The Triton School Board approved a long list of items during its meeting Monday.
Among other items, the board approved the resignation of Robert Ross, Triton Jr./Sr. High School principal. Ross was not able to be at the meeting, but it was noted that he will be relocating to the Indianapolis area to be near family. He will complete the current school year as stipulated by his contract.
Superintendent Jeremy Riffle said they will now post the principal opening on employment sites and accept applications until March 6. The board is expected to hear recommendations on the candidates being considered at the April 13 meeting. Riffle explained the need for each item that was on the request list.
Other items approved included: the extension of fiber between the buildings; a wireless connection with to the bus garage; purchase of a scrubber; purchase of a vacuum; wrestling club; the use of a Triton activity bus for a service project Feb. 22 by the Marshall County Youth Leadership; and the elementary reading series adoption.
Additional approval was given for the following: Triton buses transporting summer camp students for NMC to Ohio in July, 2020; and the summer school program. Riffle said they would be getting some new equipment for both the elementary and high school cafeterias. Riffle noted that the elementary school is now 25 years old. He said, “We want to arm the cafeteria staff with what they need to be successful.”
Approval also was given for the 2020-21 school year calendar. Riffle said the new calendar is very similar to the current one in use; however, there were adjustments made to allow for eLearning Days.
The bleachers at the Jr./Sr. High School were installed some 50 years ago. Riffle said they need to bring the bleachers up to meet ADA compliance. He added that there were some very high steps in the upper level bleachers and that there is no handrail and that changes would be made to allow use for all visitors.
According to Riffle, a part of their continuous improvement is a concentration on having the staff participate in a water challenge. He indicated that the challenge would also be a partnership with an organization that constructs water wells in the Central African Republic.
Riffle again informed the board and the audience members that March 13 is the deadline for submitting proposals for the use of the old gym.
The Bourbon Town Council had proposed adding a youth representative from the school. Although the representative would be a non-voting member, the student selected could offer information that would be of interest to the town and the schools as well. Riffle said they had eight students who had indicated interest, and from the eight four completed the application process. The students selected must reside within the Bourbon Town to be eligible.
The next step in the selection process will be interviews followed by voting from the teaching staff. Both a senior and a junior will be selected so that there will be continuity.
Triton Jr./Sr. High School will be one of several schools in northern Indiana installing vape smoking detectors. Triton purchased 12 detectors. According to Riffle, a total of 80 detectors were purchased through the Northern Indiana Service Center by schools in both Marshall and Starke Counties. The cost of each unit is $1,200.
Riffle said, “We are not going to continue to sit back and see what happens.” The detectors will be installed throughout the building, including restrooms. If a vape pen is found, it will be turned over to the security officers who are assigned by the town to the schools. Riffle said violations would be handled per the handbook by the school staff. Students who violate the “no vape policy” will have to attend a mandatory court appearance and could be fined $125.
Student Caitlyn Ihnen was at the meeting. She is a member of the Senior Squad at the Jr./Sr. High School. After the meeting, she said, “We have talked about ways to help with the opiate crisis and we were in favor of having the new detectors.”
Riffle said they have now met with prosecutors from both Marshall and Kosciusko counties concerning how violations captured by the use of stop arm cameras on the buses will be handled. Triton School Corp. serve students from both counties. Riffle said they wanted to align the procedures for both counties.