus system. 

Those children under 5 will need to be secured in a 3-point harness, which according to YMCA Director Kristy Purleee, they would either supply or write a grant to help provide these. 

The board was addressed by YMCA Board Vice President Jason Wade, Purlee and Pre-School Director Robin Deaton. 

Wade said he had been a Principal and taught grades K-2 and believes in the benefits of pre-school education. 

If you look at children coming into school and coming into Kindergarten, if a child is behind their peers 1-2 years going into school, data shows that if they don’t catch up by third grade, they will never catch up,” Wade said. “The odds of that child graduating from high school is very very slim.”

He said the only other Hoosier Upland’s Head Start is the only licensed and qualified pre-school program in Washington County. 

“We’ve maxed our capacity on being able to reach the children of Washington County,” said Wade. “Sixty-eight percent of the children right now in Washington County need a preschool program. They spend the day in the summers watching television and have not had the opportunity to interact in a school based setting. That’s no fault of the parents, who are at work providing for their families.”

YMCA Board VP Jason Wade speaks to the school board about operating a all-day pre-school program at Bradie M. Shrum

Bradie Shrum Principal Brent Minton said he hopes the program will help students who are not currently getting exposure to pre-school education. 

“Parents can’t afford to send them. We hope to reach those students and get them here,” said Minton. “We have students coming in who are well behind their peers. And that’s because they are not attending a pre-school program. We hope to bring those students up to par to where they are with their peers when they enter kindergarten.”

Minton said approximately 20 percent of students entering Kindergarten are behind those who had attended some form of pre-school. 

The students will transition into kindergarten at Bradie Shrum. 

The boarded voted 5-0 to adopt this program. 

OTHER BOARD BUSINESS

The board approved the following:

  • Claims to date
  • Approval of personnel and extra curricular staff
    • Hired Savannah Hartsfield, assistant varsity cheer coach
    • Hired Rachel Huffaker, varsity cheer coach
    • Hired Jessica Batt, volunteer assistant soccer coach
    • Hired David Wells, volunteer assistant track coach
    • Jeffery Burch, volunteer assistant baseball coach
    • Jason Pepmeier, volunteer assistant baseball coach
    • Stephanie Chumbley and Michelle Medlock, maternity leave
  • Approval of a donation to Bradie Shrum for $51 from an anonymous donor to be used for the 5th grade Chicago trip.
  • Approval of a donation to Bradie Shrum from Donors Choose Organization for Mrs. Bower’s classroom. Her project is Exploring “Engineering with STEM Bins”.
  • Approval of an overnight and out of state field tripi to Morehead State University for the SHS Volleyball team on June 11-13 with Straton Thomas and Megan Napier. 
  • Roar awards were presented to Loralee Potter and Sidney Smith
    • Jennifer Martin said Loralee, a senior at SHS was recently selected by academic all stars through the Indianapolis Star. “I’ve been doing this for a few years and she’s the first student we’ve had to advance to the finals. Mr Albert has been a principal for 30 years and it’s only his 2nd or third student that has made it. It’s quite an accomplishment that SHS.” Martin said they would be going to a luncheon in June. Board VP Ron Haendiges said the board was “very proud of her accomplishments.” Loralee’s mother, Dawn Potter was there to accept the award.
    • Sidney Smith was among 50 out of 225 students who were chosen to go to the med campus at IUPUI to do some research with cancer doctors. “To be one of those few select students, someone from SHS…she was very excited about that,” said Martin. Board President Becky White said “We’re very proud. You can see our students are doing great things.”

During a general comments period, Diana Campbell asked the board if there were too many in the room and if it violated fire codes. 

More than 80 from the community had gathered in the normal board room to talk about planned improvements to the school. 

White asked that they proceed with the next action item, which was to approve a project with the Girl Scouts so several of the members could attend a choir concert that was starting soon. 

Girls Scouts of Troop 249 were present to ask the board about completing their 50 hours of volunteer service to get their Silver Award by creating a KINDER Garden at the elementary school. 

Abby Boling, Madison Heckman, Emilee Brown and Madison Sapcut addressed the board. 

“In order to achieve the silver award, we must put in 50 hours of community service. We chose to pursue this volunteering activity due to our ties with the elementary school and our yearning to assist our community.”

The girls want to help with the creation of the garden by adding butterfly and bird houses. 

The board initially approved the project, adjourned the meeting and moved to the Safe Room. Once there, they re-opened the meeting and voted 5-0 to approve the girls’ projects.

In other Action Items:

  • Approved a plan to issue Work Ethic certificates to the Class of 2019.
  • Approval for Karen Libka to purchase additional tables and chairs for the high school cafe. Funds would come from the food service budget. 
  • Approval for an overnight stay at Bradie Shrum for Mrs. Mikels and Mrs. Johnson’s class on May 18. 
  • Approval of the 2018/19 school calendar
  • Approval of a retirement incentive program for this year. 
    • Those teachers who are near retirement will be offered a one time payment of $25,000 to take the early retirement. This was first offered last year. 
    • Approval for a SMS graduation coach to be posted internally.
      • Because Ivy Tech cut their budget, they will no longer fund this position at Salem High School. ROI of Bloomington offered $20,000 to fund a local position and Superintendent Dr. Lynn Reed said she would like to post the position internally for someone at the middle school which needs another counselor. 
    • Approved Mainstream to provide high speed internet service at the schools. They were the low bidder of $2175 per month. Dr. Reed said E-rate pays 80 percent of the cost, so the final cost to the schools would be $435 per month. 
    • Approval of additional appropriations from the rainy day fund and the transportation fund. 
      • Assistant Superintendent Kim Thurston said the Transportation fund had a balance of $241,488  and the rainy day fund had a balance of $60,868. He asked the board for additional appropriate of $100,000 from the transportation account and $60,000 from the rainy day fund. The money would be used to supplement retirement benefits employees have taken. “Can’t spend the cash unless we take an appropriation,” said Thurston. The transportation funds would be used for the surcharge for diesel fuel that went into affect on July 1, which amounted to 35 cents per gallon. “It hit us pretty hard,” said Thurston. “We’re asking for $100,000 additional appropriation of the 241,488 of the surplus funds to be a buffer to offset some of that increase with the fuel tax increase.” The board approved allowing the process to be advertised.