After adding an addition to Centerville-Abington Elementary, it was just a formality for Centerville-Abington Community Schools’ board to close the aging Annex at its June 14 meeting.
CACS’ board had voted on Sept. 10, 2019, not to make improvements to the Annex where its oldest elementary students were being taught.
Appreciating the 102-year-old historic structure, board members had first explored renovations, but after learning the costs for repairs and meeting safety codes, members chose to add classrooms onto CAE across the street.
However, the district’s newer administrators recently reviewed those 2019 minutes and realized they didn’t state that the board officially voted to close the annex.
The Annex has been deemed unsafe by the Town of Centerville.
Now that the unanimous vote has been recorded, Superintendent Mike McCoy will send paperwork to Indiana Department of Education for review before the Annex can be demolished.
Last week’s tests confirmed that asbestos was present and must be removed before demolition. McCoy said the asbestos was contained and didn’t affect the district’s ability to teach kids in that building.
Progress also is being made on five summer building projects (transportation garage, installation of metal panels in addition and window replacement at CAE, junior high cooling tower and high school cafeteria freezer).
In other business
- Heard an update from McCoy about the state’s plans to cover textbook costs for students, even though CACS material costs exceed the state’s allocation for some upper grades. He heard from lawyers that CACS could charge families very little, if any, curriculum fees beyond what the state is reimbursing.
McCoy will present a report at the board’s next meeting outlining the district’s true curriculum fees, even though it can’t charge them, because they must be shared with the state. He said CACS will need to look at its policies and whether it could spend rainy day funds for the gap between expenses and reimbursement.
“It’s going to be tough to get it all figured out and paid for, but we’ll get there,” McCoy said.
- Approved a memorandum of understanding with Meridian Health Services. Meridian will provide a full-time employee who will visit the district’s schools to help students address mental health concerns at no charge to CACS.
A similar arrangement with Centerstone is in progress as well.
Board member Renee Westover said about 1,000 children in Wayne County need mental health services.
- Continued previous agreements with FCS Data Services (Doug Ford) and DeMao Solutions (Vicki DeMao).
- Discussed the need to update policies regarding plagiarism considering new artificial intelligence programs that students could use to create work.
The board approved nearly all personnel updates from the June 14 and May 23 meetings 5-0, but two high school coaching positions were pulled out for separate votes without further discussion.
Votes for Brian Keiser as head basketball coach and boys basketball volunteer Tiffani Thornburg were approved 4-1, with Andy Wandersee opposed.
- New hire: Lindsey Day, seventh grade science teacher; Rae Turner, special education teacher; Jennifer Morgan, summer school assistant (Rose Hamilton); Ashley Hamilton, CSHS summer custodian; hires for Ready, Set, Go! program: Debbie Cox, preschool teacher; Stephon Bolden and Sena Martin, aides
- Pending hire: Emily Sherrow, high school English teacher; Mary Lainhart, special education aide for junior high
- Resignations: Tyler Groff, high school English teacher; Laurie Shadle, seventh grade science teacher; Hannah Coyle, special education assistant; Kayla Smith and Ashley Woods, kindergarten assistants; Shannon Nevels, junior high drama club; Joanna King, summer school teacher aide
- Transfer: Kailey Abner, from kindergarten to first grade; Jessica Anderson, from first grade to kindergarten
- Volunteer: Tara Bohn, principal internship
- Summer hires: custodians Tina Hicks, Amanda Miller, Demi Howell, Sarah Chasteen, Jakob Holliday, Bobbi Boatman; bus cleaners, Kay Adams, Sheri Lucas; paint crew, Brady Day, Elijah Phillips, Oshea Phillips, Elizabeth Nevels; bus drivers, John Kuster, Paul Robbins, Greg Newton, Sally Deatline
A version of this article appeared in the June 21 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.