The Barr-Reeve School Board and Superintendent Dr. Brian Harmon continued to find ways to help stem the tide of state-mandated budget shortfalls facing the perennial “Best Buy” school system Monday at the monthly school board meeting. Harmon received approval to transfer $100,000 from the debt services budget and $50,000 from the transportation budget into the Rainy Day Fund. “We were lucky enough to have a little money remaining in those funds so we were able to transfer those funds to help with general expenditures,” said Harmon. “Now, granted, $150,000 is a long way from the $400,000 shortfall that we face, but it is a start and it helps.” Harmon was also pleased to report that they did not have to transfer money from the general fund into the cafeteria account. “I want to publicly thank Joyce Graber and Teresa Knepp for the great job they have done managing the cafeteria,” added Harmon. He pointed out to the board how the addition of the a la carte line along with the closed campus at lunch and good management, has provide additional revenue streams. “They have made some big strides to make the cafeteria self-sufficient. Because it is a separate fund, if it doesn’t make it, then it has to be supported by the general fund, which is already having difficulty,” added Harmon. Harmon also reported that he had an extended meeting last week with state Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett and felt that the meeting went well. “I believe that anytime we can get someone in Indianapolis to listen to the concerns of smaller schools, it is a good thing,” added Harmon. He also invited Bennett to visit Barr-Reeve in the fall. Barr-Reeve will switch from Global Connect, a service that allows B-R administration and coaches to contact parents, students and patrons through automated voice mails, to School Reach. The cost is very similar between the two companies, but School Reach will seamlessly integrate with the school’s Harmony e-mail program. He also explained how it can be used in conjunction with the school’s cafeteria lunch-balance e-mail program, allowing parents to receive a friendly phone call when their child’s lunch balance drops below a specified level. In other business Textbook rental prices The board also adopted textbook rental fees for the elementary school for the upcoming school year. They ranged from a high of $130.55 for first grade to a low of $80.55 for fourth grade, although the average was about $90 for the other grades. Athletic policy decision Three patrons, Stacey Hornaday, Angela Doyle and Shirley Gerkin voiced their concerns that varsity cheerleaders would not be receiving basketball state runner-up rings. It was explained that the Athletic Department policy was that cheerleaders would be allowed to order plaques, but not rings. However, the initial order forms the cheerleaders received did not make that distinction clear enough. The board supported the administration’s decision involving the ring-purchase policy, but felt the initial miscommunication was regrettable. Coaches approved The board approved the entire slate of coaches presented for the upcoming school year: Varsity volleyball — Amber DeCoursey; JV volleyball — Holly Kirk; high school volunteers — Mike James, Gloria Wirtz, Dana Jones and Keri Boyd; eighth-grade coach — Abby Knepp, seventh-grade coach — Danielle Knepp; junior high volunteers — Amber Rademacher and Shanelle Burch. Boys tennis will be coached by Aaron Ash, with Eric Yoder as JV coach. In cross country, JayR Perkins will be back as the boys varsity coach, Bret Graber will be the girls varsity coach, while Susie Graber will be the junior high coach and Kevin Heller will be a junior high volunteer. The boys junior high tennis and varsity assistant position in volleyball still remain unfilled. 401(a) change Harmon reported that the seven school corporations that make up the core of Barr-Reeve’s 401(a) program are looking into changing the administrator of the 401(a)and VEBA program. They are looking at moving from Metlife to AUL before July 1, pending some final fee adjustments. The board gave tenitive approval pending the final adjustments.

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