Decatur County Community Schools Board Meeting

The Decatur County Community Schools Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting on April 10, 2024, at 6:00 pm. The meeting was located at South Decatur Elementary School.

The board approved the following:

-Minutes of the Regular Meeting held March 13, 2024

-Approval and Order Payment of Claims and Payroll

-Approval of 2 Conference Attendance Requests & 2 Field trips

-Approval of 7 Resignations

-Approval of 5 Appointments

-Approval of 1 Student Fundraiser

-Approval of 21 Donations totaling $6,975.00

-Approval of computer equipment being marked as obsolete

Jeremiah McAdams, Decatur County Juvenile Probation Officer came to the board to discuss the Why Try program. He stated that this program is used to reduce truancy issues within the schools within the county. When a student reaches 7 days of absenteeism the school, Jeremiah, and the family sit down and discuss and see how they can support the student. At 10 days they begin to speak about proper discipline. At 15 days they are referred to Jeremiah to go to Why Try. When this program began some students had missed school 7 days, 30 days, and up to 50 days. This is a program to be proactive instead of the student going through the courts and then being reactive. Gracie Maxwell is the instructor for the program and provides a weekly class that occurs every week. They have had 11 classes so far and they have had near perfect attendance. The County and Greensburg schools are working in partnership with Jeremiah’s department. The department is also working with Centerstone to refer students who may be using Vape pens with THC. The department’s goal is to help students and juveniles keep them out of the judicial system.

Stewart Durham, South Decatur Jr.-Sr. High School Principal came to the school board to present 2 Extra Effort Awards. The first Extra Effort Award was given to Elijah Deweerdt, Band Director. Stewart said that all students and teachers like and respect Mr. Deweerdt. Stewart also mentioned that Mr. Deweerdt goes above and beyond with all students and has done a wonderful job. Often when the band plays they play to a level that sounds like a full band. Unfortunately due to several scheduling conflicts, Mr. Deweerdt was unavailable to attend the meeting.

Mr. Deweerdt Band Director

The second Extra Effort Award was given to the Cafeteria staff. The staff are working during major construction and are working in a staff lounge, conference room and are not complaining at all. Mr. Durham said that everyone has smiles on their faces even during the changes that have occurred with the temporary kitchen. He said that they are all hard-working individuals and that he is proud of their hard work.

Nicole Stone, South Decatur Elementary School Principal presented the Extra Effort Award to Kathy Taylor and Casey Bolton for their dedicated efforts on the STEM program. Nicole said last week the Department of Education was at the school to conduct an assessment in hopes of becoming certified as a STEM provider. Both Kathy and Casey worked hard to promote the program and the school as a whole.

Casey Bolton presented information about the STEM program. She spoke about the program and how it has been implemented. She spoke about the 3 goals that the school has identified through STEM. 1. STEM special rotation 2. Stem integration in homeroom 3. Access to STEM materials. Casey said, “STEM programming is the same assets that companies want their employees to have.” They have many programs including 3D printing, and woodworking. Students Leo Nidas Wall and Drew Bennett spoke about their experience within the STEM program.

Stewart Durham, South Decatur Jr.-Sr. High School Principal provided an update for the school. He said that he doesn’t have much sports information to report as the weather has limited and postponed most programs. Mr. Durham said that he urges everyone to go to their school website and subscribe to the Athletic Calendar to stay up to date with events and any schedule changes. The FFA banquet is scheduled for April 13, 2024, at 6 pm. Mr. Durham reminded everyone on April 20th the school is working with the animal shelter and will be having an event at the fairgrounds.

Jacob Rader, South Decatur Elementary School Vice Principal provided an update for his school. The school is going through ILEARN practice and he thanked the IT department for all of their hard work and dedication. Kindergarten Round Up was last week and enrollment is up by 14 for a total of 66 students. He said the Robotics Club is going strong. Mr. Rader said that the preschool is going well and continues to grow. In the past month, the Friends of Rachel group donated 450 items to the animal shelter and another group within the school raised $600 and gave that to the local animal shelter.

The meeting was adjourned.

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