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LaVille Construction to be Completed before School

August 12, 2011

08/15/11 Renovation and construction efforts at LaVille Elementary School should be completed in time for the start of school next week, according to Union-North United School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Terry Barker.

During a school board meeting on August 11, Barker said the three kindergarten rooms that were added on are complete and teachers have been moving into their classrooms.

Due to budget constraints last school year, the kindergarten classes were cut back to a half-day program; however they are returning to full-time. Principal John Farthing said they have six more students enrolled this year than last bringing the current kindergarten enrollment total to 77.

At this time the total enrollment for the elementary school is 669, up from 663 last school year.

LaVille Jr.-Sr. High School Principal Chuck Phillips said the enrollment at the high school has “flat lined”. He said they do not have firm numbers as yet since there could still be more students registering.

Barker told the board that some of the paint used to strip the parking lot at the elementary school has started to peel. He indicated that he has spoken to the contractor, Phend & Brown, concerning the problem and the need to have it fixed before the start of school next week. Barker said the outside lighting should be installed on August 15.

Barker briefly reviewed some of the proposed improvements to a room at the Jr.-Sr. High School for use by students with special needs. He said he has allotted $92,000 for the project, but that the figure is higher than what the architect has projected. Along other improvements, the room will be equipped with a shower, rest room facilities, washer and dryer, kitchen and living areas.

An idea that was thrown out during a board meeting this summer concerning the possibility of  re-naming the Union-North United School Corporation to LaVille Schools has not drawn too much reaction, according to Barker. Barker said, “The emails alone show 16 in favor and one opposed.” An email link on the corporation’s website allows patrons to make suggestions via email.” Barker said, “This is not a Barker thing. It came from a student.”

Barker had expressed some of the thought process leading up to the possibility of the change during the earlier meeting. He said the school is commonly known around the state as LaVille. It was noted during the discussion on the matter on Thursday night that Barker and board members would still like to hear from the community. The matter will be put on the next school board agenda for discussion.

Schedules for both teachers and those students involved in athletic programs at the high school are still being ironed out. Barker informed the board at the last board meeting that teachers will now be contracted at eight hours and fifteen minutes per day. The challenge has been to formulate a schedule that allows for extra help from students before school and after school.

Athletes particularly will be targeted to attain a team minimum of a GPA of 8.5 percent or better. For the part two years, athletes had to take advantage of study tables to help insure that homework was being completed. Barker said, “The goal is to provide much flexibility.”

Phillips presented a first draft of a schedule for coaches and students to attend study table times; but said he would be speaking with teachers on Monday on the topic as well.

The school day ends at 3:10 and the proposed students table times could be from 3:20-3:50.

Barker said, “We are not working from a control theory. We are working on a leadership theory.”

Barker also believes that the model they are projecting will be copied. He said, “We are on the front end of this. Others are going to follow us.”

Extra help will be provided for all students, according to Barker. Phillips said all students will have computers to use and can find assignment on their Moodle accounts.”

Carol Anders Correspondent