ND school board looking to consider improvements

Feb. 22—ELNORA — Like many other area school corporations, North Daviess is trying to prepare for the future. During the February school board meeting, a unanimous decision was made to have Scott Stenftenagel go out for bids on some facility improvements.

"This is just going out to bid," stressed North Daviess Superintendent Jodi Berry. "This does not tie us down to anything."

The bids are for improvements to the track and field fence and improved drainage with alternates bids for concession stand upgrades, updates to the rest rooms press box improvements, new fencing at the softball and baseball fields and an Americans with Disabilities Act ramp.

Getting more finite number, Berry told the board members, would allow them to better prioritize projects and help with deciding which ones to tackle next.

The resignation of welding instructor Charlie Bennett was accepted. Chad Flint will now take on that role working 12 hours a week as the welding instructor and 16 hours a week as a computer tech. The retirement of long-time employee Doug Simmons was also accepted. Simmons has worked for North Daviess schools 28 years.

A bus route extension was approved for bus 6 and routes for the 2023-2027 contract were also approved. Berry said the school corporation will own three routes for the upcoming contract years.

Elementary principal Renee Judy said students will soon be able to use their Cougar Cash, a rewards program that will allow students to earn prizes for positive behaviors. Judy said several area businesses have donated items and Cougar gear will also be available for students to earn.

On April 11, the elementary will host Math Bowl and students are currently collecting pet supplies for Washington Animal Control. Clay Raber's students are making merchandise to sell that will also benefit animal control.

Junior-senior high principal Jed Jerrels said students brought home many awards from the ISSMA music contests over the last few weeks. He also announced the Riley Dance Marathon will be held at the school on March 17.

Dr. Barry Stone, director of curriculum and technology, said technology improvements are underway with the bandwidth increasing from 500 megabits to 1.5 gigabits. A final walk through of the camera system was completed this week, bids are being accepted for school bus cameras. RFPs for the eRate project were also approved. That project includes new wiring and access points to the offices at the high school and central office, K-2 wing at the elementary and part of the junior high.

Berry said the corporation will be looking to revise its policy on vapes and tobacco products. Most other schools in the area already have policies in place that allow for citations to be written by law enforcement for those in violation.

She also noted there was an issue with the State Department of Education's system for free and reduced lunch. While it is not a school corporation error, Berry said the school corporation will be working to resolve the issue that made it look like some students did not qualify for the program.