The Rush County Schools Board of Trustees recently met in regular session.
Superintendent Dr. John E. Williams indicated enrollment is down for the 2012/2013 school year. Numbers reveal a reduction of 66 ½ students from the prior year, according to figures as of Sept. 14, which is the official state enrollment date. It is hoped that this trend levels out.
Benjamin Rush Middle School has experienced the largest reduction in student population. Arlington Elementary School has seen an increase in enrollment and numbers have warranted the addition of a second first grade class at Milroy Elementary School. Dr. Williams indicated that if the trend of lower student enrollment continues the Board will have to consider alternatives to the current school configurations.
Marianne Scott thanked the board for the opportunity to serve as the Legacy Fund Director/Information Officer. She gave an update citing programs and activities of the Legacy Fund for the third quarter.
The board approved ,by consent, the minutes of the previous board meeting, the personnel report, out of state/overnight field trips, donations, claims and payroll reports.
In other actions, the board approved the 2013 General Fund, Debt Service Fund and Transportation Budgets. Further, the 2013-2015 Capital Projects Plan and resolution, 2013 Bus Replacement Plan and resolution, and resolution to authorize budget reductions were approved.
Proposed bids for the track/soccer field restroom and central office facility updates were presented and approved. The board awarded Monroe Construction Group, LLC the base bid and alternate one with a total cost of $190, 518.00. This is well below the estimated $262,000 bid price.
A succession plan concerning future leadership was presented. This plan indicates Dr. John E. Williams will retire at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. The plan also calls for the position of assistance superintendent to be filled by principal Matt Vance, beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.
This transition will allow Vance to gain first-hand knowledge in the long-term as well as the day-to-day operation of Rush County Schools. Upon completion of this transition, and upon approval of the board, Vance would then assume the role of superintendent of Rush County Schools.
All facets of this plan were approved by the board.
Anita Jackson and John Wilson attended the State Conference of School Boards in Indianapolis. There was much discussion about RISE and other testing initiatives. Both agreed it was a good meeting and that Rush County Schools are to be commended for their positive and pro-active attitude as personnel seek to meet new testing criteria.
Larry Scott tendered his resignation from the Rush County School board, expressing appreciation for the opportunity to serve the school system and community over the years. All in attendance thanked Scott for his years of service on the board.
The first reading of the policy manual updates were approved.
Marla Stevens, principal at BRMS, reported that The Reality Story will be held Oct. 23 and parent/teacher conferences will be held in October.
Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Melissa Leap, cited they have finished Common Core Standards but indicated there is still much to do. She also shared enrollment numbers reflecting withdrawals/graduates vs. enrollments.
Arlington Elementary Principal Julia Innis reported on behalf of all elementary schools. She indicated that some sports are wrapping up and others, like girls basketball, are in full swing. Primary testing is complete and parent/teacher conferences are scheduled for October. Their goal is to touch base with all parents.
The next Rush County Schools board meeting is at 7 p.m. Nov. 13, 2012 in the RCS Administrative Office Building, 330 West Eighth Street, Rushville. Note this is the second Tuesday of November as the board chose not to hold a meeting on election night.