03/22/11 Students of the Triton Schools will be in classes until the last day of May in order to make up days to equal the 180 state mandated number. At the school board meeting on March 14, the board was given the official notice that in addition to the February 21 day that was already used as a make-up day, classes will now be in session on April 22, May 13, May 27 and May 31. The last day for teachers will be on June 1.
This school year, there have been three two-hour delays, two two-hour delays that were then converted to closings, and four closed days due to snow, wind chill, and ice.
In the 2009-2010 school year, the schools only closed two times and experienced three two-hour delays and one early dismissal.
The board approved a request to sign over a 1955 Farmall tractor to the FFA (Future Farmers of America) Club. Superintendent Carl Hilling explained that it had been used in the past for mowing, but is now not in service. He said they were not able to find background information on the tractor. Hilling suggested that the tractor could bring about $3000 at the FFA auction since it could be called an antique.
Triton teacher and community patron Larry Wattenbarger appeared before the board to inform them of several faucets in the Jr.-Sr. High School building that are either dripping or cannot be turned off. He said, “In the boy’s shower, there is one faucet that is running all the time and is typically hot water.”
Wattenbarger said, “I think you could cut expenses immensely.”
The board also heard reports on discipline from Triton Elementary Principal Jeremy Riffle and Jr.-Sr. High School Assistant Principal Bob Ross.
Riffle said there has been a 13 percent decrease in the number of referrals to the office so far this year. He said in the school year 2009-2010, there were 226 at this time of the year and to date in the 2010-2011 school year, there have been 165. Riffle attributed the decrease, in part, to the Trojan Pride program that has a focus on positive behaviors. Riffle said the referrals were for 80 students out the entire 515 student body with only 36 of the 80 as repeat referrals.
Speaking of attendance this year, Riffle said they are currently at 96.5 percent, up from 95.3 percent last year. He noted that there was severe flu that hit many of the students last year. The Indiana Department of Education requires a 95 percent attendance rate in order to make AYP (Average Yearly Progress).
Riffle said after a students misses six days of school, a letter is sent to the parents. He indicated that he is more than willing to speak to parents saying, “I try to have an open door policy.”
Ross shared similar good news. He said they have an attendance rate currently of 96.9 percent up from 96.1 last year. Ross said many of the referrals to the office are for tardies. He said, “I only see 20 percent of the kids in the office.” According to Ross, there have been 133 discipline referrals with 52 of those a one-time referral. Ross said, “We don’t have lot of frequent flyers.”
In the school year 2008-2009, there were 538 referrals to the office. That number decreased to 489 in the school year 2009-2010. There have been 284 so far this year.
Riffle told the board that a representative from the United States Department of Education as well as from the Institute of Research will be visiting the elementary school on Thursday. The school has received grant monies for the past eight years to implement and sustain a Reading First program. Riffle said the only other school in Indiana that will be toured is in Warren County.
Carol Anders Correspondent