School Board adopts handbooks for next year; discusses summer school


The Switzerland County School Board met for its regular monthly meeting on Monday night in the Switzerland County Middle School cafeteria; and items on the agenda included a discussion of this year’s summer school program and the adoption of student handbooks for the 2007-2008 school year.

Superintendent Tracy Caddell told the board that he has tentatively planned a summer school program to begin on Monday, June 4th, and run through Friday, June 29th. Classes will be held in the morning each day, and no breakfast or lunch will be served.

The superintendent stressed that the schedule is tentative at this time because the school is waiting to hear from the Indiana Department of Education concerning its waiver requests that have been filed concerning the snow days that were missed; the day missed because of the bank robbery; and the day missed due to the bomb threat earlier in the year.

Should the state deny the waivers, the school year will have to be extended in order to give students the required number of days. That means adding days onto the end of the school year, which would then impact the beginning of summer school.

The superintendent said that a variety of classes will be offered at all levels, noting that classes being offered are 100-percent reimbursable by the state.

He also noted that the current summer school schedule does not include a “Jump Start” kindergarten program because the state will not reimburse the school corporation for it; but that the school board could choose to fund the program locally and add it at a later time. In the past, incoming kindergarten students have come to their buildings at the end of the summer as a way of making the actual start of school less stressful.


The school board also officially approved the student handbooks for the 2007-2008 school year.

The handbooks for both elementary schools had no changes over previous years and were adopted first; and then middle school principal Nancy Stearns and high school principal Candis Haskell went over with the school board proposed changes in their building’s handbooks.

Nancy Stearns highlighted the changes, many of which have been understood policies in the past, but are being put in writing to avoid any confusion in the future.

Some of the changes included:

– If a child arrives at school before 7:15 a.m., they must have notification from the parent to the school before they can be dropped off, and that notification must be approved. Nancy Stearns noted that some parents are dropping their children off at school before there are staff members on duty, which causes some supervision problems.

– Wording was also changed and adapted to deal with cell phones, which Nancy Stearns said is an ongoing situation as cell phones become more and more prevalent with students. She said that she anticipates the wording continuing to change as more and more students have access to cell phones.

She also noted that she is waiting on the corporation’s dress code committee to make its recommendations to the school board, so she cannot address the dress code in the handbook until the board rules on the committee’s recommendations.

– French and agriculture classes at the middle school will now be offered for high school credit; and the attendance policies were changed to be in line with new state guidelines. She also addressed a new policy that ties disciplinary write ups with participation on athletic teams.

In discussions, school board member Bill Roberts asked why corporal punishment was not included in the handbook, as it is now an approved board policy. Nancy Stearns said that she would add corporal punishment to the handbook.

The high school handbook involved changes in Advanced Placement classes, including new classes for U.S. History and English Literature; and also a policy dealing with students who are truant.

Principal Haskell said that she has the right to go to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and have the driving privileges of truant students revoked; and she plans on using that policy when needed. She also noted that the high school is considered a “closed campus”, and that students are not allowed to leave the school grounds during the day for lunch.


In other business discussed by the school board:

- Middle school teacher Jonathon Rupp had his teaching contract canceled as a Reduction in Force. This was due to a decreased number of teaching positions at the middle school next year; and he is eligible to be recalled anytime during the next three years should a position open up.

– Switzerland County Elementary teacher Marilyn Goodner had her request for retirement approved.

– Tara Justice was approved as the middle school assistant track coach; and Ryan Jesop was approved as the middle school golf coach. Kent Dunning’s resignation as athletic director and assistant principal at the high school was also approved. The contract of maintenance man Richard Hale was continued.

– Requests to the endowment corporation were heard and approved. A new mower/tractor was requested by Myron Browning; and boys basketball coach Brian Bowen submitted a request for a rebounding machine that will be used by all teams; and also for a DVD duplicator.

– The old greenhouse at Switzerland County High School was sold to Jim Dummich.

– Textbooks were adopted for next year, including reading books for grades kindergarten through eighth grade; and handwriting books for kindergarten through third grade.

– A discussion of the findings by the school student dress code committee was tabled.

– Professional leave and field trip requests were approved, including the Switzerland County Middle School eighth grade trip to Dearborn, Michigan, from May 10th-12th.

– All use of facilities requests were approved: the high school cafeteria for the Vevay alumni on August 25th; the high school cafeteria for the Class of 1953 reunion on September 15th; the SCES cafeteria for the Cub Scouts on March 17th; the high school grounds for the Relay for Life on June 15th-16th; the high school cafeteria for the Republican Lincoln Day dinner on April 14th; and the high school gym for the After Prom on April 14th-15th.