Board Business: May 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 May 14, 2018 regular meeting:

The board has approved school start times for 2018-19. Below is a chart showing each building’s bell schedule for next year.

Building                                                AM Bell                PM Bell

New Palestine High School             7:30 a.m.                2:20 p.m.

New Palestine Junior High              7:45 a.m.                2:35 p.m.

New Palestine Intermediate           7:50 a.m.                2:40 p.m.

Brandywine Elementary                 8:50 a.m.                3:35 p.m.

New Palestine Elementary             8:45 a.m.                3:30 p.m.

Sugar Creek Elementary                 8:45 a.m.                3:30 p.m.

New Palestine Intermediate students will operate on a schedule similar to that of NPHS and NPJH.

The district considered two main transportation options:

  1. The first option would have NPI students operating on the same transportation schedule with NPHS and NPI students. This option was approved by the board Monday night.
  2. The second option would have allowed NPI students to operate on a similar schedule to the elementary schools. However, the transportation logistics required to make this option viable would have forced NPI to operate on a bell schedule 45 minutes shorter than any of the district’s other buildings. Additionally, in this option, NPI students would have spent more than 30 minutes longer on the bus each day under this proposed option. In the interest of maximizing instruction time for our students and minimizing time on the bus, the district recommended and the board approved placing NPI students on a similar schedule to New Palestine High School and New Palestine Junior High.

For more information about how this decision was reached, please watch this video with CSCSHC Superintendent Dr. Lisa Lantrip, Transportation Director Bob Martin, and Community Relations Director Wes Anderson:

In other news, the board recognized students Ethan Fairbanks and Alex Mohr along with New Palestine High School teacher Mr. Large for their work in creating and organizing the Hancock County Meets the Candidates Forum earlier this month. Ethan and Alex gave a brief presentation about how the forum related to their Advanced Business Management class taught by Mr. Large.

New Palestine Elementary Principal Katy Eastes was recognized for receiving the IASP District 10 Elementary School Principal of the Year. Sugar Creek Elementary teacher Jamie Inskeep was also applauded for her selection as an Indiana University Armstrong Teacher Educator.

Donations to various programs within the district were approved. A $50 donation to New Palestine Elementary in memory of Marietta Taylor was approved. The Doe Creek Middle School STEM team received a $1,000 grant from the Indiana Pacers STEM Fest 2018 through a partnership with Conexus. Additionally, a number of private donations were approved to the Doe Creek Middle School band.

Two field trips requested by NPHS Athletic Director Al Cooper were approved by the board. The NPHS Cross Country teams will attend a Cross Country Camp held at McCormick’s Creek State Park on July 23rd, 24th, and 25th. The NPHS Cheerleading team has received permission to compete in the National High School Cheerleading Championships, which will take place from February 7-11 in Orlando, Florida.

NPHS Assistant Principal Adam Barton presented the district’s 2018-19 student handbook, which was approved by the board. The handbook will be available to parents at registration time.

The board approved a new rubric for teacher evaluation. Director of Instructional Services Miles Hercamp told the board that the district’s curriculum team worked with teachers to create a new rubric that will be more focused more on goal-setting and growth for teachers and students. Teachers will set personal goals for themselves as instructors while also focusing on goals determined by student data and student growth.

Construction of a new restroom and concession stand facility at the NPHS football field has been approved. This building will be larger in size than the previous structure and better designed to handle high traffic flow during Dragon football games. The plans include an estimated 400% increase in the number of restrooms than the current building. Construction on the turf field project is expected to begin this week. Part of that construction work will include new concrete in the south end zone. Once that concrete work is completed, construction on the new building can begin. Both the field and the newly-approved restroom and concession stand facility will be completed by the start of football season.

The board approved all student instructional fees for the 2018-2019 school year. More information on that will be available at registration.

An update on the district’s Early Childhood Programs, including Little Dragons Pre-Kindergarten, was provided by Special Education Director Marcia Piercy, New Palestine Elementary Principal Katy Eastes, and Special Education Coordinator Joanna Mulligan. They shared details about our Pre-K curriculum, preschool, and special education programs in our early childhood programs.

Mr. Hercamp and Curriculum Coordinator Brian Dinwiddie updated the board on district’s progress in implementing additional programming regarding innovation and STEM into the district’s curriculum. Mr. Hercamp showed a recently produced video about the district’s three elementary schools’ selection as beta test schools for Google Expeditions AR:

Mr. Cooper presented a report outlining the district’s new guidelines for heat exposure. Recently, the school district partnered with Community Health Network to craft new guidelines based on new laws passed by the Indiana legislature. The district’s new guidelines have been slightly adjusted to comply with that legislation. These guidelines help athletic trainers make educated, informed decisions about the best interest of athletes and other extra-curricular participants on hot days. Additionally, the state now requires that all athletic coaches receive training on heat exposure.

 

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Information for future New Palestine Junior High parents

Did you miss our Tuesday night meeting for future parents of New Palestine Junior High students?

Here’s what was covered:

  • Administrators Principal Jim Voelz, Assistant Principal Craig Moore, Guidance Director Amanda Schwyn, and Athletic Director Chris Yount introduced themselves.
  • Principal Jim Voelz says construction at New Palestine Junior High is on schedule. We look forward to welcoming your students for the 2018-19 school year!
  • Asst. Principal Moore provided an update on how safety and discipline will be handled at NPJH. If you have questions about either of those issues, contact Mr. Moore at cmoore@newpal.k12.in.us
  • Our DCMS Student of the Month program was introduced. Two SOTMs are selected each month and treated to pizza by Mr. Voelz and Mr. Moore. Those selected have the opportunity to attend an Indianapolis Indians game at the end of the year. Mr. Moore also discussed other positive behavior programs that your student will have the opportunity to participate at NPJH.
  • Ms. Schwyn spoke about some ways that she forms relationships with the students that she will counsel. She is available to help you locate resources for academic help or community resources that your family may need. Contact her at aschwyn@newpal.k12.in.us.
  • Mr. Yount introduced the athletics program. All students wishing to participate in athletics must have a physical on file dated on or after April 1st, 2018.
    • Physical Night will be held May 14th from 6p-8p at NPHS. The cost is $20.
    • All athletes will have impact testing conducted to help with the future diagnosis of concussion. More information about that will be sent home in the future.
    • Visit the Doe Creek Athletics website or follow them on twitter @BucksDC for the latest info.
    • An apparel sale for new NPJH apparel is open until May 3rd. Order here.
  • Teachers presented about some things to know about changes for your child as they move to Junior High:
    • Students will rotate between classes roughly every 50 minutes.
    • They will have opportunities during passing period to get a drink, use the restroom, or visit their locker.
    • Lunch will be slightly different in the junior high. Students have lunch choices and can sit wherever they choose in the cafeteria.
  • Your child’s first day as a junior high student:
    • Learn how to use your locker!
    • Introduction to changing classes with a bell system
    • Learn your schedule and where to go at what time
    • Meet your new teachers!
  • How to communicate with your teachers:
    • Email is the fastest way.
    • Call your teacher / leave a voicemail
    • Back to School Night will be held in August
    • Parent/Teacher Conferences are held in October
    • Weekly parent email from administrators
  • Technology things to know:
    • Students bring their laptops home daily. They are responsible for bringing it to school each day and making sure it is fully charged.
    • PowerSchool is how our school communicates grade information. Both parents and students have access. We encourage parents to check it often to check on their student’s progress.
    • Canvas is our online learning environment. Teachers can plan lessons and give assignments through Canvas. You’ll learn more about that at the start of next school year.
  • New Palestine Junior High Open House will be held August 3rd from 5:30-7:00. Mark your calendars for this opportunity to visit your student’s classrooms, practice their schedule, try out their locker, and meet their teachers. We’ll also have additional opportunities to tour New Palestine Junior High during the summer.
  • How to Stay Organized:
    • Throughout the year, your student will create a system that helps them keeps their various classes organized. Teachers will provide help with creating a system if needed.
    • Students are not allowed to carry backpacks or purses during the school day.
    • Locker clean-out will take place every nine weeks.
    • The supply list requests three 1″ binders. Some students may prefer larger. That’s ok! For reference, here is the supply list for the previous school year. NOTE: This list has NOT been finalized for 2018-19.
    • Some students prefer to stay organized on paper. Others prefer to do so with an online calendar. Either one is fine! Encourage your student to create a system that works best for them.
  • Extracurricular clubs at NPJH
    • NP Life, School Play, Student Council, Talent Show, Pep Band, Jazz Band, Archery, Spell Bowl, Yearbook, Science Club, Robotics, and Show Choir are some of our extracurricular offerings.
  • Unified Arts at NPJH
    • Students take Health for one nine-week period each year.
      • The curriculum includes substance abuse prevention and bullying prevention.
    • Band and Choir will be a new experience for your students at NPJH.
      • Both band and choir will meet every day during the school year
      • No previous experience required!
      • There are multiple extracurricular options offered through band and choir.
    • Physical Education
      • Class meets every day for one 9-week grading period.
      • The curriculum includes basic knowledge of sports as well as participation in some STEM-centered projects.
    • Art
      • Students have art for every day for one 9-week grading period.
  • Traditional curriculum:
    • Social Studies
      • 7th-grade social studies is a trip throughout the world, concentrating Geography, History, Culture, and Civics/Government.
    • Math
      • The curriculum will build upon topics previously learned with a focus on Algebra. Further curricular needs will be determined by testing completed this year by your 6th-grader.
      • A scientific calculator is recommended.
    • Science
      • DCMS/NPJS is a STEM-certified school.
      • Science class will continue to develop skills necessary to move on to high school level science courses with a focus on physical science.
    • Language Arts
      • Students continue to develop reading comprehension skills, grammar, and vocabulary skills.
      • Students have opportunities to visit the Innovation Center at NPJH (it’s more than a traditional library!) for additional reading options.