MT. SUMMIT — The Blue River Valley School Board spent a lot of discussion on book fees and policies Monday night. But parents and teachers wanting to know what textbook rental fees will be for the upcoming school year at the jr./sr. high school must wait.
The high school did not have prices for all their books at Monday's meeting. The school board plans to vote on the prices once they are received in July.
Despite the delay, school board members heard a second reading of the textbook rental policy and voted to adopt it during the meeting. The policy states that all extra money from textbook rentals would to be put back into an account to purchase e-books in place of an actual hardback text book.
Students must return all books in good condition, the policy states. Students who destroy or don't return textbooks can be suspended from extra curricular activities until the books are returned or the school is reimbursed for the damages. The policy also allows families who receive lunch assistance to receive text book assistance. Families will have to register and reapply each year for textbook assistance.
Textbook prices for Blue River Elementary School were approved at Monday's meeting.
"The rental price declined slightly from last year," board member Brian Koontz said.
A student and school showcase for the Indiana Reading Evaluation And Determination (IREAD), was scheduled to be presented at Monday's meeting but was postponed. IREAD is a reading assessment that measures foundational reading standards through grade three. All third graders must pass this before they can move onto the next grade.
"We did intend to bring IREAD but it's been delayed and we're still hoping to do that next month when the scores are in," Superintendent Eric Creviston said.
In other news, Blue River Valley schools had 44 transfer requests for the 2016-2017 school year. Board vice president John Cross said it was good to see some new faces in the school this year and he was looking forward to the school year's growth.
The school board also transfered some of the high school's funds at the recommendation of the Indiana State Board of Accounts (SBOA). Blue River Valley High School Principal Adam Perdue suggested moving money out of the parking fund into another school fund.
"We get money from the students parking tags at the beginning of the year and we are not really able to use those funds," Perdue said. "I just feel like we need to get that back into the student's hands so they will be able to utilize it. We would move the money into a different account that would allow it to be more flexible so we can use it on our students."
The board passed the motion and now the school does not have to spend the money from this parking fund on more tags.
The school board also awarded Perdue with a one-time $1,200 stipend that will help him pay for and cover his new expenses as a peer mentor for Todd Reagan, the new principal of Blue River Valley Elementary School. This position will only be for the upcoming school year.
The BRV school corporation adopted a 'materiality threshold' Monday night, as well. This threshold is a specific amount of missing money or stolen items that requires the administration to contact the SBOA. Before Monday's meeting, there was no set guide as to what should be reported.
Creviston suggested that if there was a loss of $100 cash, that should be reported to the state. If there was over $500 lost in property expenses, the school will report that as well. Creviston also noted that in a school like Blue River, petty theft was not normally an issue.
Before the meeting adjourned, former teacher Kent Hanser stood up to speak. Hanser taught chemistry at Blue River Valley High School from the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year until his resignation in February.
Hanser asked that the board consider that he receive a portion of the performance pay award that the state distributed to Indiana schools after his resignation. Hanser argued that the performance grant should have been paid out by the state in December. This year's payment covers the 2014-2015 school year and was delayed because ISTEP+ test results were delayed.
Hanser asked that the school pay him the money he was shorted by the state of Indiana because he "did not get the pay that his performance earned and merited."
Creviston said the board is discussing with its attorney how to proceed.
The next Blue River Valley School Board meeting will take place at 7 p.m July 11 in the high school library.