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Southwestern to check visitors against sex offender registry
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:00 AM
Safety measures implemented at Southwestern Elementary School are making their way to Southwestern Middle and High School.
Safety specialist and elementary school principal Jason Watson said the new sign-in system at the elementary school, where a visitor's drivers license is scanned into a server and checked against a national sex offender registry, is ready to be moved to the school district's other building.
The system will be implemented Nov. 6.
"At that point, wherever you go, you'll still go through the same procedures," Watson said.
Watson also said the school district will know on Nov. 1 if it was awarded a matching state grant that will allow the district to hire a school resource officer.
Also at the meeting, treasurer Laura Boldery announced the school's enrollment numbers for the year.
While enrollment has gone up by 21 students, funding will go down because the largest class of students enrolled - Southwestern's kindergarten class - is counted at half the enrollment by the state.
"Last year, kindergarten enrollment was 80 students. This year, kindergarten enrollment is 127 total," Boldery said. "But we're only allowed to claim half of that."
So, while school enrollment is technically at 1,325 students for the year, the state is paying the school for 1261.5 students in 2013, down from 1264 in 2012.
That means $15,565 less income from the state. Boldery said the school's full-day kindergarten grant would still cover the loss of income.
"We're one of the very, very lucky schools around the state of Indiana that have increased or maintained enrollment," Boldery said.
Southwestern has 92 first-graders, 98 second-graders, 100 third-graders, 112 fourth-graders, 106 fifth-graders, 88 sixth-graders, 106 seventh-graders, 95 eighth-graders, 99 freshmen, 98 sophomores, 102 juniors and 102 seniors enrolled.
In other business, the school board unanimously approved school corporation involvement as a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit, along with Madison Consolidated Schools and 12 other public school districts in Indiana, against the IRS over rules imposed to implement the federal health care overhaul.
Superintendent Steve Telfer said he questioned the fairness of the law, because he said it forced the school to reduce the working hours of part-time employees.
"I feel this is not a health care issue, but a budget issue forced on the public schools in the state of Indiana. I am following the advice of our legal counsel in making this move.
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