NEW BREMEN – The summer break before the 2019-20 school year will be shorter by one week, following a decision by the New Bremen Board of Education at its regular Wednesday meeting.
It was decided teachers would report in on Aug. 8, 2019, and students begin classes on Aug.14 and end on May 11, 2020. Graduation will be May 10 and the staff’s last day is May 13. This one-time adjustment in the 2019-20 schedule allows adequate time for construction of the connector between the new $20 million elementary school and the current high school. The new construction is expected to open in August 2020. Christmas break will be a full two weeks.
Stacy Overly, of Public Finance Resources Inc., reported to the board that their latest five-year forecast, saying he saw a significant improvement. Superintendent Jason Schrader said one year ago, it appeared the school district might have to go to the public for a new levy. The district decided to hire the outside agency to do an in-depth assessment of the school’s finances. Schrader said since then, through cost-cutting and new sources of income, their fifth year income looked to be just under $3 million and there were no plans now for a levy.
K-6 elementary school Principal Diane Kramer reported on Monday they had received the results their Third-Grade State Reading Test which was administered in October. She said the over passage rate was 73 percent with 90 percent meeting the requirements of the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee. She said these scores were improved from last year, at 64/88 percent.
Kramer also said the senior class pictures had been taken down from the old elementary and are being scanned at Lange Photographics. She said the pictures would be re-framed and displayed in the school complex. Schrader said the class group pictures numbered almost 85 and dated back to around 1910.
Grade 7 to 12 Principal Marcus Overman said congratulations to the following students for being inducted into the NHS this year: Kira Bertke, Nolan Bornhorst, Grant Brautigam, Brooke Dicke, Jessica Fledderjohann, Ian Frey, Ashton Heitkamp, Jenna Heitkamp, William Kaiser, Hannah Kramer, Sarah Parker, Sydney Paul, Taylor Paul, Macy Puthoff, Ashton Ritter, Riley Schieb, Cassandra Stachler, Logan Suchland, Aaron Vonderhaar, Patrick Wells, Brianna Wideman, Alli Wilker and Julie Wilker.
Overman also said he had spoken with several principals in the area about graduation guest speakers. The subject had been considered by the Board at the November meeting. Overman said the only schools who invite guest speakers to speak at graduation are New Knoxville and St. Marys. Both said their guest speakers are distinguished alumni who come back to provide a 5-10 minute speech. Marion Local, Coldwater, St. Henry and Celina do not have guest speakers.
Schrader said he and Brian Puthoff, Technology Coordinator, and Kramer were canvassing what to keep or sell of the current elementary/middle school building inventory. There is a tentative date of June 13, 2020, to hold the auction.
Under consent agenda items, the board approved several items put forth by the school treasurer. Among them were several donations. Dianne Komminski donated $1,619.32 for two new computers to be used for the Elementary Lego League. Also approved were donations of $5,000 each from First National Bank and Western True Value Hardware for new high school scorer’s tables.
Approved was the General Fund payments of $92,897.65 and Lunch Room payments of $10,290.76.
With the new year it is necessary to select a new board president. The Bboard decided they would meet on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. for their organizational meeting. Cory Suchland will serve as president pro-tem until a new president is elected.
In related action, the board decided to keep their compensation at $40 per meeting. This amount was first set in December 1997.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.