LINDEN — For nearly 16 years North Montgomery School Corporation students have attended school under the trimester model of education.
On Monday, the school board voted to go back to semesters beginning next school year.
School board members began discussing the change last fall, and after a joint effort from staff and administration it was decided moving to semesters will benefit students.
Superintendent Dr. Colleen Moran said she appreciates all the hard work and research administrators, guidance counselors and staff members have performed to help the board make a decision. She also mentioned a survey found a vast majority of staff believe the change is needed to better meet the educational goals of students and the corporation.
“Moving to semesters has many benefits,” Moran said. “Core teachers see that having students in class for an additional 60 days will help. Also, we will have shorter class periods. The move is ideal for our advanced classes and puts us more in line with Career Technical Education classes. Students will have an option for a study hall along with our continued bonus hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”
The new school day will consist of seven periods for less than 50 minutes each. Details on times and subject offerings will be forthcoming.
Board member Gary Bohlander supports the change to semesters.
“Benefits to the students is driving this decision to change to semesters,” he said. “This is the right decision for our kids.”
The board received some good news on the high school locker room project. Contractors discovered the HVAC system will not have to be involved in the refurbishing. Another savings has been found by switching plumbing from steel to PVC piping. Business manager Jim McBee said the savings will total $60,000.
Work will begin on the project in March, with the goal to be done by the start of the next school year. McBee did add there will be some inconveniences during construction as far as parking and the closing of a hallway and some doors. McBee said with the amount of work to be done, including the razing of several block walls will result in using other entries into the pool area and locker rooms.
McBee also told the board the roofing project at the middle school is expected to begin in March.
Tipmont has approached McBee about a new solar panel project grant. The project will include building a canopy with solar panels over the bus lot. The uniqueness of the project will enable the school to store energy on site to be used at the middle school and high school.
The board learned the solar panels installed at Sommer Elementary have been successful and they have produced enough electricity to power the school so that very little electricity is being purchased.
The following students were recognized for their artwork being displayed in the board room: Brystal Sigal, second grade Pleasant Hill Elementary; Notusca Cornell, second grade Sugar Creek Elementary; Grady Finlayson, fifth grade Sommer Elementary; Peyton Hernandez North Montgomery Middle School; and Morgan Taylor junior at the high school.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the hiring of adjunct teachers for open teaching positions.
• Approved surplus operation funds in the amount of $600,000 be transferred to the Rainy Day Fund.
• Accepted the retirement of school nurse Sue Amstuz, effective March 24.
• Accepted the resignations of technology specialist Ken Garrison, effective March 24; Abby Pape, second grade Sugar Creek Elementary, effective May 26; and Hollie Brown, administrative assistant/bookkeeper at Sugar Creek Elementary effective at the end of the school year.
• Approved the hiring of Judith Craig, food service at Sommer; Deborah Schrieber, food service at the high school and Kenneth Viveros, sub food dervice district.
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