Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools sees no change in fall enrollment count despite pandemic

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment at Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools has not changed.

Superintendent, Dr. Tracy Lorey, announced the results of the fall enrollment count during the monthly school board meeting on Monday.

“We are pleased to announce that we have 3,168 students enrolled this fall, which is actually the same number we had in last year’s fall count. We’re very happy that we have been able to maintain our enrollment for this year and we’re serving our students both in-person and virtually,” Dr. Lorey says.

Lorey says that 185 of these students are enrolled in their COVID-19 Online Academy option and are still considered as Greater Jasper students.

Lorey also says she is impressed with how well students have adapted to this year’s changes.

“Our kids have really been amazing. There’s been a lot of changes for them as they’ve entered the school year. They are very diligent about wearing their masks and at following the current guidelines in place.  I hear nothing but wonderful things about their behavior,” Dr. Lorey says.

Speaking of the students, Director of Transportation and Student Services, Glenn Buechlein, told board members that their annual Panamera education survey is underway.

This survey is created specifically for students and asks them questions about how they feel about the school overall, if it is meeting their academic needs, and if they feel safe to go to school during the pandemic.

Although Buechlein says they have to wait until all of the results come in, he has heard that most of their students feel safe about being in school.

After this, Buechlein provided an update on transportation.

Before diving into the details, Buechlein took time to recognize School Board President, Bernie Vogler. Vogler has driven the bus for years and isn’t afraid to step in when the school needs help. To show his appreciation, Buechlein had special pictures taken of Vogler standing next to a Wildcats Bus and presented them to him at the meeting.

Then it was time a curriculum update. Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Tina Fawks, says that no major changes have been made. She also says their goals remain the same because COVID-19 prevented them from participating in standardized testing last spring.

Towards the middle of the meeting, Stenftenagel Group Clerk of the Works Owner, Scott Stenftenagel, updated the board on where they are with the Fifth and Tenth Street Elementary Schools demolition process.

When looking at the 10th Street School facility, Stenftenagel says they are completing a list of loose equipment and furniture. If approved by the board, these items will be sold at auction or to interested vendors. Stenftenagel says they are talking with the city about where the existing utilities are located and will disconnect them. He also says they are relocating the existing flagpole to Ruxer field.

Stenftenagel then switched gears to talk about where they are at with the 5th Street Elementary school building. He says that they are talking with Tammy Lampert of the Southwestern Indiana Child Advocacy Center Coalition. Currently, their focus is on redefining parameters for retaining the newer 1988 building addition and demolishing the 1956 section of the building. The existing flag pole will be relocated to Jasper High School Softball Field.

Stenftenagel says they will start talking with Schmidt Associates, Brosmer Land Surveying, Dr. Lorey, Brian Lewis, Brian Wilson, and Coach Lewis about the design for the new parking lot and future improvements to alumni stadium.

Stenftenagel also told board members the administration office renovations are complete. Staff is expected to be moved in by Monday, September 28th.

And finally, the school board voted to adopt the 2021 budget.

The Greater Jasper Consolidated School Board meeting is scheduled for 7 pm on Monday, October 26th, in the Jasper High School Community Room.

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