The Culver Community Schools Corporation is removing an administrative position at the end of the school year to deal with a budget shortfall in the corporation’s General Fund.
Interim Superintendent Chuck Kitchell asked for the school board’s approval Monday, “Unfortunately, the school corporation is in a financial situation that we have to try to work ourselves out of, and due to that financial situation, I recommend that the board take action on preliminary notice of consideration of non-renewal of Julie R. Berndt’s contract as assistant principal / Title 1 director.” The board approved that recommendation, unanimously. With the removal of her current position, the school corporation will be required to offer Berndt a teaching position. However, Kitchell says some teaching jobs will also likely have to be cut in the near future.
Also during Monday’s meeting, the school board voted to further consolidate the middle and high schools. Kitchell says this will help the corporation financially, as well as in other ways, “We do believe that moving forward, we will be able to find a bit of a cost savings if we combine the two offices once again. Plus, it brings the middle school and high school a little closer together, and long term, we hope to officially combine Culver Community Middle School with Culver Community High School from an accountability perspective, which then would help both ends of that building move forward in an appropriate manner as far as state accountability issues are concerned.”
Middle/High School Principal Brett Berndt added that middle and high school students will have to continue to be kept separate from each other, but agreed that consolidation should move ahead in spite of this challenge, “It’s unfortunate because, obviously, when I was a middle school teacher, you were a middle school teacher; that’s all you taught was middle school classes. Our schedule’s not that way anymore. We have middle school teachers teaching high school and vice versa, so to combine would make it a lot easier on the master schedule and a lot easier on teachers and I think the benefit of the students just as well.”
The school board also gave its final approval to an update in the corporation’s Administration Guidelines. The update removed positions that no longer exist within the corporation from the chain of command in the absence of the superintendent.