Friday, May 27, 2005

Construction Update

A construction meeting was held on Thursday morning.

Washington- Demolition of the old cafeteria, kitchen, and nurse's office will begin on Tuesday. There will be periodic shut off of utilities in parts of the building during the month of June. The front entrance will not be available during the month of June. The projected completion date is June 30.

Webster- The ceiling grid will be installed, roof shingled, heating and cooling units installed, cabinetry installed, and sidewalks constructed during the next two weeks. Projected completion date is June 30.

Lincoln - Demolition in the teacher work room will take place next week. The kitchen equipment will be installed, kitchen flooring completed, ceiling grid installed in the music and choir rooms during the next two weeks. Completion date is mid- July.

PHS- Roofs will be installed in the new music wing. Plumbing and electrical work will be taking place throughout the north end of the building. The north entrance will not be available until the beginning of the next school year. Construction of walls in the multipurpose wing will be taking place throughout the summer. Demolition in the cafeteria will begin next week.

Jefferson - Blacktop and vegetation will be removed at the south end of the building. The relocation of utilities will begin next week. There will be periodic shut off of utilities throughout the months of June and July. All cars should park in the lot north of the baseball diamond.

Board Highlights

The Board of Trustees met in regular session last evening at Plymouth High School.

Susie Clevenger shared the successes of the students at the alternative school during the past school year.

A report on the Education to Careers Program at Plymouth High School was given by Michelle Tanner and Don Gandy. Michal Beguin shared her experiences as a participant in the internship program.

Dick Tobias updated the board on the status of the drug testing program at the high school.

The board designated Menominee Elementary as the name of the new building. The 5th/6th grade building will be named in the near future.

The next board meeting will be held at 6:00 PM on June 2nd in the administration building.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

New State Budget and PCSC

Over the course of the last two weeks, we have attended several meetings and we are beginning to get a clearer picture of the impact of the new state budget on Plymouth Community Schools. Senator Vic Heinold has provided us projections for the 2006 and 2007 calendar years. Those projections show that Plymouth Community Schools will receive a 1.6% increase in general fund monies in 2006 and a 2.1% increase in 2007. In order to achieve those gains, the school board will be required to raise the general fund levy by 4.2% in 2006 and 3.1% in 2007.

The legislature has also made provisions to raise monies to cover the state’s share of free and reduced textbook support which the state has been unable to pay, increased costs in utilities, liability and casualty insurance, and recover the loss of state aid in the transportation fund. These amounts total $209,339.00 in 2006 and $384,974.00 in 2007. The funding mechanism is to raise property taxes at the local level.

These projections indicate that the board is on target with the adoption of its spending reduction strategy.

The budget bill is an emergency act which means its provisions go into effect immediately upon signature by the governor. There are several other provisions included in the budget bill; among those is the restricted use of academic honors diploma monies. Our board of trustees is no longer allowed to give those monies to students. Those dollars must be used to fund and support programs.

The enactment of the new state budget leaves us with mixed feelings. We understand the severe financial circumstances the state faces. We have faced similar circumstances for the past four years. We are grateful to our legislators for providing the extra resources. Although some say that this budget was accomplished without raising taxes, in fact, we may see one of the largest increases in property taxes in recent history.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Construction Update

A construction meeting was held on May 12, 2005 @ 9:00 a.m.

During the next few weeks:
At Lincoln, the ceiling grid will be completed in the kitchen. The installation of the quarry tile, exhaust hoods, and light fixtures in the kitchen area will be completed. The foundation and masonry for the dry food storage area will be completed. The drywall will be finished and painted in the music and choir rooms. The ceiling grid in the music and choir rooms will be installed. The ceiling will be plastered in the new locker room.

At Washington, the ceiling grid, light fixtures, exhaust hoods, and quarry tile will be installed in the kitchen. Drywall will be laid in the bulk head in the cafeteria. The windows will be installed in both additions. New aluminum entrances into the cafeteria area will be installed.

At Webster, the interior masonry will be completed. Walls will be painted. The parameter fascia and soffit and gutters will be installed. The roof will be shingled. The ceiling grid and light fixtures will be installed throughout. The aluminum entrances will be put in place.

At PHS in the new music wing, the block walls will be completed, the bricking will begin, all the floors will be poured, the mezzanine steel will be set, and the construction of the roof will begin. The masons will continue to block in the multi purpose room.

At the new elementary site, grading will begin and the pad will be established for the new building.

At the conclusion of the last teacher day, the demolition of the walls in the cafeteria and kitchen area will begin at Washington elementary. The relocation of utilities at Jefferson Elementary will take place. The grading for the new parking lot at Menominee will begin. The demolition of the stage area in the cafeteria at the high school will begin.

The next construction meeting will be next Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 9:00 a.m.

Blog Shorts

Last Friday evening the Plymouth Community School music department presented the Jazz Café. The Lincoln All Stars and the Plymouth High School Jazz Band both performed. One of the highlights of the evening was a musical number composed by PHS student, Ryan DeFord. Congratulations to Mrs. Wagner and the Plymouth Music Boosters for organizing this outstanding event.

On May 5th the Plymouth High School FFA held their end-of-the-year banquet. Several FFA members were honored for their awards earned during the year. New officers were installed. Congratulations to Mr. McCollough and the FFA officers for an outstanding program

Friday, May 13, 2005

Board Highlights

The Board of Trustees met last evening. In addition to approving minutes and claims, the Board employed Cathy Deardorf as the new Assistant Principal at Plymouth High School. Cathy is currently a science and career education teacher at Garrett High School in Garrett, Indiana. She has been in the education field for 9 years. Cathy has been a facilitator in the Garrett staff development program, served on Garrett High School’s school improvement team, and has been trained in using Baldrich Improvement Tools. She is married and has four children and looks forward to working with the staff at Plymouth High School.

Bruce Hite reviewed the work that the maintenance department will be doing this summer in addition to the construction that is underway.

The Board heard a report from Dave Miller, Ron Liechty and Brent Martin about outlining the technology initiative being developed in the Plymouth community.

Elementary textbook fees for the 2005-2006 school year were adopted.

The next school board meeting will be on May 26, 2005, at Plymouth High School.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Rights and Responsibilities

In government classes, students are taught about the relationship of rights and responsibilities. Students learn as they exercise their rights, they are responsible for their actions.

The delays in the construction of Option K facilities will cost the taxpayers an average of $356,287.12 a year for the next 16 years. This is .0413 on the current tax rate.

During the delay:
Construction costs rose from $19,916,375 to $24,367,707.
Soft costs decreased from $5,628,625 to $5,627,793.
The value of bonds sold increased from $25,545,000 to $29,995,000.
Interest rose from $14,646,971 to $15,896,565.
Total debt service increased from $40,190,971 to $45,891,565.

The total increased cost in dollars is $5,700,594. There is an additional cost of educating students in inappropriate facilities for the last two years.

We defend the right of individuals to question and delay the project. We hold them responsible for their actions which resulted in 14.46% increased costs.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

May 1 - May 7, Teacher Appreciation Week

We each have a teacher who provided special encouragement. This week, please take the time to let our teachers know how much you appreciate what they have done for you or your child. E-mail addresses are available on the school web-sites.

Our yearly Teacher Appreciation Dinner will be held Tuesday evening in the Menominee cafeteria. We will honor this year's retirees at approximately 4:45 PM.

Meet Our New Director of Nursing

The Board of Trustees has appointed Kelly Skirvin Director of Nursing for Plymouth Community School Corporation. Nurse Kelly will continue to provide nursing services at PHS. We salute you for your loyal service to the students of PCSC.

An Evening with Dr. Suellen Reed

PASS will host an evening with Dr. Sullen Reed, Superintendent of Public Instruction, May 10 at 7:00 PM in the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Education Center. Dr. Reed will update attendees on Department of Education initiatives and recent legislation. Make plans now to spend an evening with Dr. Reed.

Free Graduate Hours

How would you like to get 18 hours of free credit and pick up an ESL certification as well? If you are working on your masters, this program might help you with some of the expense. Indiana University is taking applications for the Interdisciplinary Collaborative Program (ICP) and The Tandem Certification of Indiana Teachers (TACIT) programs that, if accepted, would provide a savings for you of $4,374 at today’s tuition rates. If you are interested in this offer you might want to email Mary Gifford concerning the commitment. This is a great program and the offer is a win-win situation for our staff members and our students. The ICP grant expires in 2007 and the TACIT expires in 2009. Take advantage of the savings while you can!