SA board discusses long-term use of facility

Authored by Manda Arnold on Jun 13, 2012

Due to a request by The Bridge Community Church to use the school for a new church in southern Adams County, the school board has been looking at School Board Policy #7510 School Facility Usage. The Bridge requested the use of the auditorium and six classrooms every Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning September 9 for an unspecified period of time.
After holding an hour long work session prior to the regular school board on Tuesday evening, discussion of the policy continued during the regular session. Some of the concerns brought up were student privacy issues in classrooms, the schools energy saving contract, difficulty heating/cooling depending on location, use of the sound system and projector, and custodians needing to be present on the weekends.
“I have a problem with long term use of property unless it is school related,” stated school board member Tony Mellencamp.
Several other board members expressed concern about the school board becoming landlords and the issues that go along with that. Following the school’s mission of putting the students first and doing due diligence by the tax payers that voted to build the new school were also areas brought to the table.
“The long-term use – I just don’t feel this what was this building was created for,” commented school board secretary John Mann.
“I’m just concerned with the student privacy act and how it could come against the board,” voiced school board president Arlene Amstutz. “The auditorium is one thing. Classrooms are another.”
After much discussion, the board approved a motion to table the request to facilitate a revision or addition to School Board Policy #7510 to include prohibiting long-term usage.
The request was tabled until July so more information could be gathered and could be discussed further.
In other school news, both parties have signed the purchase and sale agreement for the Berne property. The $10,000 earnest money deposit was received into the escrow account on May 16. CDI now has until approximately August 16 (120 days) to do its due diligence. CDI does have the option of extending the due diligence period for up to two periods of 60 days by paying addition $7,500 into the escrow account each time.
The Crossing Alternative Program is moving forward. Crossing personnel are in the process of scouting potential sites for the alternative education campus, contacting community leaders to serve on the community board, and making contacts with the parents of prospective students.
“Things are moving, and we’re encouraged with that,” said school superintendent Scott Litwiller.
The Crossings is planning on beginning classes on July 25.
South Adams School nurse Wendy Schalgenhauf was present at the board meeting to present an update on the student random drug testing program implemented at South Adams during the 2011-2012 school year.
The cost of the program was $5,522, which was $22 for each of the 251 students tested. Five high school students and two middle school students were tested each week. Students that are involved in sports, that drive to school, or are requested by their parent are placed into the drug test pool. All student athletes are also tested for nicotine per the Code of Conduct. The student numbers are then sent to ASL in Elkhart. A computer program then randomly picks five high school numbers and five alternates and two middle school numbers and two alternates.
In the high school, there were 352 students in the drug testing pool, and 152 students tested during the school year. One student was tested four times, three students were tested three times, and 20 students were tested twice.
One drug test came back positive due to a prescription medication, and two student athletes tested positive for nicotine. Because they tested positive out of season of their sport, a letter was sent home informing their parents of the drug test results.
In the middle school, there were 275 students in the drug testing pool, and 71 students tested during the school year. One student tested three times, and five students tested twice. They had no positive results for nicotine, and two positive drug tests due to prescription medication.
Starting in April, the school started sending letters home to all students who tested negative informing their parents that they were randomly drug tested and that they tested negative.
Several students were honored during the school board as June’s Examples of Excellence.
Hannah Dull and Tammy Barlow were recognized for participating in the Adams County Quiz Bowl. Dull won the Adams County Quiz Bowl. She is a fifth grader and is the daughter of Ron and Celia Dull. Barlow placed third and is the daughter of Peggy Barlow.
The Elementary Writing winners from the PBS Writers Contest were also recognized. Six of the 12 regional winners are from South Adams. They are Meredith Colpaert (kindergarten), daughter of Chris and Andrea Colpaert; Blaine Duff (first grade), son of Toby and Yvonne Duff; Maggie Nussbaum (first grade), daughter of Greg and Marie Nussbaum; Kylee Roe (second grade), daughter of Kyle and Michele Roe; Colin Subler (second grade), son of Matt and Kathy Subler; and Brayden Gilbert (third grade), son of Chad and Chris Gilbert.
Finally the high school boys’ track team was honored for a perfect 6-0 regular season and for winning the ACAC conference championship. Those recognized were Bryson Boots, Cody Conner, Cole Farlow, Evan Johnston, Jordan Landers, Tim Lehman, Dom Richert, Joel Schmidt, Logan Steiner, Drew Taylor, Isaac Werst, Zach Yoder, Hirotaka Asaoka, Sam Dellinger, Zach Grabau, Joel Hawbaker, Tim Horton, Alex Kistler, Cameron Lengerich, Evan Liechty, Drew Litwiller, Cody Siminidinger, Cody Sprunger, Simon Sprunger, Andrew Steffen, Nathan Wynn, Andrew Beachey, Dalton Hall, Klayton Hinshaw, Collin Lahr, Clayton Rhoades, Brody Shane, Daniel Velasco, Brett Litwiller, Cole Litwiller, Nic Myers, Anh Khieu, Jacob Werst, coaches Clint Anderson, Jeff Lehman, Steve Rausch, Julie Baumer, and volunteers Troy Baumer and Chaise Moore.

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