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The Crawford County Community School Corporation held its monthly school board meeting last night. Here are some of the focal points:

  • The Board continued the discussion from last month’s meeting about School Board pay and per diem per attendance. A motion was made and passed to pay $150 for regular school board meetings and $75 for special meetings.
  • Mary Anne Knapp was appointed as the South Crawford Elementary Principal effective for the 2024-2025 academic school year.
  • Superintendent Brandon Johnson talked about how the sewer plant is old and failing. The School Board has been exploring options on how to remedy this situation. Johnson stated that it appears they will be able to join a sewer at a much more cost-effective option instead of repairing the sewer plant.
  • Updates and discussions were made about the Safe Room Project. TowerPinkster out of the New Albany/Jeffersonville area was announced as the bid winner for the architectural design of this project. This grant project is administered by Region 15 who is helping the School Board to oversee this. The “Saferoom” Project is from a FEMA Grant that helps areas prone to severe weather and tornadoes to have a safe space for children and nearby residents of the community to take shelter during inclement weather. In 2019 the Crawford County Community School Corporation was approved for this, but COVID-19 delayed the project. This room will be able to shelter all students from Crawford County Middle School and High School in addition to all residents within a two-mile radius. The Safe Room will take up the entire outside courtyard area of the school and will be able to sustain occupants for up to four hours with generators, restrooms, own water supply, etc. No word was given on when this project will begin yet as details are still being worked out with the grants. The matching portion of this grant is 75% from the US Government and 25% from the Crawford County School Board. Superintendent Johnson did say they were granted $6M leaving the School Board responsible for $2M. Any extra additions made to the project would be a 100% responsibility of the School Board. Johnson stated they would like to attach the Safe Room to the building, which isn’t a requirement, so Crawford County Community School Corporation would be responsible for that extra cost which Johnson estimates to be around $10M.
  • A big item discussed was changes not only happening to teachers in Crawford County but across the Hoosier state regarding Elementary Teachers, Special Education Teachers, and their licenses. To renew licenses, Indiana teachers are being required to take coursework in the science of reading. It was mentioned that if teachers are signing up now and doing coursework on the weekends or over their summer break, they are being paid a small stipend directly from the Department of Education. This will be a requirement starting by the year 2027 and teachers will not be able to renew their license if they haven’t completed the proper coursework. College students graduating and getting their teacher’s license will already have this requirement met starting in 2025 through their College Prep programs. The coursework contains 80 hours of certain requirements which includes 40 hours of computer work that will have hours deducted if teachers leave the computer and are not paying attention. A license renewal test must be taken after coursework completion which costs $100.
  • A big discussion was had about cellphone policy. In the upcoming 2024-2025 school year a policy change prohibiting students from having their cellphones. One Board Member stated teachers and administrators should lead by example and have no cell phones during the day. This led to a discussion about how the teachers use their phones as a tool with apps like Class Dojo or take pictures or how Principals use them to check the school cameras at times. She clarified that she meant no staff should have their phones visible in the presence of students and that checking their phones, idle phone surfing, etc. is okay when students are not present. The Board said they would revisit this at the May meeting. 

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