The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

October 12, 2012

Southeast Fountain school board considers curriculum recommendations


VEEDERSBURG, Ind. — Lisa Jones, guidance counselor at Southeast Fountain High School, discussed the state and school’s graduation requirements with school board members Thursday.

Since 2004, the state requires a Core 40 credits in order for a student to graduate and receive the general education diploma. In 2010, the state began requiring all students to pass algebra I and biology. In 2012, end-of-course assessments began in algebra I and English 10.

With the class of 2016, the state will begin requiring that two credits of math or quantitative reasoning are taken their senior or junior year.

Jones had four curriculum recommendations for the board to consider: all students take the computer applications class; all students take the preparing for college and careers class; all sophomores participate in the English Arts lab; and all general education students in the ninth and tenth grades not be eligible for study hall.

Jones explained the Fountain Central general diploma requirement would be dropped by two credits. Elective credits would be reduced by four and math credits will be increased by two. Assistant principal Pat Culp explained the two-credit reduction is designed to help those students who struggle with the Core 40 requirements. Currently, a student only needs four math credits to graduate with a general Core 40 diploma.

Jones would like the board to implement the new requirements and recommendations beginning this year.

Board members decided to review her recommendations and make a decision at the next school board meeting on Nov. 8.

In other business, school board members:

Approved the 2012 budget; approved the 2013, 2014 and 2015 capital projects plan; approved the 2013 bus replacement plan; approved conflict of interest statements; and approved the amount of $12,600 to purchase a 2013 Grasshopper lawnmower from Glascock Equipment& Sales of Veedersburg.

Approved the Administrator Assistance staff evaluation system. Superintendent Robert Brower explained the state now requires all school employees with teaching licenses be evaluated every year. The Administrator Assistance staff evaluation system is a two-part evaluation system with part based on employee performance and the other part based on objective data such as standardized test results.

Elementary principal Diana Smith said “the new evaluation system is not any easier, but it is fairer.” The Indiana State Teachers Association worked side-by-side with Southeast Fountain administration on developing the new system and Spence acknowledged the successful teamwork. Brower said this year can be viewed as a test run of the new evaluation system and added that it can be tweaked and adjusted as needed.

Heard from elementary assistant principal Jody Schmitt that parent teacher conferences will be 1-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. EDT Oct. 23.

Heard from Brower the school has money left over from the $3.850 million bonded construction project. Brower said the school has the opportunity to now do some other construction projects with the money. Board members and staff discussed several possible uses for the funds. Board members agreed to replace the high school gym bleachers; to renovate the large storage building by the football field and to crown, re-seed, and irrigate the football field.