In the Know!

Welcome to the corporation’s new blog site. Follow this page and be “In the Know” and up-to-date with accurate school information. Contact Wes Anderson at wanderson@newpal.k12.in.us with any questions you would like to ask that would also be beneficial information for others to know. Thank you for your interest and support of Southern Hancock Schools.

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Board Business: November 2018

This blog post is intended to keep you up to date on the happenings of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County Board of Education meetings. Please read below for recaps of the board’s November 12, 2018 meeting.

Monday’s meeting began with recognition of six NPHS students for outstanding academic achievement. Luke Horner and Matthew Kelley were recognized for their selection as finalists for the Hancock County Community Foundation Lilly Endowment Scholarships.

 

Board Recap 1
NPHS Seniors Matthew Kelly (2nd from left) and Luke Horner (far right) with Hancock County Community Foundation representative Susan Bennett and NPHS Principal Keith Fessler.

 

Cameron Rooks, Jessica Buchanan, David Bogle, and Mary Gunn were also recognized for accolades received from the National Merit Scholarship program.

 

Board Recap 3
NPHS Principal Keith Fessler with seniors David Bogle, Jessica Buchanan, and Mary Gunn.

 

Principals from five CSCSHC buildings and Superintendent Dr. Lisa Lantrip were recognized for the district’s designation as a Riley Red Wagon Corporation. Riley Red Wagon status is given to schools that donate $1 for each enrolled student. The corporation is named a Red Wagon Corporation if all school buildings are recognized as Red Wagon Schools.

 

Board Recap 2
NPJH Principal Jim Voelz, NPHS Principal Keith Fessler, NPE Principal Katy Eastes, BWE Principal Dr. Rhonda Peterson, Superintendent Dr. Lisa Lantrip, Susan Miles from Riley Hospital for Children, and SCE Principal Kari Shelton.

 

The board heard one citizen formal comment at Monday’s meeting. A local resident and NPHS staff member presented to the board on the potential need for a new high school building. The board and district administration are still weighing a number of potential options and directions for future plans at NPHS. This feedback, along with a number of other community feedback opportunities, will be considered before any decisions are made. It is a top priority for the board and administration to consider student and staff safety during this project while also balancing a fiscal responsibility to our taxpayers.

A number of donations were approved for the NPI Robotics Club, Competition Cheer Club, and Service Learning programs at NPHS and NPI.

The board approved the 2020-21 School Calendar. You can view this calendar here. The 2019-2020 Master Calendar was amended at the meeting. The end of the first grading period was moved back one week to make the period nine weeks in length. The previous version of the calendar had the first grading period as only eight weeks long. This does not affect the start date for the 2019-20 year or the schedule for any breaks during the school year. The board also approved a change from a half E-Learning day each grading period to full E-Learning days. These dates are August 28, 2019, September 25, 2019, January 29, 2020, and February 26, 2020. This change was made to allow our staff time to complete additional training required by the state of Indiana and also to allow more time for important safety discussions and staff training. Student safety is always the district’s number one priority. You can view the amended 2019-2020 calendar here. There are no changes to the current year’s calendar.

Dr. Lantrip received approval to create an NPHS Construction team. This group will work together to advise the board and administration on a number of options for the future project at NPHS. The group is comprised of bond counsel, financial advisors, contractors, and architects. This group will compile information about how this project could potentially be funded and what the project could look like based on a number of different funding options. Again, the district will soon be seeking community input about this project. We’ll share more information on how your voice can be heard in the weeks to come.

NPHS Principal Mr. Fessler received approval to add four new courses to the NPHS curriculum next year. Service Learning, Graphic Design, Aviation Flight, and Aviation Operations will be offered in 2019-20. The two aviation courses are through a partnership with other Hancock County districts.

NPHS Teacher and CSCSHC Energy Manager Mr. Large presented to the board about the district’s energy usage. Through a number of cost-cutting measures, the district added over $300,000 in utility costs back into the General Fund by saving energy. In 13 years of the Energy Savings Program, the district has saved almost $3,000,000 in utility costs.

Community Relations Director Wes Anderson updated the board on a number of projects underway in the Community Relations Department. The district, along with the other three Hancock County school districts, received grant money from the Hancock County Community Foundation to be used for new signs on the district’s borders. You may have seen these signs already up in Mt. Vernon or Greenfield-Central school districts. This grant money will be available to CSCSHC on January 1 and signs are expected to be installed by spring. Below is a rendering of what the district’s signs will look like.

Sign Preview

The district is proud to partner with HCCF and the other districts to create unified signage across all of Hancock County.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Monday night’s meeting, contact Community Relations Director Wes Anderson at wanderson@newpal.k12.in.us.

 

 

CSCSHC honored to welcome exchange students from China

Southern Hancock is excited and honored to welcome a group of intermediate and middle school students from Guangzhou, China this week.

Guangzhou is a major Chinese city near Hong Kong.

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Courtesy Google Maps

Ten students and one teacher from the Nan’ao school system in Guangzhou are visiting for the week.

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Exchange students with their New Palestine host families

These students are attending New Palestine Intermediate and New Palestine Junior High each day, receiving instruction from our teachers and sitting in classes with our students. They use Google Translate to interact with their American counterparts.

The students have also had opportunities to experience American culture, including attending an Indiana Pacers game, visiting an apple orchard, and experiencing the Halloween holiday by trick-or-treating with their “host siblings.”

Southern Hancock has a sister school in China in the Zhejiang Province, near Shanghai. Administrators from that school district visited CSCSHC last year. NPJH Principal Jim Voelz is among a group of American administrators that have visited Zhejiang’s school district, as well.

We are grateful to provide this unique opportunity and are thankful to our incredible community for agreeing to host these students for the week. Here are a few more photos from our guests’ visit. Welcome to America!

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Board Business – October 15, 2018

This blog post is intended to keep you up to date on the happenings of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County Board of Education meetings. Please read below for recaps of the board’s two October 15th meetings.

Two board meetings were held Monday night at New Palestine Intermediate. The first was the regular board meeting for October. The second was a special work session for the board focused on the district’s facilities with a special focus on New Palestine High School.

At the start of the regular meeting, the board recognized NPHS Assistant Softball Coach Alyssa Dillard for being awarded the National Fastpitch Coaching Association’s High School Assistant Coach of the Year Award. This award is given to coaches who show tireless dedication to the sport of softball and to the continued education, growth and development of young women, both on and off the playing field. Dillard has been an assistant coach at NPHS for ten years. Congratulations Alyssa on a great honor!

Alyssa Dillard
NPHS Assistant Softball Coach Alyssa Dillard (middle) with NPHS Athletic Director Al Cooper (left) and NPHS Head Softball Coach Ed Marcum (Right).

The board approved a number of donations Monday, including multiple gifts to the NPHS Competition Cheer team and the NPHS Robotics team. Donations to SCE and a $1,000 anonymous donation to NPHS were also approved.

The board approved a field trip for both the Crimson Heat and Diamond Sensations Show Choirs. The choirs will be traveling to Branson, Missouri for performances in early April of 2019.

Board Meetings for 2019 were also approved. You can see them in this chart:

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The board approved the master contract between the school district and the Classroom Teachers Association for 2018-19. This contract is approved yearly and is negotiated by representatives from the district administration and the CTA before it is submitted for board approval.

A number of budget items were approved at Monday’s meeting. The board approved the distribution of this year’s income tax money. The majority of that money will be allocated to the district’s Capital Projects and Transportation Funds. A small percentage will be allocated to the Bus Replacement Fund. Additionally, starting in 2019, changes in state law have required the district to change how the district’s budget is managed. The board approved the creation of an Education Fund and an Operations Fund. New laws require the creation of an Education Fund to replace what was previously known as the General Fund. The Operations Fund will replace the Capital Projects, Transportation, and Bus Replacement Funds. These new funds go into effect on January 1. The board also approved a transfer of money from the General Fund to the new Education Fund effective 1/1/19. Funds from the Transportation and Bus Replacement Funds will be transferred to the new Operations Fund on 1/1/19, as well.

A number of district and NPHS administrators offered a presentation to the board about Graduation Pathways. Graduation Pathways is a change in graduation requirements in Indiana. It will officially go into effect for all students that are currently in the 8th-grade or younger.

The board approved the district’s plan to initiate Pathways. We’ll have more on Pathways soon. In the meantime, if you have questions, please visit the DOE website here or email questions to Community Relations Director Wes Anderson at wanderson@newpal.k12.in.us.

Director of Student Services Miles Hercamp provided the board with a report on the changes to state accountability. This includes the state of Indiana’s decision to move to ILEARN testing for grades 3-8 instead of ISTEP. ILEARN is a Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT). CAT tests are administered on a computer as opposed to with paper and pencil. A CAT test provides the student with questions that are based on their response to the previous question. Over the course of a full exam, each student may see questions tailored to them that are different than those that other students may see. This will provide a better measure of what an individual student knows or can do. The board was also provided with a practice test for what ILEARN may look like. If you would to take the practice test, click here. (NOTE: This practice test works best in Safari or Google Chrome. Once you open this link, please click on a Grade Level and then choose the second item on the left in a particular subject called “Start ILEARN 2018 Grade Level Released Items.”) There will be more information shared about the changes in Indiana required testing, including ILEARN, to come soon.

At the conclusion of the regular board meeting, a special session was held on facilities. The meeting began with an update of recent work done to all CSCSHC buildings. Short, medium and long-term plans for additional maintenance and improvements to those buildings were also discussed.

Assistant Superintendent Bob Yoder, NPHS Principal Keith Fessler, and NPHS Assistant Principal Adam Barton gave the board a presentation about some of the immediate needs at the high school, which will be the next major project that the district and board intend to address.

Immediate needs at the high school include wider hallways and stairways, a larger cafeteria space, additional restrooms, and necessary repairs to HVAC equipment and the building’s roof. Needs for additional classroom space to fit a 21st-century curriculum and additional space for the arts and the NPHS music department were also discussed. The administrators discussed the need for more collaboration spaces, where students may have flexible seating options to work together in small or large groups. Spaces like this help our students become more college and career ready by working together to achieve goals.

The board received information about the age of the building, portions of which date to 1954. There have been nine additions to the building since its original construction. Some of these areas no longer meet modern-day curricular needs. There are additional needs for the building’s footprint, including more and better-designed entrances and exits and parking needs.

The board received information about the number of additional houses estimated to be built in the near future within the district boundaries, which the district is aware will mean a growing enrollment. At least ten new housing developments are currently in the planning stages, which will bring approximately 450 new houses to the school district. Additionally, discussions were held regarding the number of large lots for sale, which may mean additional subdivisions could be built in the near future. This data will help the board and district determine a scope for how large such a project may be.

The board will take all the information provided in this special session and use it to begin initial discussions about what a future project to renovate NPHS might look like and when such a project may begin. It is important to note that these discussions are in the preliminary phases and no decisions about the project have been made at this time. The NPHS renovation project will be a subject of discussion at future board meetings. During these discussions, the board and district administration will be seeking feedback from the community about a potential NPHS project. We will have more information to come about how you can get involved as this process moves along.

CSCSHC Now Using Rave Panic Button App

Through a partnership with the Hancock County 911 Center, CSCSHC now has an additional tool for school safety.

The Rave Panic Button allows staff to notify first responders of an emergency with just the push of a button.

Through a technology called geofencing, dispatchers are able to determine the exact location where one of the panic buttons was pressed and start first responders to that location even before a 911 call is made.

This important technology will help CSCSHC maintain a safe and secure learning environment for all students and staff.

For more on the Panic Button app, please see this article in the Greenfield Daily Reporter.

Board Business: September 10, 2018

This blog post is intended to keep you up to date on the happenings of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County Board of Education meetings. Please read below for a recap of the board’s August 28th meeting.

Monday night’s Board of Education meeting began with recognition for Assistant Superintendent Bob Yoder, who was recognized by the Association of School Business Officials with their 2018 Pinnacle of Achievement Award for the renovation process at New Palestine Junior High School. The Pinnacle Award is given to outstanding school business officials who complete projects with original solutions that maximize resources and enhance student achievement. By maintaining the NPJH building for several years during its closure, the school district was able to renovate and re-open the building for significantly less cost to our taxpayers than building a new school from the ground-up.

Several donations were approved for the New Palestine High School competition cheer team and the New Palestine High School Robotics Team.

This school year’s 6th-grade field trip to Dayton, Ohio and the National Museum of the United States Air Force was approved. The trip is scheduled for May 15, 2019.

The district’s 2019 budget was approved by the board. Last month, the district publically advertised the budget in alignment with state guidelines. The board held a public hearing regarding the budget at the August 27 meeting. The budget was unanimously approved.

Administrators from each school presented their building’s individual School Improvement Plan (SIP). An SIP is required for all public schools in Indiana. They include a significant amount of data research about a number of factors including attendance, grades, standardized test scores, and an analysis of curriculum. Administrators then use the gathered data to establish goals and objectives for student growth and overall school improvement. The board received SIPs from administrators at all six CSCSHC buildings at Monday night’s meeting.

A number of policy changes were put up for a first reading at the meeting. The majority of these policies were already on the district’s books, but required some adjustments. These policies will be read at a future meeting for a second meeting before being subject to board approval.

Asst. Superintendent Bob Yoder provided an update on enrollment to the board. CSCSHC’s enrollment has increased slightly from last school year to just over 3,700 students K-12.

Director of Instructional Services Miles Hercamp provided the board with an update on the delays in the release of ISTEP data. Due to a scoring error by Pearson, who the state of Indiana uses for ISTEP scoring, the public release of Indiana’s scores has been delayed.

Per board policy, an update on fundraising efforts by all district booster and fundraiser organizations is required on a yearly basis. An update was provided to the board on how much money each of those organizations has raised in all CSCSHC buildings.

Board Business – August 27, 2018

This blog post is intended to keep you up to date on the happenings of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County Board of Education meetings. Please read below for a recap of the board’s August 28th meeting.

The CSCSHC school board’s second meeting of August was a brief one focused mainly on the 2019 budget.

At the start of Monday’s meeting, a public hearing was held regarding the school’s advertised 5-year Bus Replacement and 3-year Capital Project plans. There were no public comments during the hearing. Both plans were approved by the board and will go into effect next year. Additional information details of the 2019 budget will be discussed in future board meetings later this fall.

Additionally, the board approved a $1,000 donation to the New Palestine High School Robotics program.

The next meeting for the CSCSHC Board of Education is September 10.

Hancock Regional Hospital hosting conversation on vaping Tuesday night

We would like to let all parents know about an important event put on by Hancock Regional Hospital Tuesday night in New Palestine.

HRH’s Tobacco Initiative Coordinator Brandee Bastin will offer a presentation on e-cigarettes, vaping, and marketing tactics targeting the youth of our community.

This event will be held at Cross of Grace Lutheran Church at 3519 S. 600 W., New Palestine on Tuesday, August 21st from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

For more information on this event, please see this flyer: VapingFlyer