New school year filled with opportunities

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By Mike Jones, Supertendent,

Switzerland County School Corporation

Switzerland County Schools have started a new year with a lot of excitement.

Two of our new programs are the Preschool and our After School Program. Each year we have noticed that more and more of our students are coming in to Kindergarten lacking many of the skills they need to be successful in starting school. We now have a Pre-K at both elementary schools currently with 44 students total between the two schools. Funding is from our Title Funds and our Twenty-first Century Grant. We also received grants from the Vevay-Switzerland and Community Foundations to help with the Pre-K and have used funds from the School General Fund. We are hopeful that the work we are doing along with the great existing pre-schools in the county will enable our students to enjoy success as they start in to kindergarten.

Our “Excel After the Bell” program is underway at both elementary schools. This program is funded through the Twenty First Century Community Learning Center Grant that we received. The program offers homework assistance, remediation, enrichment, and activities such as arts and crafts and physical activities. The YMCA and other local entities are partners with us in this program. We also offer snacks and transportation for those who need it.

We have many opportunities for students both academically and extra-curricular in the Middle and High Schools. Both schools offer a wide array of sports and clubs for students. In academics, students at the high school have an opportunity to earn college credit through our partnership with Ivy Tech, and also career opportunities through the Career Center in Versailles and our Industrial Welding Program through Ivy Tech. Eighth Graders at the Middle School have opportunities to take classes that also earn high school credit.

All of our schools are using PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support). This program uses incentives and other activities to encourage and reward positive and good behavior. We have seen much improvement in our school environment since implementing this program.

On a final note, I wanted to point out an example of the great support our school corporation, our community and our taxpayers have received from local government. Thanks to the Switzerland County Council, School Board and Endowment Board for agreeing to pay the School Debt Service each year for the past 16 years. This has saved Switzerland County taxpayers a total of $ 9,366,707.33 over that time period! What a great benefit to our community!

As always, we invite the community to visit our schools and see the great work that is being done by our students and staff.