Valley School Board Reviews Budget; Accepts Grants

(Photo supplied / Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation)

Tippecanoe Valley School Board held a hearing for their 2021 school budget Monday.

The proposed 2021 budget is $25564063. The debt service fund is $2,896,574. The education fund is $13,360,767. The operations fund is $9,306,722.

There were no major changes from the 2020 budget, said Jessica McFarland, corporation treasurer. There were no public comments.

The school board will adopt the budget during its Oct. 12 meeting at Mentone Elementary.

The school board also approved several grants and donations at the meeting.

There were three grants that were approved that combined to $435,500, said Lori Tilden-Geiger, director of marketing, public relations and grants. They are all competitive grants and “we’re all very proud of them.”

The largest grant approved was a $304,000 Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) grant.

The GEER fund was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and allows the governor to provide support to local education agencies with a focus on developing and improving the availability of distance and remote learning strategies and technologies, according to information provided by school administrators.

This grant program was a needs-based and competitive grant to support the challenges associated with distance and remote learning focusing on three areas which included device access, internet connectivity, and educator training/professional development. The grant selection team received and evaluated 257 grant applications. There were 184 school corporations (K-12) and 12 postsecondary institutions selected in the competitive process with all grant awards totaling $61,256,063.67.

The first grant is a $100,000 grant for the Secured School Safety Grant Program the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

Tilden-Geiger said $30,000 of the money will go toward a professional school threat assessment for all school buildings that house students through Safe Havens International. This will begin in the winter. The other $70,000 will be spent on updated equipment and technology.

Also approved was a $35,500 Digital Learning Capacity Building Grant from the Indiana Department of Education, according to the information provided by Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation.

The grant is geared to help school corporations in eLearning.

“TVSC sent out an informal survey to teachers before applying for this grant and over 15% of teachers showed interest in this opportunity leading TVSC to apply for the maximum amount of $35,500. Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation will partner with BloomBoard. BloomBoard, founded in 2010, brings technology and implementation expertise to support schools and districts delivering competency-based learning via micro-credentials. BloomBoard, through expert trainers, will prepare teachers to meet our students’ unique needs or student-centered whether in-person or remote learning,” according to documentation provided by the school corporation.

Several donations were also approved.

One was $591 for STEM kits for collaborative learning experiences that the middle school can use in science.

Another donation was $334 to purchased two drones that the middle school can use for hands on teaching in science.

The Mentone Alumni donated $250 to Mentone Elementary’s student activities fund.  The money will be used for student supplies and the school’s student of the month fund.

The Akron Las Donas Club donated $200 to help the nurses at Akron Elementary, Tippecanoe Valley Middle School and Tippecanoe Valley High School with items they may need: extra clothing, lice kits, etc. Each building will receive a $200 check.