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: June 2019

This blog post is intended to keep you up to date on the happenings of the Board of School Trustees of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County’s meetings. Please read below for a recap of the board’s June 10th, 2019 regular meeting.

Monday’s meeting began with the graduation of the 2018-19 Community Leadership Academy. This group of parents and community members meets monthly during the school year to learn more about the inner workings of our school district. We would like to thank all of those who agreed to participate and in the Community Leadership Academy and showed a willingness to learn about the operation of our school district.

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Members of the 2018-19 Community Leadership Academy with School Board Secretary Dan Walker (second from left) and School Board President Bill Niemier (third from left).

The board approved Austin Theobald as the new principal at Brandywine Elementary School. Theobald was most recently the principal at Rushville Elementary School East. He has also served as an assistant principal at Shelbyville Central Schools. Theobald has over ten years of experience in special education and grades three and four. Theobald is a previous recipient of the Shelby County Educator of the Year Award. Theobald is a Shelbyville native and enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, reading, fitness, and being outdoors. The community is invited to a Meet the Principal Open House with Mr. Theobald on Wednesday, July 17th from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at Brandywine Elementary.

Three donations were approved at Monday’s meeting. Covance donated $200 to Mrs. Rund’s tower garden project at New Palestine Intermediate School. $575.60 was donated by the Fairview United Methodist Church. This donation is to be used for unpaid lunches for Brandywine Elementary students. The American Legion donated $2,000 to be used for history scholarships for students.

The board also approved the deposit of the 2019 Supplemental Local Income TAP Distribution into the Rainy Day Fund. This money comes from income taxes in addition to what the district is budgeted to receive. Typically at this time of year, a supplemental distribution is provided to the district and this money is placed in the Rainy Day Fund.

Board Business May 20, 2019

This blog post is intended to keep you up to date on the happenings of the Board of School Trustees of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County’s meetings. Please read below for a recap of the board’s May 20th, 2019 regular meeting.

The board held the second of two Preliminary Determination Hearings regarding the New Palestine High School renovation project. An identical hearing was held last week. These hearings included a new, more detailed design of the future project, financial information about the project, and the potential tax impact of the project. You can learn more about what was discussed at the hearing on the NPHS Renovations page.

At the conclusion of the public hearing, the board approved three resolutions. These resolutions establish an estimated cost for the project, set forth the maximum provisions for the district to pay for the project, and also allow the district to reimburse any costs incurred before the bonds are sold to be reimbursed from the bond proceeds raised for the project.

Additional steps for the project will be taken at future board meetings. Please check back on the In The Know Blog for more information as the board and district proceed with the project.

Board Business: May 13, 2019

This blog post is intended to keep you up to date on the happenings of the Board of School Trustees of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County’s meetings. Please read below for a recap of the board’s May 13th, 2019 regular meeting.

Monday’s meeting began with a presentation from Hancock County Neighborhoods Against Substance Abuse (NASA). Five NPHS students participate in the NASA program. They presented to the board about their work with the program to make NPHS drug free.

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Students from the NPHS Neighborhoods Against Substance Abuse program present to the CSCSHC board along with NPHS Principal Keith Fessler (right).

Sugar Creek Elementary Art Teacher Clark Fralick was recognized by the board for his selection as the first-ever recipient of the Edward Maxedon Award for Excellence, Creativity, and Innovation in Art Education. You can read more about that recognition here.

The board held the first of two Preliminary Determination Hearings regarding the New Palestine High School renovation project. This hearing included a new, more detailed design of the future project, financial information about the project, and the potential tax impact of the project. You can learn more about what was discussed at the hearing on the NPHS Renovations page. A second Preliminary Determination Hearing will be held on May 20th at 6:30 p.m. at the CSCSHC Administration Office.

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New Sugar Creek Elementary Principal Jan Kehrt

The board approved two new administrators at Monday’s meeting. Jan Kehrt was approved as the new principal at Sugar Creek Elementary. Jan comes to CSCSHC from Greenfield-Central, where she served as the principal at Harris Elementary for the last twelve years. All parents and community members are invited to meet Mrs. Kehrt at an open house on June 5th at Sugar Creek Elementary from 6 p.m until 7:30 p.m.

The board also approved Amy Dawson as the new Associate Principal at New Palestine High School. Amy comes to CSCSHC from Rush County Schools, where she served as an assistant principal at both the middle and high schools. Amy and her husband Scott live in the district.

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New NPHS Associate Principal Amy Dawson

Three donations were approved at Monday’s meeting. A $15,000 grant from the Hancock County Community Foundation for new boundary signs welcoming travelers to CSCSHC was approved. $7,000 in donations to all six CSCSHC schools from the Southern Hancock Education Foundation was approved. Each school building received between $1,000 and $1,500 to be used for teacher development. Finally, a $50 donation to the NPHS library in memory of Mary Dennemann was also approved.

Two field trips were approved. The NPHS Cross Country teams will travel to an overnight camp at McCormick’s Creek in Owen County at the end of July. The NPHS Girls’ Soccer Team will attend an overnight camp at Purdue in early July.

The board conducted the second reading of the district handbook. The handbook for 2019-2020 is now approved and will available for parents on the district website after the conclusion of the 2018-2019 school year.

A contract agreement for counseling services with Hancock Regional Hospital was approved. This 3-year agreement will allow the district and hospital to provide a dedicated Mental Health Therapist for Southern Hancock Schools, students, and families.

The board also approved Instructional Fees for 2019-2020. This information will be available on the district website and during the enrollment period this summer.

A new contract agreement with Aramark Food Services was approved, including lunch prices for 2019-2020. Elementary and intermediate lunches will cost $2.90. Junior High and High School lunches will cost $3.05.

Rick Ward from the YMCA provided the board with an enrollment update in the YMCA Before & After School Care program and information about the upcoming Summer Day Camp program at New Palestine Intermediate. If you are interested in using the YMCA for Before/After Care at one of our K-6 buildings or the Summer Day Camp program at NPI, visit the YMCA page on our website.

Director of Instructional Services Miles Hercamp reported to the board on the test results from this year’s IREAD3 testing and measures the district is taking to continue to improve on scores that are already above state averages. This includes our Helping One Student to Succeed (H.O.S.T.S.) volunteer reading tutoring program. Every third-grade student that went through our H.O.S.T.S. program passed the IREAD-3 test. We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our H.O.S.T.S. volunteers for helping us make a difference!

Board Business: April 2019

This blog post is intended to keep you up to date on the happenings of the Board of School Trustees of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County’s meetings. Please read below for a recap of the board’s April 8th, 2019 regular meeting.

Monday’s meeting began with the approval of one donation. The Greenfield Elks donated $250 to the NPHS Class of 2020 Prom fundraiser.

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Nicholas Mitchaner was named Asst. Principal at NPHS at Monday’s board meeting.

The board also approved the selection of Nicholas Mitchaner as Assistant Principal at New Palestine High School. Mitchaner currently teaches Chemistry at NPHS. He has previously taught in Pike and Wayne Townships.

Two field trips were approved. NPHS Principal Mr. Fessler and Band Director Mr. Humphries received approval for a potential future field trip for the Hancock County Honors Band Musical Experience and Sightseeing Tour in Hawaii in June of 2020. The NPHS Football Team also received approval for a field trip. They will travel to southern Indiana this June for a scheduled competition and a trip to Holiday World.

The board approved the renewal of the district’s contract with the YMCA for Before and After-School Care in our elementary and intermediate buildings.

The district’s 2019-2020 handbook for support staff was approved. The district’s 2019-2020 student handbook had its first reading. A final version of the 2019-2020 student handbook will be presented at a future meeting.

The board approved a recommendation by Dr. Lantrip to close New Palestine High School to out-of-district transfer students for the 2019-2020 school year once enrollment in each class reaches 300 students. The district will continue to accept applications for K-8 students. Please see the district’s enrollment page or more information.

The board approved new agreements for the New Palestine Cadet Football League, New Palestine Youth League (baseball and softball), and New Palestine United Youth Soccer to continue to use district facilities for their operations.

Assistant Superintendent Bob Yoder presented to the board with information about the district’s current tax rate and the district’s immediate future with regards to potential increases in the assessed value and interest rates. This information will be used by the board in future discussions about the renovation project at New Palestine High School. Mr. Yoder told the board that the district’s construction team continues their work with two main goals in mind: 1) Continuing to be fiscally responsible to the district’s taxpayers and 2) completing this project while meeting the needs of current and future NPHS students. We’ll have more updates to share about the NPHS project at future meetings.

Mr. Yoder also shared results of a recent audit by the State Board of Accounts. Mr. Yoder reported that the audit was very good. The SBOA found one small documentation issue with regards to food service, which has since been corrected. The SBOA conducts audits at each organization in two-year cycles. This year’s audit was the second year of the current cycle.

Board Business: March 2019

This blog post is intended to keep you up to date on the happenings of the Board of School Trustees of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County’s meetings. Please read below for a recap of the board’s March 11th, 2019 regular meeting.

Monday’s meeting began with a special performance by the Brandywine Elementary Sign Club, who opened the meeting by completing the Pledge of Allegiance in American Sign Language. The Sign Club was also recognized by the board at the meeting and performed the popular kids’ song Baby Shark in ASL.

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The BWE Sign Club perform at Monday’s board meeting.

New Palestine High School Principal Keith Fessler presented the student-led group VOICE, whose purpose is to educate and encourage their peers to lead a tobacco-free lifestyle.

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Members of the student-led VOICE club at NPHS.

Students in VOICE have met with Senator Crider and Representative Cherry to work together to help keep students tobacco-free.

The board also recognized NPHS Head Football Coach Kyle Ralph for being named the Indiana Football Coaches Association Class 5A Coach of the Year. Coach Ralph led the Dragons to a 14-0 2018 season and a Class 5A State Championship.

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The Board of School Trustees congratulating NPHS Head Football Coach Kyle Ralph.

One donation was approved at Monday’s meeting. The Greenfield Banking Company donated $100 to New Palestine Intermediate’s tower garden, which is a part of the building’s Innovative Arts curriculum.

Three field trips were approved by the board. The NPHS fall sideline cheer team will attend Cheer Camp at Indiana University this July. The NPJH Band and Choir both received approval to travel to Kings Island in June.

At the request of NPHS Principal Keith Fessler, the board approved Friday, May 31st as the 2019 Commencement Date. Commencement will be held at 7 p.m. in the main gymnasium at New Palestine High School.

Representatives from the district’s construction team presented a general concept for a renovation project at New Palestine High School. We’ll have a separate story published on our NPHS Renovations page later this week with more information regarding the scope of the concept and the next steps in the process.

Student Services Director Dr. Marcia Piercy presented to the board on the district’s growing Early Childhood Learning program, current special education enrollment, and how the district is working to provide services to all of our special education students.

Finally, Mark Kern, President of the Southern Hancock Education Foundation (SHEd), along with SHEd Treasurer Laura Fowler and Secretary Kim Taylor, commented to the board regarding their upcoming Roaring 20’s Gala Fundraiser scheduled for April 26th at 6 p.m. at Addagio’s. SHEd’s mission is to promote and support quality public education in Brandywine and Sugar Creek Townships. We are committed to enriching the educational experience of all students within the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County.

 

Flu Season: How to Keep Your Children Safe

The following information regarding this year’s flu season is from CSCSHC Corporation Nurse Heather Haycock:

As you all know, flu season is upon us. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of reported cases of the flu/influenza in Indiana is at its highest point so far this flu season. This letter is to remind you of best practices if or when your child is exposed to flu.

The flu is highly contagious and can spread from person to person by breathing in the droplets in a cough, sneeze, or runny nose that contain the flu virus. People with the flu may be able to infect others by shedding virus as early as one full day before getting sick through a period five to seven days after symptoms begin.

Signs and Symptoms of the flu may include:

The flu comes on quickly. Most people with the flu feel very tired and may have a high fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, vomiting, or diarrhea.

If you suspect that you or a family member is sick, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Prevention

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination for everyone 6 months and older
  • Hand washing with soap and water, especially before meals. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers will work
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw tissues in the trash and wash hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect hard surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs, including bathroom surfaces, kitchen counters, and toys for children. Use household disinfectants according to directions.

When can my child return to school after having the flu?

Deciding to keep your child home from school is never easy. It’s important for children to attend school and for some parents staying home means missing work. However, when a child is truly sick, they need to stay home in the care of an adult to get well and to prevent spreading illnesses to others.

Keep your child home if they have a fever of at least 100°F. Wait at least 24 hours after the fever is gone and 24 hours after vomiting and/or diarrhea subsides without the use of medications before sending your child back to school.

Treatment

The flu can be treated with antiviral drugs. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen may be taken to reduce fever and increase comfort. Avoid products containing Aspirin. People with the flu need plenty of rest and fluids.

Your child’s medical information is kept confidential by the district, so please call the nurse’s office if your child has been diagnosed with flu/influenza. Contact your school nurse or clinic assistant with any questions.

Please keep the school office up to date with current phone numbers so you or an alternate contact can be reached if your child becomes ill or injured at school. The following information may help you decide when to keep your child at home. “Child” refers to all school-aged children including adolescents. This information does not take the place of consulting a medical provider.

Board Business: February 2019

This blog post is intended to keep you up to date on the happenings of the Board of School Trustees of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County’s meetings. Please read below for a recap of the board’s February 11th, 2019 regular meetings.

Monday’s meeting began with recognition of the 2018 Class 5A State Champion New Palestine High School Football Team.

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Players and coaches from the 2018 Class 5A State Champion NPHS Football Team with NPHS Athletic Director Al Cooper (right).

Head Coach Kyle Ralph, assistant coaches, and players were all recognized for their incredible undefeated season that resulted in the first 5A State Championship in school history. Seven players were also recognized for their selection as Indiana Football Coaches Association All-State Players.

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All-State Selections QB Zach Neligh, OL Austin Keele, and LB Luke Ely.

Luke Ely, Maxen Hook, Aven Jones, Austin Keele, Kyle King, Zach Neligh, and Austin Keele were All-State Selections in 2018. Ely was also honored as the winner of the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award.

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Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award Winner Luke Ely

Two donations totaling $3,650 from The American Legion Post #182 and The Sons of the American Legion Post #182 were approved. Both donations were made to the NPHS Choir Department for use on their upcoming field trip to Branson, Missouri.

The board canceled a number of outstanding checks, which is in alignment with guidelines from the State Board of Accounts. Checks that are outstanding for more than two years are canceled and those funds are receipted back to the Education Fund. A total of approximately $200 in checks will return to the district.

The board approved a new agreement with the Walker Career Center Technical Education Program for 2019-2020. CSCSHC uses the Walker Career Center for Career and Technical Education for any NPHS students interested in such fields.

The board conducted the first reading of amended policies. This is the first step each year in changing or updating district policies in accordance with changes in law or state guidelines.

The board heard from representatives of the Hancock County Library, including NPJH teacher Fred Fox, who serves as the district’s liaison for the library. The board heard details about the new Sugar Creek Library branch, which opened Monday in its new location on US 52.

CSCSHC Strategic Learning Coordinator Chris Young and Curriculum Coordinator Brian Dinwiddie updated the board on a number of innovation initiatives underway across the district. Mr. Young told the board that 65% of students entering grade school will end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist. The district works to prepare students for that world with cutting-edge innovation programs and maker space areas in our school buildings. The board was able to experience cutting-edge augmented reality technology. Through the use of viewfinders or headsets, students can explore other parts of the world while sitting in a chair in their classroom. These unique learning opportunities help students connect with the world around them.

The board also heard from representatives of the district’s construction team regarding their collection of feedback over the past few weeks regarding a potential future renovation project at New Palestine High School. Representatives from The Skillman Group, the district’s construction management company, and Barton-Coe-Vilamaa, the district’s architecture firm, told the board about feedback gathered from speaking with NPHS students, NPHS staff, and community members. Our team received more than 230 suggestions to be included in a school. Using some of this feedback, the construction team has been charged with creating a general concept drawing to help illustrate the potential scope of a project at NPHS. This drawing will be presented at a future board meeting. You can learn more about this on the district’s NPHS Renovations page here.

Have questions or comments for the board? Contact them at this email address. Have other questions about the district? Contact Community Relations Director Wes Anderson at this email address.