Decatur County Community Schools Board of Trustees Monthly Meeting

The Decatur County Community Schools Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting on 2/14/24 at 6:00 pm. After the meeting was called to order the board unanimously approved the meeting minutes of the Reorganizational Meeting, Board of Finance Meeting, Regular Board Meeting, Executive Session held on January 10, 2024, and the Special Session held on January 17, 2024. The board then approved the payment of all claims and payroll. 

Dr. Jarrod Burns, Superintendent asked the board to approve all conferences and field trips. The board unanimously approved all conferences and field trips. 

South Decatur Elementary School Conference 

-Jacob Rader- Thrive Together Summit Atlanta, GA February 7th-9th, 2024

North Decatur Jr.-Sr. High School Field Trips

-8th Grade- Churchill Downs, U of L, Louisville Slugger & Ali Center Louisville, KY May 22, 2024

-Class of 2024- Kings Island Mason, OH May 3, 2024

South Decatur Jr.-Sr. High School Field Trips

-Band- Kings Island Mason, OH May 24.2024

-HOSA- Spring Leadership Conference- April 10-12, 2024

South Decatur Elementary School Field Trips

-5th grade- Kentucky Kingdom Louisville, KY- May 17, 2024

-6th grade- Indiana Baptist Youth Camp- May 16-17, 2024

Dr. Burns requested approval of Jill Coots’s resignation and then moved on to retirements which are Janet Kennedy and Lee Ann Woodhull. The board approved these resignations and retirements. Dr. Burns asked for approval of the appointments. Appointments for North Decatur Jr.-Sr. High School includes Kimbra Williams- Custodian, Isaac Ogden-Technician, Jeffrey Steele-Assistant Softball Coach, David Gearhart-Varsity Assistant Softball Coach, and James White-Jr. High Softball Coach. North Decatur Elementary School appointment request was Anthony Coy-Custodian. South Decatur Jr.-Sr. High School appointment requests included Creed Gambrel-Football Volunteer, Ciara Fogle-Jr. High Academic Coach, Bethany Fromer- Varsity Girls Track & Field Coach, Joe Lee- Varsity Girls Track & Field Coach, Ben Venderbur- Jr. High Basketball Coach, and Courtney Billingsley-Varsity Boys Golf Coach.  South Decatur Elementary School appointment request is for Lea Ann Nobbe- Long Term Substitute Teacher. All Appointments were approved by the board. 

Nick Messer, Assistant Principal presented the Extra Effort Award to North Decatur High School Athletic Director/Work Based Learning Instructor Scott Johnson. Mr. Messer states that Mr. Johnson goes above and beyond in all that he does and he had the opportunity to go with Mr. Johnson in the community while he was visiting students in the Work Based Learning program and the community knows Mr. Johnson it is apparent that he is doing a great job in facilitating that opportunity and providing support to the students. 

Rob Smith, Principal presented the Extra Effort Award to North Decatur Elementary School Second Grade Teacher Brittany Welsh for her extra effort that she shows students in her classroom. Mr. Smith mentioned that she has a student who has had some concerns and at times does not acclimate to the classroom environment well and Brittany has made this student feel comfortable and ensures that it is a positive environment. Also, Brittany has created a Braille Library for a student with vision impairment. 

Doug Wilson, Decatur County School Corporation Attorney began the Project Hearing Presentation. He stated that this is part of the process that is required since the total cost of the project is going to be more than 1 million dollars. He asked that Bakertilly, Financial Advisors for the School Corporation Representative Jeff Hammond provide information about the financing portion of the project. He began his presentation by talking about the current bonds that the school has and how much their current yearly payments are. They will be looking at taking a bond out and at the maximum amounts allowed for the bond that is being presented is for the Transportation Center Project $3,500,000, the High School Project $1,500,000, and the Deferred Maintenance Project $2,000,000. The total maximum project cost would be $7,000,000. This offers approval of the project and also provides some cushion for the project and other fees that may develop. 

Following Bakertilly’s presentation Doug came back to the board and began to request approvals for Resolutions as required by law. The following Resolutions were approved with the vote being 7-0 for each Resolution request. 

Board Consideration of the Project Resolution- Transportation Center Project

Board Consideration of the Project Resolution- High School Project

Board Consideration of the Project Resolution- Deferred Maintenance Project

Board Consideration of the Project Resolution- Determining Needs for Projects

Board Consideration of the Project Resolution- Approving Form of Fifth Amendment to Lease

Board Consideration of the Project Resolution- Formation of Building Corporation

Board Consideration of the Project Resolution of Reimbursement Resolution

Following the Resolution approvals Mr. Wilson stated again that all numbers discussed tonight were maximum amounts. He also stated that this is just the beginning of the process and that after tonight’s meeting, he would be publishing a Notice to Proceed and then the next phase will occur at the next meeting. 

Dr. Burns then requested and received approval from the board for the following fundraisers: North Decatur Jr. High School Track & Field- World’s Finest Chocolate Sales, NDHS Band & Choir- Omni Fundraising Cookie Dough Sales, NDHS Cheer- 31 Bag Sale, Senior Class of 2024- Brick fundraiser, Senior Class of 2024- students will pay for their tickets to go to Kings Island Trip, 7th Grade JH Game Night, Student Council- Winterfest Semi Formal Ticket Purchase, Class of 2028- Doughnut and hot chocolate sales, North Decatur FFA- Selling strawberries and popcorn, North Decatur Football-Trash Bag Fundraiser, National Elementary Honor Society-Crush Drink Sales, and Friends of Rachel-Love to Paws.

The following donations were approved by the board. Decatur County Community Schools received a donation of $1,000 from Geenex Solar LLC for Teacher and Teacher Morale items. North Decatur Elementary School received a $500 donation from St. Paul Christian Church to help students in need. South Decatur Jr.-Sr. High School received donations from Greensburg Power of the Past $700 for FFA, Premier Companies $46.60 for FFA. Family Chiropractic & Wellness is $50 and Nole’s Family Dental is $100 for HOSA. An anonymous donation of $750 to the Drama Club. Anonymous donation of $750 for Athletics. Adam D. Clock DDS, LLC $50 for Leadership Conference. South Decatur Elementary School received an anonymous donation of $300 for lunch balances, Shawn Gatewood $100 for Field Trip Fees, and Wal-Mart North Vernon $1,822.50 for general expenses. 

Debbie Reynolds, North Decatur Jr.-Sr. The High School Principal provided an update for her school. Debbie stated that 2/16/24 is the game that New Directions Teen Council has been selling orange shirts for to bring awareness to Teen Dating Violence. All attendees are asked to wear their shirt or an orange shirt. 2/17/24 is the Semi Formal for 9th-12th grade students. Boys Sectional is scheduled for 2/27, 3/1, and 3/2. FFA Week is next week and they have an action-packed week planned. Monday Staff will be treated to a breakfast, Tuesday Mayor Josh Marsh will be at the school to write a proclamation for FFA Week, Wednesday Ice Cream party for FFA members, Thursday is a petting zoo for elementary students, and Friday will be the Barnyard Olympics. Cheerleaders MHC will have a cheer competition on 3/2/24 with 5 teams competing. The last thing Debbie spoke about was that 4 students are on track to graduate with associate degrees from High School. 

Rob Smith, North Decatur Elementary School Principal, and Jeremy Sherman, Assistant Principal provided an update for their school. Dave Sell was able to bring the Planetarium to the school. Rob stated this is a huge room and they had the opportunity to put all the kids through it within 3 days. He stated that Dave is 1 of 2 people certified to use the Planetarium and he thanked Dave for helping bring this opportunity to the students. Jeremy stated that they had 29 students be inducted into the National Honor Society. Kindergarten registration is on March 4, 2024, and March 6, 2024. The 3rd grade play is scheduled for February 22nd. Rob stated that he received information that the school has been placed as 106 out of 1300 schools overall by US News. He states that places the school in the top 7% in the state. Rob thanked students, teachers, and parents for all that they have done and the school has passed level 3 HRS. Rob also received notification that the school placed in the 95% percentile or higher on IREAD.

A Special Session Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 27, 2024, at the Central Office at 4:30 pm. The next Regular Board Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at the Central Office at 6:00 pm. The meeting was adjourned.  

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