JCD administrators address flu issue

Beth Rumsey, Staff Writer

In an effort to clear up any misinformation regarding two Jac-Cen-Del junior high students that have been confirmed with the Type A flu virus, school nurse Marla Thompson gave an update at the regular board meeting on Wednesday, August 19. Thompson has been in contact with the Ripley County Health Nurse Vickie Powell as well as the Ripley County Health Officer Dr. David Welsh, regarding the issue.

Prevention of the spread of the virus was addressed at the orientation meeting for the staff at the start of the school year, according to Thompson. Steps have been taken to ensure that as many surfaces as possible are disinfected daily at the end of the day.

Parents have been notified via a letter sent home, according to Thompson. Sanitizing hand gels are available in areas that do not have easy access to soap and water as well as in the school cafeterias, art rooms and libraries.

Teachers in the elementary school are reminding students of proper hand washing techniques and drinking fountain etiquette. “We want to ensure the safety of the students,” said Thompson.

Parents are reminded that any medical questions should be answered by their doctors, noted Superintendent Bill Narwold. Board member Paul Hardy reminded those attending that there are several different forms of the Type A virus even though the Ripley County Health Department treats all Type A viruses as if they were the H1N1 virus as stated on the Ripley County Health Department website at www.ripley-co-in-health.org.

In her report to the board, Elementary Principal Leanna Phillippe explained the Supplemental Education Services program that must be provided to all students that meet the criteria as prescribed by Title One. According to Phillippe, these services will be provided by an outside company and will allow parents a choice in which program they want their child to participate.

Phillippe explained that these will be Internet based and will be made up of a small group of no more than six students. The after school program might hire some of the elementary staff to implement the program. It is her hope that the school will be able to provide the same type of assistance to those non-proficient students who do qualify for the SES program.

This program will be at no cost to the qualified student, according to Phillippe. A qualified student is one who is non-proficient and qualifies for free or reduced lunches/books. More information will be sent home to the parents in the coming months. The motion to approve the contract provider agreement for the SES program was unanimously approved.

Superintendent Narwold reported that there were seven transfer students at the beginning of the school year from Greensburg, Batesville, South Ripley, and East Central Schools. JCD will continue to waive the tuition fee for transfer students until September 18. There were 13 students who moved out of the JCD district for various reasons, according to Superintendent Narwold.

Personnel recommendations approved by the board include employing Travis Rohrig as track coach and elementary boys intramural coach; Pat Holland for a small agriculture class; rehiring Linda Hunger as an instructor at the elementary; Sara Kelts as a part-time aid in the elementary; and a second special needs bus route and driver as needed.

Two options for the renovations at the elementary and high schools were presented by Scott Veazey of VPS Architecture. The plan approved by the board will renovate the existing science classrooms into regular classrooms and create four science labs that are next to each other; and expand some rooms for band. Renovations include expanding the kitchen and cafeteria in the high school, plans for additional softball/baseball fields, and general repairs in the elementary.

The cost of the proposed projects will be between $3-$4 million dollars according to Veazey. The board approved the recommendation to authorize Superintendent Narwold to form a financial advisory team.

All board members were in attendance along with corporation attorney Tim Day to advise. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 16 beginning at 6 p.m. at the JCD high school cafeteria.