Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

April 25, 2014

Property taxes, lunch prices rising

Debbie Blank The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — Two decisions made by Batesville Community School Corp. trustees April 21 will impact taxpayers’ and school families’ wallets.

They decided to move ahead with at most $2 million in mechanical renovations at Batesville Primary School, built in 1990. The board adopted additional appropriation and bond resolutions.

The maximum rate for taxpayers is $.0382. The annual property tax impact: $100,000 home, $12.51; $150,000 home, $24.93; $178,900 home (BCSC’s median home value), $32.10; $200,000 home, $37.34; $250,000 home, $49.76; $100,000 rental or commercial property, $38.20; 1 acre of farmland, $0.78. The last two figures can be multiplied.

A wage hearing was scheduled for April 23. BCSC transportation and safety director Ed Krause, the Franklin County representative, and BCSC buildings and grounds director Tim Hunter were to attend. The bond sale is scheduled for May 1, according to superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts.

The federal government is requiring the school district to increase its 2014-15 lunch prices. The current $1.54 weighted average price must rise to $1.60, according to Roberts. He agreed lunch price hikes may be needed. “We are seeing expenditures go out faster than revenues. Maybe, healthier foods are a tad more expensive” due to more labor or higher costs.

Trustees voted that midday meals will cost a nickel more at three schools and a dime more at Batesville High School. Prices starting in August: BPS and Batesville Intermediate School, $1.40; Batesville Middle School, $1.55; and BHS, $1.90.

Batesville Educators Association President Dala Vonderheide asked, “Is there any consideration of the adult lunches? If you’re going to up it for the kids, you might as well for the adults.” Roberts will look into the idea.

Last month, board President Chris Lowery said, “I realize some children qualify for free or reduced (priced meals). Some families right above that threshold” will be hurt by increasing prices.

At this meeting, trustee Wanita Linkel wondered, “Do we see more kids packing (lunches) nowadays?” BMS and BHS participation rates have increased, while BIS and BPS rates have decreased slightly, according to the superintendent.

BHS principal Andy Allen reported on rising numbers of students taking advantage of free tuition, dual credit Ivy Tech Community College courses. “We’re on pace to award over 1,100 credits. We expect that number to continue to grow next year.”

He explained, “If you obtain 30 credit hours in seven different course areas, state institutions have to take those credits … freshman year,” so those BHS students essentially have finished the first year of college at no expense.

Allen said two ITCC classes, English 206 and music appreciation, will be offered at BHS next year.

Other classes that can be taken on the Ivy Tech Batesville campus include chemistry; medical terminology; perhaps anatomy, physiology or biology; sociology; philosophy; and personal finance. Milan and South Ripley students will join BHS teens in the pursuit of the dual credit courses.

The principal is seeking data on which courses are being accepted by Hoosier and out-of-state colleges.

Allen announced Hill-Rom will join four other companies (Virtus, Batesville Casket, Heartwood Manufacturing and Batesville Tool & Die) in offering three-hour twice-a-week internships. For 2014-15, six students are enrolled in the first year and four will continue in the second year in the program, which combines on-the-job training and dual credit classes, working toward associate degrees in engineering.

Debbie Blank can be contacted at debbie.blank@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.

Extra agenda items • Batesville High School teacher Craig Hughes was recognized as a Project Lead the Way civil engineering and architecture master teacher. In order to receive the accolade, the teacher had to apply and submit a video lesson. BHS will be a PLTW site. Hughes said, "I just want to keep going. I'm real excited to take my experience to adult learners." He will teach in Milwaukee this summer. Roberts said the teacher exemplifies the BCSC motto, "Believe in Better," noting the educator is "trying to make sure his program is the best." • After a BMS student expulsion was appealed, trustees conducted a hearing in an executive session earlier that day and had a discussion, according to Lowery. The decision to uphold or overturn the expulsion had to be made in a public session. The board voted to uphold the expulsion 5-0. • Greenfield educators visited BHS and BMS April 18 to explore how 1:1 technology is being implemented. • Although the board OK'd an overnight trip by seven BHS FFA members to Purdue University May 17 for a livestock judging event, Ray Call was concerned they will be accompanied by just one adult, adviser Cassie Mumaw. He noted Boy Scouts have a rule at least two adults must supervise activities in case something happened to one. Vonderheide recalled a student got sick during a fifth-grade field trip and a teacher had to stay with the child. "I really think that's a good idea … to have an extra adult." Roberts said the BCSC policy mandating one adult for every 10 students will be studied. • Twenty randomly chosen BIS students participated in a Change the Play activity with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and punter Pat McAfee April 18 at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, reported principal Dr. Jere Schoettmer. BIS is one of about seven schools participating in an eight-week Change the Play fitness and nutrition program sponsored by IU Health and Riley Hospital for Children. "It was a truly fantastic morning for our students. They loved it. We went to different stations" with Luck visiting each group of kids. "It was a lot of fun ... We were pretty lucky to get in on the ground floor. We will be participating next year, too." Roberts said it's "a physically active program, something we're very invested in." • The BCSC Coordinated School Health Program Council is applying for an Indiana State Department of Health grant that would provide a stipend for a wellness coordinator. • The board approved personnel recommendations: Certified - maternity leaves, Liz Schory, BHS English/journalism teacher, and Kelly Spencer, BCSC speech language pathologist; transfer: Megan Spreckelson, BMS family and consumer science teacher; new: Bryan Helvie, BMS/BHS athletic director; Molly Waechter, BHS physics homebound instructor; Nanette Foster, Sarah Jaisle and Miranda Stirn, BHS special education homebound instructors. Classified - resignation: Robyn Fledderman, BPS Title I paraprofessional. Extracurricular - resignation: Kayla Pinckley, BIS language arts coordinator; new: Denette Callahan, BHS Dance Team sponsor; Ben Pierson and Tim Hunter, BHS track and field co-coaches.