Goshen News, Goshen, IN

October 22, 2012

Student population at 50 percent Amish

By DL PERRIN
THE GOSHEN NEWS

EMMA — Westview School Corp. was down only 10 students from last year, according to a report to the school board. Numbers also show the district is comprised of 50 percent Amish students throughout all the schools.

At Thursday night’s Westview Board of School Trustees meeting, the 2012-2013 student count was delivered by Michelle Grewe, the new curriculum director. Meadowview Elementary is at 385; Shipshewana Elementary at 400; Topeka Elementary at 388; Westview Elementary at 431; Westview Junior High at 417; and Westview Senior High 395. There are also six off-site educational cooperative students.

The district lost 10 students from 2011-2012. Of the total 2,422 students, the K-6 buildings have 2 percent students of Middle Eastern descent and 60 percent Amish, with an average of 50 percent Amish students throughout the entire school district, Grew reported.

New position

The board approved the creation of a new job title of “attendance officer.” The new job was created by the school administration to take some of the follow-up attendance and truancy work off of the desks of the building principals.

“This frees up our principals so they can focus on instructional issues with their teachers and staff,” said Dr. Randy Zimmerley, school superintendent. The program and the position is not totally new to the school, according to board member Jim Miller. Miller himself did the job for a few years, as did Jim Marks. Paul Johnston, former junior high principal will take on the responsibility. The position is for five hours a week for 180 days of the school term.

No boo

After the meeting, Rich Corey Westview’s senior high principal, said there would be no costumes allowed in school on Halloween Oct. 31. Corey said it is because he wants to be able to see all of the student’s faces. He said the traditional costume masks and face paint would prevent that observation. In the past students have dressed up for the day.



Lights

Among other bills, the board approved replacing the incandescent bulbs in the auditorium with a new LED system. The wattage will be reduced from 10,000 to 1,500 with no heat emission. The project is designed to pay for itself at the end of three years. Parts of the auditorium upgrades will be paid for out of leftover funds from a stimulus package used to re-roof the  junior/senior high last year.

The board voted to adopt the advertised budget for the 2012-2013 school year pending final approval by the Department of Local Government Finance. This year, the budget includes a 1 percent to 2 percent raise for teachers, administrative and classified workers in the system. In the past, the district has had to cut staff, cut pay and enact a payroll freeze.