INDIANA: School directors approve incentives for administrators
March 13, 2013 10:50 AM
by CHAUNCEY ROSS

The Indiana Area School District board of directors has put in place something of an incentive plan to compensate administrators for achieving various goals for measured academic improvement and operating efficiency.

A bonus program approved at the board meeting on Monday for the administrators under Act 93 compensation guidelines would provide payments ranging from $250 to $1,000 to principals; assistant principals; coordinators of curriculum, special programs and technology; and the data processing supervisor.

Bonuses would be awarded based on schools meeting Adequate Yearly Pro-gress goals through standardized testing and for completing various academic and operational plans.

The agreement for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years was approved on a vote of 8 to 1. Board President Thomas Harley, Vice President Walter Schroth and members Alison Billon, Hilliary Creely, David Ferguson, Robert Gongaware, Brian Petersen and Robert Werner were in favor; director Diana Paccapaniccia voted no.

In other business, the board:

Designated the superintendent, six building principals, two assistant principals, and administrators of the district’s alternative education program under Adelphoi as badge-carrying truancy officers, authorizing them to issue citations for violations of attendance and tobacco-use laws.

Approved a change in specifications for the districtwide energy efficiency project, to delete proposed improvements in the heating and air conditioning system serving the administration wing at East Pike Elementary School.

The school district will save about $150,000.

Approved the proposed general operating budget for the Armstrong-Indiana Intermediate Unit for 2013-14 for $2.9 million. The district’s share of the budget would be $150,447, an increase of $1,490 over the current budget.

Authorized the administration to increase the grade-points for students completing ninth-grade English Honors, at 4.25 for an A, 3.25 for a B and so forth.

Board member Walter Schroth opposed the change, and said the students simply should be awarded more credit for passing the course but at regular grade values of 4, 3 and so forth.

Approved two educational field trips. About 39 junior high English Festival students and four adults will travel May 3 to Washington, D.C., to study American history at a cost of $1,900 for transportation and $180 for substitute teachers.

Approximately 205 sixth-grade students and 55 adults also will travel to the nation’s capital to study American History on May 16 at a cost of $13,000 for transportation.

Authorized the administration to apply for a grant to pay for playground equipment for Dwight Eisenhower Elementary School and to pay for installation estimated at $6,000.

Approved the purchase of new mathematics textbooks and support materials at a total cost of $297,000, tentatively to be paid in installments of $160,000 in the 2013-14 budget and the remainder in 2014-15.

Approved an application to participate in an amateur radio broadcast that would enable students to communicate, although briefly, with astronauts aboard the international space station.

The space station crew holds public question-and-answer sessions in prearranged broadcasts lasting about 10 minutes while the station’s orbit takes it within range of ground ham stations.

Acting Superintendent Dale Kirsch said the district was alerted to the program because of the ongoing application to host a Challenger Learning Center in the county.

Reached a stalemate on a motion to appoint the district’s representative to the ARIN IU board of directors. Current delegate David Ferguson declined to be nominated for another term; no other board member indicated a willingness to serve.

Took no action on a motion to not purchase new uniforms for the marching band.

Board member Robert Gongaware presented the motion on recommendation of the finance committee.

The panel suggested waiting another year to think about new band uniforms; no one commented on the motion, and it died for lack of a second.

In June, the academic committee recommended buying new uniforms for the 2013-14 school year at an estimated cost of $100,000, but the full board vote no. The district last bought new band uniforms in 2002, at a cost of just less than $83,000 for 215 outfits to replace uniforms that were 10 years old.

Those uniforms, handed down to the junior high band, have been worn for 21 school years.

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