The Rush County Schools Board of Trustees met earlier this month with board members Dr. Steve R. Sickbert, Paul W. Barada, Anita L. Jackson, Robert Lienemann, Jeff Slaton, John D. Wilson, Jane Carter and Dr. John E. Williams attending.
The board approved Ron Lienemann as the District 7 board member replacement. He fills the unexpired term of board member Larry Scott (October resignation).
Melissa Leap, director of curriculum and instruction, gave a review of the grades earned at each of our schools through the Indiana Department of Education A-F Accountability Model.
Elementary and middle school results were based on ISTEP testing.
Overall scoring is as follows: Arlington Elementary School, A (4.0); Mays Elementary School, A (4.0); Milroy Elementary School, B (3.5); Rushville Elementary School East, B (3.5); Rushville Elementary School West, A (4.0); and Benjamin Rush Middle School, C (2.25).
High School results were based on a combination of criteria; Math, Language Arts, Graduation Rate, and College and Career Readiness.
RCHS received an overall rating of A (4.0) rating. Further, RCHS realized a graduation rate of 95.5 percent.
Slaton noted that the total corporation score was an A (3.7) and expressed appreciation for the hard work exemplified by our principals and administrators.
“This score speaks well of Rush County Schools and makes us a place people would want to work and live,” Slaton said.
Mark VanNatta, Director of Maintenance and Transportation, gave an update on the renovations taking place for the implementation of the new Opportunity School. He indicated the facility update at Central Offices is going well and is about 80 percent complete. The total renovation should be complete by the end of November.
Leap gave an update on the curriculum aspect of the Opportunity School and the requirements that must be met.
Dr. Williams, Matt Vance and Leap have reviewed various programs based on curriculum needs. Gradpoint and Apex were given final consideration.
The Greensburg School Corporation spoke highly of Gradpoint.
Over 150 courses will be available through this program. All courses would meet the Common Core and State Standards. These courses would be offered on-line and under the supervision of an appropriate instructor.
Opportunity School courses would be offered to 11th and 12th grade students who must be actively participating in a job-related program. They would ultimately attain a General Diploma. Time requirements would warrant a shortened day through a type of School Flex Program. All participants would need to attend three hour class sessions.
Even though classes will be on-line, on-site attendance is required for course completion.
Vance gave an overview concerning needed personnel and other aspects of the Opportunity School.
During second semester there will be a concerted effort to find personnel whose skill set are geared toward developing a relationship with these students. Personnel at the Opportunity School will be more like facilitators instead of instructors. The number of participants in this program could add to the total corporation count.
There will be a spring campaign to enroll those who might benefit from this program. This is not an open program but geared more toward specific students.
While at-risk students will be encouraged to participate, those who are seeking dual credit hours for a specific course should also consider participation.
Those who attend Opportunity School would not be active participants in athletic programs; however, flexibility will be afforded students whose courses and extra-curricular participation overlap.
Students would be able to participate in the Opportunity School up to age 21.
In other news, the city of Rushville is establishing a network of trails throughout the city.
It was requested that the school corporation grant an easement of approximately a 10-foot wide area in an area that runs close to Rushville Elementary East and Rushville Elementary West. The easement would then be made into a blacktopped path which the city of Rushville would maintain, and it would also fall under their liability policy. The legal documents covering this request have been reviewed by legal counsel. The board approved this request for easement utilization.