The Knox Community School Corporation is looking to maximize its cash reserves. Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart told the school board Tuesday that the school corporation has a total of about $7 million in its various funds. That money is currently earning an interest rate of about 1.75 percent.
Knox school officials are preparing for the upcoming change in the school funding structure. Starting January 1, each school corporation’s General Fund will be replaced by an Education Fund, while the Capital Projects, Transportation, and Bus Replacement Funds will be combined into an Operations Fund.
The Knox School Board got a financial update on the school corporation’s facility improvements last week. “We have about $60,000 left in our $5 million bond project that is not encumbered as of yet,” Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart explained. “We still have projects left to do.”
Knox High School’s Graphic Arts Department is getting a major equipment upgrade, thanks to a recent donation. Compliance Signs gave the school two Roland wide body printers, valued at $12,500 each. On top of that, CutCardStock of Valparaiso has donated $450 worth of paper. The donations were officially accepted by the school board last week.
Starke County’s educators and first responders recently tested how they’d react to an active shooter situation. Knox Elementary School Principal Michelle Tarnow reviewed this month’s tabletop exercise with the school board last week.
The Knox Community School Corporation is moving ahead with exploring possible facility improvements. On Tuesday, the school board voted to hire architectural firm Schmidt Associates to develop plans for future construction. The firm recently completed a facilities study for the corporation, and board members felt it made sense to stick with the same company.
The Knox Community School Corporation is still looking for ways to add a school resource officer, even after the Starke County Sheriff’s Department was unable to secure funding. During Tuesday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart said he and other school officials are now exploring whether the City of Knox could step in. Continue reading
Groups using Knox school facilities would officially be banned from holding events with alcohol or betting, under a policy proposal presented to the school board last month. Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart said that would mean that outside organizations wouldn’t be allowed to hold bingo events at school facilities, but raffles held by school groups could continue, since they wouldn’t fall under this policy. It’s one of several policy updates recommended by policy consultant NEOLA.
Knox High School’s pit area may be gone, but it continues to be a topic of discussion during school board meetings. Principal Dr. Elizabeth Ratliff told board members last month that the area where the pit used to be has gotten some new furniture. “The nice part is the kids love it,” she said. “So we’re seeing anywhere from 25 to 30 kids sitting in there every day. By being able to spread out the chairs, they’re really enjoying it, taking good care of it. So that’s been a very positive addition, also.”
Knox Elementary School is rolling out a new student pickup procedure. Principal Michelle Tarnow recently told the school board that the goal is to make the process more efficient and convenient, but above all, safer.
Knox students who’ve fallen behind in their lunch payments have had their debt wiped away, thanks to the generosity of the local community. Corporation Treasurer Dawn Bailey told the Knox School Board last week that an anonymous donor gave $800 to cover any negative lunch account balances.
The Knox Community School Corporation continues updating employee handbooks. A revised administrative handbook was approved by the school board Tuesday, at the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart.
The Knox Community School Corporation has entered into another agreement for mental health services. Last month, the school board approved a one-year contract with Porter-Starke Services for the elementary and middle schools, with the understanding it could be expanded to the high school in the future. But during this week’s meeting, board members approved a contract with the Bowen Center for services at the high school.