After Indiana’s legislature voted to cover textbook/curriculum costs for students, schools are determining if their materials fit within that cost, and what fees families might pay, if any.

At the school board’s May 10 meeting, Centerville-Abington Community Schools’ building principals shared any Fall 2023 curriculum changes. Administrators are examining if what the state is providing — $151.80 per student — will cover expected costs.

For instance, families can’t be charged for laptops or software, but a printing fee might be allowed. CACS Superintendent Mike McCoy said more clarification is needed from the state about permissible fees before deciding if any are added. 

McCoy said that the “$150 looks really good for K-6, but for 7-12, it’s not even close,” so a lot of work is needed.

In one positive, Centerville Junior High’s seventh-grade costs will decrease because band director Jonathan Lucy doesn’t use a program favored by his predecessor, and students won’t need new laptop bags.

However, sophomore English will cost more. Barron’s SAT prep materials are being added with hopes of increasing PSAT and SAT scores.

CSHS Principal Tim Hollendonner said the graduation pathway using SAT scores is becoming increasingly difficult. Significant numbers of students from Centerville and around Indiana aren’t obtaining the minimum scores. However, he noted other attainable pathways, such as academic or technical honors diplomas or ASVAB military placement testing. 

In other business

The board voted to add a special-education teacher shared by the junior/senior high school to reduce class sizes. A request to add an aide recently was approved, but school officials have discovered greater need based on early student registration. The new aide will be shifted to the elementary.

Student handbook changes were approved, along with an addition from Rose Hamilton regarding consequences for children and parents if they reach the point of needing an attendance agreement. Principal Sam Pritchard said high tardies and/or absences could jeopardize transfer status.

Athletic director Shane Osting noted several upcoming changes. IHSAA will require eight practices rather than 10 before teams’ first contests. IHSAA also might vote in June to implement set enrollments that determine each school’s class. If approved, Centerville could return to 2A in Fall 2024.

In a 5-4 vote, Tri-Eastern Conference will allow athletes to participate in two sports in the same season if both coaches agree and the student follows expectations. 

Next year’s freshmen and sophomores will earn half as many points toward letter jackets for their first year of team management. To encourage as much participation in sports as possible, hardworking JV athletes shouldn’t receive fewer points than first-year managers, Osting said. 

CJH summer school likely moves to CSHS because of the cooling tower replacement.

CJH’s improvement committee discussed changing student resource times to help decrease class sizes, along with failing students and remediation.

Donations: After-prom committee, $200 for 2024 graduation expenses; Timothy and Elise Beatty, $100 for Class of 2026 prom/graduation.

Before the Tuesday, May 23, meeting (rescheduled from the previously planned May 24 date), the board tours each building May 17, listening to principals’ requests. 

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A version of this article appeared in the May 17 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.