Crothersville preparing for 2022-23 school year

CROTHERSVILLE — Crothersville Community School Corp. continues to be the first Jackson County district to begin a new school year.

Staff orientation and in-service will be Aug. 1, and students’ first day of the 2022-23 school year is Aug. 2.

In preparation for that, the board of education recently approved a variety of routine matters, including curricular materials fees, meal prices, handbooks, preschool costs and personnel recommendations.

The curricular materials fees vary by grade and may be paid during a registration event from noon to 8 p.m. July 21 in the school gymnasiums and also will be shared on social media and emailed to parents. For high school students, the fees include $66 for a Chromebook, and they will have additional charges depending on the classes they take.

Board President Linda Luedeman asked Superintendent Chrystal Street how the fees compare to last school year. She said they are up a little bit.

“We were able to take off math. They didn’t adopt math, but then they needed a workbook, which costs quite a bit of money because we’re no longer in that six-year cycle,” Street said. “Then the iPad, the cost of that was just a little bit more because the price that was given to me was a little bit greater, and then we divided it into five years instead of six, so that took it up just a little bit.”

As of now, Street said meals will come at a cost, but cafeteria staff members have been working really hard to see if they can get that changed. Just in case, she made a recommendation of approving prices set by the Indiana Department of Education’s food and community nutrition department and said the federal government is allowing the district to lower prices for the 2022-23 school year only.

The rates for students will be $1.95 for breakfast and $2.95 for lunch, and the meal prices for adults will be $2.95 for breakfast and $4.60 for lunch. Students eligible for reduced-price meals will pay 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch.

Crothersville Elementary School is an On My Way Pre-K provider, and kids who qualify for that program attend preschool for free. Street said there also are some students who don’t qualify based on the program’s formula, so their weekly rate will be $110, and if class is in session for less than three days in a week, the rate will be $22 per day.

A big plus for all Crothersville students is they can pick up free backpacks and school supplies while they last through The Helping Hearts initiative during the registration event July 21.

“We’re still doing a school supply collection and have gotten donations from people in the community, so we’re hoping that we’ll have enough school supplies to hand out to all of the kids that need it,” said board Vice President Tiffany Reynolds, who leads The Helping Hearts.

Donations may be dropped off at The Peoples Bank, Beauty from Ashes Tattoo Parlor, Crothersville Town Hall and Debra Schill CPA, all in Crothersville. Items needed include boxes of Kleenex, composition notebooks, pencil top erasers, Clorox wipes and colored pencils.

The Helping Hearts also is partnering with Jackson County United Way for a back-to-school block party from 5 to 8 p.m. July 22 at Bard Street Park. School supplies may be dropped off that night, too, and community resources will be available for parents and students. Plus, there will be music, games, door prizes and the Junkyard BBQ food truck.

“It’s just a way to get the community involved and get everybody together for a last hurrah before school starts,” Reynolds said. “Hopefully, the kids will like it.”

Board member John Riley expressed his appreciation to The Helping Hearts.

“I know you do that every year, back-to-school supplies, so that means a lot to a lot of people. I just want to appreciate you for all of your hard work and thank you,” he said to Reynolds.

“It’s a team effort. I’m just the cheerleader. I just get everybody excited,” she replied.

For personnel recommendations, the board approved one certified retirement, three certified hirings and four noncertified hirings and also reappointed coaches and class and club sponsors. Street said there are a few extracurricular vacancies, and she hopes some of the new hires will be interested in helping fill those.

Treasurers and the corporation attorney also were appointed. They are Terry Richey, corporation treasurer; Annette King, deputy treasurer, book rental treasurer and cafeteria treasurer; Ginger Fisher, elementary extracurricular treasurer; and Bose McKinney and Evans LLP, corporation attorney.

Also, Street suggested reducing the number of contracted days for the district’s two principals so they are more aligned with other principals in the county. The board approved reducing elementary Principal Whitney Reinhart’s contracted days from 240 to 210 and junior-senior high school Principal Doug Ballinger’s contracted days from 240 to 230.

Finally, Street recommended raises for the noncertified employees. Anyone already in place will see their hourly rate increase by 75 cents, and those starting in the new school year will be paid $11.50 per hour, which is a 25-cent increase from the previous starting rate.

“They certainly do a good job for us,” Luedeman said. “Good news for them.”

Street also announced Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Officer Mark Holt will be in the school building five days a week as a school resource officer in 2022-23.

“We’re super excited to have him,” she said.