Board sets school calendar for 2014-15

The 2014-15 Huntington County Community School Calendar will look a bit different than the school calendar from previous years.

During their meeting on Monday, March 11, school board members voted 6-1 to approve a calendar that will offer more breaks throughout the school year.

Russ Degitz, chair of the corporation's calendar committee, had previously presented several calendar options to the board.

The new calendar format offers longer fall and winter breaks in October and February, in addition to the traditional winter and spring breaks.

This format allows for no more than six weeks of classes without a break for students and teachers.

In October 2014, at the time the traditional fall break would take place, students will instead have two early dismissal days, followed by two days off school, followed by the weekend.

Of the two days students will be out of school, one is a teacher work day.

The same formula is followed in February 2015, allowing the students and teachers a break in what has been, in previous years, the longest stretch of school without a day off.

There are no snow make-up days built in to the calendar, therefore any snow days will be added to the end of the calendar and made up in June 2015.

The board also voted to approve the purchase of new food service software.

Jon Bennett, assistant superintendent of business, recommended the board approve the request of Ken Akins, director of food service, to purchase Horizon software.

The new software will replace the system currently in place, WinSnap, and should be installed before the conclusion of this school year.

No action was taken on the implementation of a physical education waiver program for Huntington North High School.

HNHS Principal Chad Daugherty introduced the idea at the Feb. 25 meeting of the board.
It would allow incoming freshmen who participate in an Indiana High School Athletic Association approved sport, Varsity Singers, cheerleading or summer marching band to apply for a PE waiver for one semester of the two-semester course currently required by the high school.

No motion was made to approve the waiver.

In other business:

• Tracey Shafer, superintendent, reported 12 General Education Diplomas (GED) were earned last month.

• Huntington North's oceanography classes were granted permission to visit Shedd Aquarium in Chicago later this month.

• Several donations from CF Industries were approved, and Shafer and Board President Kevin Patrick expressed their gratitude to the company for supporting the school system.

• The public finance group Umbaugh was selected to refinance the school's bonds, which the company reports will save roughly 14 percent in interest charges.

• Bennett reported an approximate cash balance of $3 million in the general fund, and reported the monthly tuition support received from the Department of Education to be $2.6 million.

• New staff members hired for extracurricular positions are Cassie Greives, seventh grade girls' track at Riverview Middle School; Cody McClure, eighth grade boys' track at Riverview; Joshua Pyper, boys' middle school soccer, Riverview; Kerry Radosevich, boys' assistant track at Huntington North High School; and Kris Teusch, girls' assistant track at Huntington North.