A grant application that would expand early education options, provide before and after school programs and add summer childcare options gained support Thursday from board members of the Crawfordsville Community School Corporation.
The school board voted 5-0 to submit a grant application to the Montgomery County Community Foundation for $122,064. If awarded, the matching grant would help provide new furniture, learning materials, curriculum and a gym floor at Willson Preschool. These updates would assist the school corporation in obtaining Legally Licensed Exempt Provider status and Paths to Quality status, allowing the district to accept Indiana Child Care Development Fund and On-My Way Pre-K vouchers.
Superintendent Dr. Rex Ryker explained the move would allow the district to open two additional community preschool classes and move to four community preschool classes that range from all-day up to five days a week.
The board also voted to submit a grant application to Indiana Department of Education for a Science of Reading Grant. The grant was written for $300,000, and if awarded, would help fund literacy coaches for students in kindergarten through third grade, purchase literacy curricular materials and provide professional development.
In other business, the school board:
• Learned a tentative agreement has been reached between the corporation and the teachers union. An additional public meeting for contract negotiations will take place at noon Nov. 8 in the administrative offices.
• Learned the Sandy Hook Promise, an anonymous reporting link, is now active on the school website. Training for staff, students and law enforcement has been completed.
• Learned fire safety and bus evacuation drills were recently conducted.
• Learned school representatives recently visited Parke Heritage to learn more about that corporation’s new electric bus.
• Approved changing the date of the regularly scheduled November board meeting on Nov. 9 to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Carnegie Museum. The evening will include viewing the annual student art show and museum exhibit related to the former Lincoln School.
• Approved a request from Brett Motz to allow the high school baseball team to travel over spring break 2024 to Murphysboro, Tennessee. The team will play four games over the course of the trip. The team has been traveling almost every year since the inception of the trip in 2001. Proceeds from the team’s pizza sales help fund the trip.
• Authorized the settlement offer for government entity claims against Altria in the amount of $11,440.
• Approved the adoption of the 2024 budget and resolution for 2024 appropriations and tax rates.
• Approved a resolution for the transfer of up to $2 million in funds from the education fund to the rainy day fund.
• Approved the first reading of a policy that expands the use of metal detectors. New language broadens the use of metal detectors beyond the search for weapons and includes all illegal items that may contain metal, which would include electronic cigarettes or vapes. A second reading of the policy revision will occur at the November meeting.
In personnel matters, the board:
• Accepted the resignations of Gabrielle Hochstetler, CMS media center assistant, and Susan Sizemore, Hose teachers aide.
• Accepted the employment of Tristan Peacock, Willson teachers aide; anda change in position for Kari-Ann VanCleave from Hoover aide to assistant and Shelby Greene from Hoover substitute teacher to intervention assistant.
During the Spotlight on Excellence portion of the meeting, the board recognized the varsity boys tennis team, coached by Craig Brainard and Madison Smith. The team was recognized for finishing 13-4 on the season and second in the Sagamore Athletic Conference and repeating as sectional champions. The varsity team consists of James Murphy, Wyatt Motz, Rowan Gambrel, Jude Coursey, Jude Hutchison, Thomas Bowling, Henry Bannon and Nolan Watt.
The board also recognized principal Jennifer Hall, teacher Carrie Jones, custodian Starla Richardson, and school resource officer Jack Taylor for garnering the top votes in their respective categories in the 2023 Journal Review “Best of Awards.”