Wawasee Textbook and Lunch Price Increase

Students at Wawasee Community Schools will pay a little bit more next year for textbooks and school lunches.
The board of trustees voted Tuesday evening on financial officer Jim Evans’ recommendation to increase prices to meet state and federal requirements. He said schools that participate in the national lunch program are required to raise their lunch prices to meet the program’s reimbursement rate.
Elementary students will pay $170; middle and high school students, $1.90; and adults, $2.75.
Text book rental for kindergarten students, who now go full time, will rise from $87.65 to $100.40; first grade, from $93.60 to $100.40; second grade, from $104.95 to $105.50; third grade, from $103.25 to $104.50; fourth grade, from $107.40 to $107.95; and fifth grade, from $103.50 to $103.90. Grades six through 12th textbook rental fees are based on each student’s class schedule.
Principals at the three corporation elementary schools are looking for next year’s kindergarten students. North Webster saw an  unexpected increase of 24 students after school began last year, and administrators are hoping to avoid a surprise this year.
Principals have already been out in the community handing out flyers. Cindy Kaiser, Milford School, walked in the recent Milford Days Parade spreading the word about kindergarten registration. North Webster’s Principal Kris Woodard will be at the Mermaid Festival’s Kiddie Parade with information on registration.
Syracuse Elementary Principal Eric Speicher told the board that a new program for youngsters who have not had pre-kindergarten experience is underway at the school. The program lasts 3-1/2 weeks and will prepare them for school.
Kari Vilamaa and Brian Bohlender, architects at Barton Coe Vilamaa, Fort Wayne, presented the latest plans for the new Syracuse Elementary School. Based on Eel River School, Fort Wayne, the building has six wings which will house classrooms for each grade. There is a central area for administration offices, a media center and multipurpose room. Extending out from that area are the music and art room, cafeteria and gymnasium.
Bohlender also displayed an aerial sketch of the building with parking areas and driving patterns. 
The firm will soon be seeking bids for construction.
First, though, board President  Rebecca Linnemeier opened the meeting to a public hearing on the project. The board approved five resolutions connected to this project – consideration of patron petition resolution, re-approving the building corporation, authorizing execution of lease and sale of real estate, approving refunding and bond documents and post-issuance compliance procedures. Hearing no comment from the public, the hearing was closed.
The board also approved a statement of work from GS-Technology, which will be working alongside the architects on some of the infrastructure of the new school.
In other business, the board:
• Congratulated students on the Wawasee Middle School robotics team, which placed fifth at state competition, and the high school’s academic superbowl science and social studies teams, which both placed third at state.
• Accepted an $8,000 Dekko Foundation Grant to be used in the music departments at all three elementary schools.
• Hired the following teachers for summer school: Cindy Brady, Amanda Knipper, Bill Lantz, Molly Hunter and Jared Knipper, all at Syracuse; Brigette Lindeman, Deanna Cunningham, Laurie Fredericks and Jodi Sautter, all at North Webster; Danielle Hartzell, Jennifer Acton, Shari Davis, Mickey Speicher, Cherie Sweatland, Jaimi Andrew and Heidi Schock, all at Milford; and Cheyenne Blanchard and Jeff Phillips, WHS.
• Hired teachers for the school year: Wendel Landes, WHS biology; Cheyenne Blanchard, WHS functional skills; Emily Worrell, Milford fourth grade; and Lora Bieghler, WMS sixth grade language arts.
• Hired the following paraprofessionals: Grace Hoover, Syracuse; Jenifer Foy and Anita Kuhn, North Webster; Ashley Miller, Christy Lawrence and Angela Plummer, WHS; Andrew Hepler, Syracuse. Hepler will also be WMS aquatics paraprofessional.
• Accepted the retirement request of Lester Wright as Milford custodian.
• Accepted resignations from support services staff Kace Denton, Anthony Upchurch, Kierstyn Jones and Lisa Rhodes.
• Accepted resignations from teachers Michaela Roth, Gina Bordones, Danielle Dabler and Alison Weldy.
• Terminated Jamie Meek as Kuno technician at WHS and Julie Moore as special education paraprofessional at Milford.

(Story by the Times Union)