Excitement expressed at JCD meeting

Kari Moore
Staff Writer

‘Excitement’ was the word at the Jac-Cen-Del school board meeting on Wednesday, August 17. Every principal, faculty member and school board member in attendance couldn’t stop smiling when speaking of the new additions to the middle school and high school.

Brian Fehribach, high school assistant principal, described what he saw on the first day of school. “I wish you could have seen the kids,” he noted, “they were so excited.”

High school principal, Johnny Budd, said the facility was met with great excitement. He thanked the school board for their decisions on the building project and explained how he feels the students will benefit from it.

Ron Back, technology director, spoke of the technological upgrades he and his team worked on over the summer. All computers have been switched from Novel to a Windows server and have been updated to Microsoft Office XP 2010 software. When all computers are running, the schools will have one computer to every two students. There were also 12 new projectors installed. The benefit from all the technology projects over the summer is that schools can now accommodate students in many different ways.

Superintendent Bill Narwold awarded Ron Back with the “I Caught You” award for going above and beyond his duties as the technology director. He said Back’s work and leadership is impressive and he saved taxpayers tens of thousand of dollars.

Another award presented at the meeting was the Indiana School Board Association’s “Outstanding School Board Award” that the Jac-Cen-Del school board received. They will be recognized with a plaque at the Indiana School Board Association’s fall meeting.

Indiana State PL 221 and AYP results were discussed at the meeting. As a corporation, in 2006 the state had JCD on academic watch; five years later they have been upgraded to exemplary progress. The elementary school received an “A” grade with exemplary progress. The middle and high school received exemplary progress and a “C” grade due to a cap on the graduation rate, which was not met.

Superintendent Narwold stated drop-out and graduation rates are his main area of concern.
“Our community should demand nothing less than a high school education and diploma for all students. We’ve got to find ways to keep kids in school and graduating. We’re playing by the rules (when reporting graduation rates) and will continue to in order to get those numbers up,” said Narwold.

Budd explained his goal for the middle school and high school is to have a minimum of three percent growth with every student. In order to achieve this goal, individual targets will be set with each student.

The construction project should be completed at JCD by November 1. The hopes of those in attendance were that the improved facilities will help increase student performance.
In other news:

• The board accepted the resignation of middle and high school English teacher, Jennifer Prince, effective August 1.

• The board approved the employment of Jeff Bedel as elementary school custodian; Amanda Huff as part time bus aide, cook assistant, and custodian; and Amelia Comer as middle and high school English teacher.

• The list of the use of JCD facilities for non-varsity, Saturday events for 2011-2012 was approved.

• Donations of furniture from Hill-Rom and student school supplies from Osgood Trustee Bill Warren and MainSource Bank were accepted.

• The board approved changes to the middle and high school student handbook. Now, a student successfully completing four sport seasons may receive one PE credit fulfilling the graduate requirement. This change includes all IHSAA athletic teams, cheerleading and dance team.

Board members in attendance were Kathleen Dickman, John Billman, Bill Roberts and Deanna Young The next regular meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the JCD Elementary School.