By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald
Barr-Reeve administrators reported Tuesday everything is in place for the May special referendum vote.
During Tuesday¹s Barr-Reeve School Board meeting, Superintendent Travis Madison said the Daviess County Election Board was ready for the May 7 referendum.
Madison said the board has signatures from a petition passed around by concerned community members last week which allows for the election process.
"We are still moving in the process," Madison said.
If passed, the referendum would create an additional tax for homeowners in Barr and Reeve townships not to exceed 35 cents for every $100 of assessed value. The referendum fund would last for seven years.
Starting March 23, absentee ballots will be sent out to voters who request them. Madison said registered voters can start requesting the ballots now by calling the county clerk¹s office at 254-8679.
The last chance to register to vote for the election is April 8. Madison said if voters have wrong addresses on their voter ID, they should change them with the clerk¹s office to make sure their vote is counted. The cost of the election is being incurred by the school and not county taxpayers.
"There were some signatures on the petition that were thrown out by the board because of addresses," Madison said.
Instead of a month for early voting, Madison said early voting will be two weeks in the clerk's office. Early voting begins on April 22 through May 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Voting will also take place on May 4 and May 6 from 8 a.m. to noon.
On the May 7 election day, voting will take place at the Montgomery, Cannelburg and Alfordsville fire stations from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The boxes will be taken to the clerk¹s office for counting.
Madison plans to get the message out a few more times before the election.
"My hope is to be on the radio two or three times next week to talk about the vote," Madison said.
The school is also setting up smaller forums in the three voting precincts as another opportunity for residents to ask questions.
The board voted to hire Josh Schultheis to fill the vacancy of English teacher next year. Schultheis, the son of former Washington Catholic and Jasper basketball coach Ken Schultheis, is currently finishing his undergraduate work at Indiana University and is student teaching at Barr-Reeve.
Schultheis takes over for the retiring Melodie Daily.
In other personnel news, Michelle Davis was named junior high assistant softball coach, Mike DeCoursey named driver's education instructor and Amber DeCoursey as summer physical education teacher.
Madison said summer PE, which took a hiatus last year, is now fully reimbursable by the state.
Starting with this year¹s eighth-grade class, students will only receive half credit for physical education if they play sports.
The other half credit must be in the classroom, per state mandates.
The board had its first reading of school handbooks. Madison said there is no significant changes at the elementary level, but there will be a change for honor roll at the high school.
High School Principal Jeff Doyle the current system of multiple honor rolls is confusing for parents and teachers and will be scrapped. In its place will be a simple system of high honors and honors. Weighted classes will not be used in calculating honors.
"It's just a way we can recognize those students who do well," Doyle said. "It does not affect how we choose for valedictorian and salutatorian." The handbooks will be voted on at the next meeting.
Madison informed board members that cameras and door security for all three buildings will be operational on Monday.
Due to recent emphasis on school safety following the Newtown shooting, all visitors to the school will have to be buzzed in by school staff during school hours. Madison also said cameras have been placed to cover every angle of the buildings.
Another measure of protection is cameras placed in the high school parking lot. Madison said the Daviess County Sheriff¹s Department will have access to a live feed of the cameras.
A letter is to be sent home to parents.
Outstanding school board award
For the 15th consecutive year, the board was named an outstanding school board by the Indiana School Board Association.
The group gives out the awards to boards that attend continued training and development seminars.
Although not discussed during the regular meeting, the board held an executive session to discuss who will replace Linda Parsons as elementary school principal.
School officials released an agenda for a meeting this coming Tuesday soon after the session. In the agenda will be a recommendation on the new principal. That meeting is set for 8:30 p.m.