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.

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.

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.

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.


  • 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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Community Forum for NPHS Renovations set for Feb. 6

The district would like to invite all interested community members to a community forum on the future renovation project for New Palestine High School. This forum will be held on Wednesday, February 6th at 6 p.m. in the NPHS Cafeteria.

It is important to note that no decisions have been made about the timeline of this project or what the finished project may look like. This forum is intended solely for our community to be able to provide input to the district’s construction team before they begin the design process.

Architects from the construction team will be on hand to talk generally about the intended scope of the project and needs that have been identified through a facilities study. They are seeking additional input regarding any wants or needs that the community may have for the project.

In the event you cannot attend, there will be an additional community forum held later this school year. You may also contact CSCSHC Community Relations Director Wes Anderson at with suggestions for the project or questions you may have.

Board Business: January 2019

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 January 14th, 2019 regular and Board of Finance meetings.

Monday’s meeting began with a swearing-in for the two CSCSHC board members that were re-elected in November of 2018.

CSCSHC board member Brian McKinney is sworn in by Asst. Superintendent Bob Yoder.

This is required at the beginning of each calendar year following an election per school bylaws.

A reorganization of the CSCSHC Board of Education took place, which is also required by school bylaws. Each officer of the CSCSHC Board of Education may only serve a one-year term. The new board officers for 2019 are President Bill Niemier, Vice President Dr. Matt Ackerman, and Secretary Dan Walker. The board must also appoint a policy liaison and a legislative liaison. The 2019 policy liaisons are Brian McKinney and Bill Niemier. The 2019 legislative liaison is Craig Wagoner.


CSCSHC board member Craig Wagoner is sworn in by Asst. Superintendent Bob Yoder.


The board approved a $5,000 donation from R.A. Pritt Electric, Inc. to the New Palestine High School Girls Softball team.

The board also approved two field trips. Mrs. Boehm received approval for the NPHS Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America group to attend the State Star Competition in Muncie on March 7-9 of this year. The NPHS band received approval to travel to New York for an overnight trip from June 4th until June 8th of this year. This field trip will replace a trip scheduled for the same time that was approved at the June 2018 board meeting.

The board approved Mr. Yoder and Ashlie Worth as the district’s treasurer and deputy treasurer, respectively.

The Out-of-District Transfer packet was approved for the 2019-20 year. These packets will be available starting on February 4th on the district’s website. The deadline for out-of-district applications will be July 19th. As always, district administrators closely monitor enrollment numbers and may petition the board to close specific buildings to transfers if that enrollment approaches a capacity set by administrators.

A resolution to transfer funds from the district’s Education Fund to the Operations Fund was approved. Per HEA 1009, which was passed in 2018, Indiana schools now operate with two separate funds for expenditures. The Education Fund deals solely with expenses related to classroom instruction, such as teacher salaries, supplies, and technology. The Operations Fund is used to pay for all other expenses such as utilities, school resource officers, custodial and maintenance staff, and transportation costs. Per HEA 1009, the district must transfer necessary funds for operations from the Education Fund.

Per state statute, the board is required to create and elect officers to a Board of Finance. Upon conclusion of Monday’s regular meeting, a special session for the Board of Finance was called to order. This board is required to meet at least once (during January, per state law) each year. Mr. Niemier will be the President and Mr. Walker will be the Secretary of the Board of Finance in 2019. Mr. Yoder then presented the Board of Finance with a summary of the district’s investments. These investments netted the district $137,000 in interest in 2018. This money will be added to the educational fund.





CSCSHC Holiday Service Projects

As a district, we want to recognize the various ways our students and staff have chosen to give back this holiday season. We believe philanthropy and service projects are an important part of our instruction. We want to highlight some of these amazing efforts so you can see how much work has gone into improving the holiday season for the less fortunate.

Brandywine Elementary

  • Candy Can Food Drive – The BWE Student Council has put on the Candy Can Food Drive for a number of years now. The food drive benefits the Hancock County Food Pantry with the goal of collecting the most needed items for their shelves.  This year, the Candy Can Food Drive focused on collecting jars of peanut butter, which is an item the food pantry needs large quantities of but is rarely donated due to price. During this year’s  This is a very needed item for the food pantry and often not donated because it is a “pricey” item.  This year, the food drive collected 315 jars of peanut butter and 936 other cans of food. 

New Palestine Elementary

  • NPE is a Toys for Tots school.
  • Drew’s Toy Drive – Over the past few years, the family of former NPE student Drew Lapenta has organized a toy drive for the children at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital during the holidays.  This, each NPE student was encouraged to bring $1 to school to contribute to the drive so toys could be bought for children at Peyton Manning.
  • Stacy’s Closet – NPE teacher Mrs. Bancroft has started a clothing closet for NPE families in need. First-grade students were encouraged to bring pajamas, socks, and underwear to help families in need. Stacy’s Closet is launching this holiday season but will be a permanent fixture at NPE going forward.
  • Mrs. Floyd and Mrs. Whitaker’s second-grade classes collected non-perishable items for the St. Vincent dePaul food pantry.
  • Third-grade students provided roughly 100 boxes of cereal for Westminster Neighborhood Services, which is a non-profit after-school program for at-risk youth in Indianapolis.
  • NPE 4th-grade created Christmas cards for veterans who will spend the holiday in the Veterans Hospital in downtown Indianapolis.
  • Kindergartners made a cocoa mix to fill donated Christmas mugs and made placemats for the Kenneth Butler Soup Kitchen in Greenfield, decorations for Springhurst Nursing Home in Greenfield, fleece scarves for the homeless in the Indianapolis area, and potholders to donate to an assisted living home.

Sugar Creek Elementary

  • SCE is a Toys for Tots school. Students are encouraged to bring toys throughout the month of December.
  • SCE student Coleton Watkins is in his fifth year of organizing Coleton’s Toy Drive. Each December, Coleton collects new toys to deliver to Riley so kids staying there can have presents for Christmas. Coleton is a former Riley patient and has chosen this project to help give back to those in need.
  • This year was the second year for SCE Families in Need, a project where the school staff decided to team together as a school and community and to provide families in need with a Family Help Basket. SCE’s students and staff collected enough items to help 20 families have a brighter holiday this year.
  • Each SCE grade also participated in their own service projects, as well. Kindergarten paired with 4th-graders and made cards for the Kenneth Butler Soup Kitchen, Springhurst Health Campus, Hancock Regional Hospital, and the Hope House.

New Palestine Intermediate

  • NPI is also a Toys for Tots school, with students encouraged to bring toys throughout December.
  • Corie McCaw’s class collected toiletries to supplement the backpack program at NPI.  They are collecting toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and new socks. Donations are still welcome.

  • NPI’s Student Council collected canned goods for the NPI Food Pantry.

  • April Manning’s class collected fleece and created dog blankets for a local animal shelter.

  • A group of our 6th-grade students were responsible for the creation of a care package for the homeless. A number of toiletries, non-perishable food, and warm clothes were collected to be distributed.

  • One of the 5th-grade teams created a 12 School Days of Christmas program, where students received a small gift each day while giving a small gift to another student.

New Palestine Junior High

  • NPJH is also a Toys for Tots school.
  • Throughout the year, NPJH is collecting toiletries, non-perishable food items, and clothes for the Dragon Giving Closet. Please feel free to drop any of these items off at NPJH at any time.
  • NPJH students held their annual drive to collect money for the Bebor Primary Schools in Nigeria. In the last 15 years, NPJH/DCMS has donated over $20,000 to this cause.
  • NPJH staff have adopted a community family in need this holiday season, helping them with presents, food, and other needs.

New Palestine High School

  • Ms. Temple’s classes worked to collect money for Caring Place Reach. Each class participated in a different fundraiser. Students also helped at two Caring Place Reach holiday events where families in need were able to receive a Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas gifts for their families.
  • NPHS students adopted seven students from an IPS school and helped make their Christmas wishes come true.
  • Through Mr. Large’s Advanced Business Management class at NPHS, students participate in a number of semester-long service projects. You can learn more about all of these wonderful projects and the causes they benefit on the NPHS Service Learning page.

Board Business: December 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 December 17, 2018 meeting.

Monday’s meeting began with recognition for NPHS teacher Lauren Temple and her students for a large fundraising project for Caring Place Reach, a non-profit organization that works with at-risk children, teens, and their families in the Indianapolis area. Each class held a different fundraising opportunity for CPR.  Students also volunteered at two of Caring Place Reach’s events called The Thanksgiving Giveaway and The Christmas Store. At the Thanksgiving Giveaway, volunteers walk people around collecting free groceries that they can then take home to prepare a full Thanksgiving meal for their families. At the Christmas Store, volunteers walk children through stores to help them pick out toys and gifts for those in their families and even themselves. The board congratulated Ms. Temple and her students on an incredible project for a great cause.

NPHS teacher Lauren Temple (third from left) with NPHS students

Two donations were approved at the meeting. Kroger donated $250 to the NPI Robotics Club. A community member donated $476 to be used for purchasing new books in the NPI library.

Assistant Superintendent Bob Yoder received approval for two financial measures. The board approved a transfer of money within the General Fund. Per state statute, the district must end the calendar year with a positive balance in all accounts. This resolution allows the district to transfer unspent dollars into line items where additional dollars are needed. Mr. Yoder also received approval to transfer unspent dollars in the four main funds (general, transportation, bus replacement, and capital projects) to the Rainy Day Fund for future use. As a reminder, due to the passage of HEA 1007, school finance is changing dramatically in 2019. The district will employ the use of two main funds: the Education Fund (which is “to be used as the exclusive fund to pay expenses allocated to student instruction and learning”) and the Operations Fund, which is essentially a combination of the Transportation, Capital Projects, and Bus Replacement Funds.

Director of Instructional Services Miles Hercamp received approval for the 2019 Summer School programs and Summer Enrichment Camps. The district is proud to offer the following Summer Enrichment opportunities this year: Art, Beginning Robotics, Young Readers and Writers, Bodies in Motion, Spanish is Fun, Cooking Camp, Girls Who Code, Incredible Flexible Kindergartner, Sphero Spectacular, and Outer Space Camp. We’ll have more information on these camps, including registration information, coming in January. Please note that some extracurriculars and athletics will offer their own camps outside of Summer Enrichment. Additional information will be coming in the spring about those camps.

Mr. Hercamp and Curriculum Coordinator Brian Dinwiddie provided the board with an update on the curriculum at both the district and building levels. They shared how teachers in each grade and/or subject matter have been meeting to update the curriculum for their specific students. Mr. Dinwiddie spoke about a number of initiatives within the faculty to improve and align curricula in different buildings and across the district, including the Math Leadership Group, Writers Workshop, and the Literacy Cadre. If you any additional questions about what these groups do or what their goals are, please contact Mr. Dinwiddie at