School board discusses agreements, virtual option students

The Huntington County Community School Corporation’s Board of School Trustees meeting only lasted about 30 minutes on Monday, Aug. 10, but school board members took care of several housekeeping items during the short session.

Among those items:

• The school board approved a memorandum of understanding between Indiana Wesleyan University School of Nursing and the Learning Center with a vote of 6-0, with board member Mathew Roth absent.
Under the agreement, HCCSC will serve as a clinical facility for Indiana Wesleyan nursing students, under the supervision of the university’s nursing faculty.

• The board also unanimously approved a work-based learning COVID-19 release of liability form for students in the areas of welding, automotive, precision machining and other vocational programs.

• The board also renewed the appointment of Karen Pinkerton to the Warren Public Library board of trustees. Pinkerton’s term will be two years.

• Assistant Superintendent for Business and Classified Staff Scott Bumgardner gave an update on the completion of Roanoke Elementary School, saying the asphalt pavement has now been completed. However, construction is not finished, he said, but added he’s been happy with the progress made in the last few weeks prior to the start of school.

“I just couldn’t be more pleased with the community support – even the town of Roanoke as a whole in how they’ve supported this project,” he said, adding that the new school building is at three-fourth’s capacity.

• An addendum to lease a building between David and Debra Dyer and HCCSC at $26,400 per year for alternative education was also approved. The 1,500 square feet of office space is located at 80 Home St. in Huntington.

• Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Jay Peters also took time to recognize HCCSC’s teachers and professional development team for stepping up to take on the K-12 virtual learning option challenge as part of the corporation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A true example of shared leadership and the time they have put in to make this work for our students and to provide students this opportunity,” he told the board. “Just a shout out for them and a job well done.”

He said teachers, school counselors and administrators have spent hours working and reworking schedules for the start of the 2020-21 school year.

Peters said two weeks ago there were 314 students who have chosen the virtual option rather than physically attend classes. He says that number is now 859, with 396 elementary students, 197 middle school students and 266 high school students opting to attend school from home.

“This is treading in uncharted waters; it’s where we’ve never been before,” he added.

Peters said virtual option elementary students’ parents can come to their respective schools to pick up devices, textbooks and resources their students will need, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the following schedule:
– Flint Springs, Aug. 12.
– Roanoke, Aug. 13.
– Salamonie, Aug. 14.
– Lincoln, Aug. 17.
– Horace Mann, Aug. 18.

Peters added that NWEA testing will be administered remotely to virtual option students.
Bumgardner added to the kudos, recognizing bus drivers and custodial staff for preparing school buildings and taking extra precautions to keep students safe.

“This has been a new challenge on top of a very challenging position for all of them,” he said. “I just appreciate their time and their work as an example of shared leadership.”

Superintendent Chad Daugherty also recognized HCCSC’s Technology Department for the work they have done in setting up the virtual learning option for students, as well as the Athletic Department and others that helped make the return to school as smooth as possible.

“It’s definitely worth having all our students back, and it’s been great,” he added.