Parental pupil 'props' please principal

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By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

Cannelton School Board approves disaster plan, insurance change

CANNELTON - Cannelton Principal Ginger Conrad was pleased, she said at a regular school-board meeting March 19, that bleachers in the city's community center were full of parents and students for the school corporation's annual Young Authors and Artists Fair March 13.

Another event coincided with last year's event, she told the board, and she was afraid it drew the sizeable crowd that turned out then. She feared this year's celebration of student creativity wouldn't have the same participation.

Samples of written, drawn, constructed and other artistic works were spread over tabletops for families and other community members to enjoy during the fair, at which awards were presented to students displaying top talents.

"Thanks to everyone for their support," Conrad said in her report to the board. "We had great attendance."

Among other goals, the annual event encourages the development of literary skills.

"We celebrate the continuous improvement seen in the writing process of our students," Conrad said.

Their scientific prowess will be demonstrated in a science fair scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 24, also in the community center.

Language-arts and math classes will be offered this summer, Conrad reported, and Title 1 preschool classes will offer 20 sessions. Dates for them will be announced in May. Parents had an opportunity during an annual Family Literacy Night March 18 at the William Bennett Early Learning Center to participate in an improvement survey for the school's Title 1 program, the principal reported. Teachers shared reading, writing and math strategies that can be used at home, and parenting tips were provided by a family-counseling service.

"Twenty-five parents attended," Conrad said. "That's the most we've ever had."

She also reported Holiday World recruitment for teen workers had begun at Cannelton High School, a pick-up and drop-off site for the amusement park's employee-transportation service.

In other business, the board approved a number of policies, including one that outlines security procedures for the corporation's computer files.

"This concerns a disaster plan," Schools Superintendent Al Chapman explained, "to be used if we lose software or data. We had a plan, but we didn't have it in policy form."

He also said he was working to change health-insurance carriers to the Illinois-based Pekin Insurance, a move he projected could save the corporation $80,000 to $150,000.

"I shop my personal insurance every year," board member Ed Bozarth said, adding that any corporation should certainly do so. The board approved a motion by Bozarth to approve Chapman's action, contingent on approval from teachers.

The superintendent said he'd already sought input from teachers on next year's academic calendar, and was looking for any concerns the board might have.

"I haven't heard anything from anyone," member Barbara Beard said.

"I've heard a lot of good things," Board President Christal Moskos added, "but the people who have to live with it should have the input."

Chapman initially suggested a revised calendar in mid-2006 with the main intent of giving students shorter summer vacations so they'll retain more information. They start earlier and finish their school years later than other Perry County students, but have longer breaks during each year.

The board also approved the employment of Michael Garrett as baseball coach. Heather Daum will continue coaching volleyball.

"I officiate, and she did a great job last year," Beard said. "I'm glad to see she's back."