NJ-SP School News

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North Judson-San Pierre Board Reviews Project List at Sparsely Attended Meeting

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on April 26, 2017
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board will decide between now and a June hearing on the issuance of bonds to finance capital projects how to proceed with the estimated $5.5 million in updates to the three buildings.

A scant few people attended last night’s public meeting to further explain the proposed scope of work and how it would be funded. Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin notes the estimate of $5.5 million is preliminary, as the corporation has yet to receive bids for any of the work. She adds the work will not affect property taxes, as it can be done within the corporation’s existing debt service. Zupin also stresses no decisions have been made and says additional public input is welcome.

N.J.-S.P. Project Executive Bill Payne from Fanning-Howey Architects says minimum improvements are being made at the elementary school building since its future is uncertain at this time. Proposed projects there include sidewalk repairs and greater security at the building’s entrance. Those projects carry an estimated cost of just under $92,000.

Classes are not meeting in the middle school building at this time, but the corporation is still looking at projects there to prepare it for any necessary future use. They include increasing security at the entrance, replacing the restroom partitions, cleaning the ductwork if necessary, replacing the boiler and possibly upgrading the temperature control system. Payne notes the latter two will result in energy savings for the corporation.

The most extensive work is planned at the high school, which is where 7th through 12th grade classes are currently taking place. Roof repairs, tuckpointing of exterior brick, restroom partitions, new carpet, modernizing the main staircase to comply with current building codes and a new welding hood are all on the list.

So are duct cleaning, if necessary, along with temperature control and HVAC updates, a new backup generator, motion detector lighting, upgrades from fluorescent to LED lighting systems and a replacement water heater.

The interior project list also includes $345,000 worth of optional updates to the swimming pool.

Several exterior projects are also planned on the N.J.-S.P. campus. They include additional sidewalk repairs, a new pressbox and dugouts for the baseball and softball fields, a new roof for the football locker room and the optional replacement of tennis courts.

Eliminating the optional projects from the scope of work would save the corporation about $1 million. However, Payne notes repurposing the swimming pool area will cost between $650 and $850,000.

The board can pay off the bonds for the work in seven years and still have some borrowing capacity should another need arise. However, no decisions on how to proceed have been made at this time.

Township Officials Seeking Applicants for North Judson-San Pierre Board Seat

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated ]

Posted on April 26, 2017
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

Applications for the appointed Railroad Township seat on the North Judson-San Pierre School Board are now being accepted. Prospective candidates must live within the appropriate school corporation boundaries, which include Railroad Township in Starke County and part of Cass Township in Pulaski County.

All interested parties should send a letter of interest, including reasons why they are interested in the position, as well as a resume to:

The Office of the Railroad Township Trustee
Attn: Mandy Thomason
9080 West San Pierre Rd.
San Pierre, IN 46374
railroadtownshiptrustee@aol.com

Applications are due May 17, 2017. Interviews for the position will take place June 13, 2017 at 5 p.m. N.J.-S.P. School Board President Pat Goin is the current Railroad Township representative.

N.J.-S.P. Board Approves Handbook Updates for Junior/Senior High

posted Apr 22, 2017, 8:48 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on April 22, 2017
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

Changes to the North Judson-San Pierre Junior/Senior High School Handbook approved this week by the school board reflect both the consolidation of two buildings into one and the changing times. Principal Jim Polite says next year students will no longer be able to bring backpacks or book bags into classrooms. He says the practice raises safety concerns but it’s been a necessity at N.J.-S.P. because the lockers are too small to hold books and bags and are in bad shape overall. Earlier this year the board approved the purchase of new lockers, which will be installed this summer.

Polite says another policy change addresses an issue that has arisen since middle school students were moved into the high school building. He says they are interacting too much with high school students during passing periods. That will be prohibited in the new handbook.

Another change tweaks the policy for cell phone use in the classroom. Polite says it’s currently at the discretion of individual teachers. The new language will require there to be a valid academic reason for a student to use a cell phone in class.

Additional handbook changes expand the academic integrity section to address copied work and work not done entirely by the student in addition to plagiarism, restrict elevator use to students with a given health concern who are issued a pass and state that students with poor attendance and who are not passing their classes may not be eligible to attend field trips.

The school board approved the policy changes unanimously. Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin says new elementary school principal Julie Berndt will review the handbook and offer recommended changes after she begins her job.

N.J.-S.P. Adds Additional Math and English Instructional Time

posted Apr 21, 2017, 8:26 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Apr 21, 2017, 8:28 AM ]

Posted on April 21, 2017
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation is taking significant steps to raise standardized test scores for 7th and 8th grade students. Junior/Senior High School Principal Jim Polite told the school board Tuesday they will expand math and English/language arts offerings during the school day.

Classes will meet for a period and a half each, which amounts to roughly 75 minutes per day of math and of English/language arts instruction.

Polite says N.J.-S.P. students are capable of learning, but they need some extra time to absorb the subject matter. He hopes catching them when they start junior high will close the achievement gap quickly. Additionally Polite says there’s more scheduling flexibility in the younger grades. The state requires high school students to have a certain number of credits in order to gradate. Polite says focusing on students in the middle grades will help them obtain the tools necessary to be successful in high school.

He adds classes will be smaller, as students will be grouped based on their achievement level. “High level” students are ones with demonstrated ability in one or both subjects, while “mid-level” are performing at their grade average. Students who are struggling and may need some extra help will be in a class that’s team taught by a general teacher and one accredited in special education.

Polite says students will still take agriculture, health and physical education, band and choir classes in junior high. The only class that’s being dropped is art for 8th grade students.

Public Input Sought on N.J.-S.P. Capital Improvement Recommendations

posted Apr 20, 2017, 8:36 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Apr 20, 2017, 8:37 AM ]

Posted on April 20, 2017
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board wants input from the public before moving forward with proposed capital improvement projects. They’ve scheduled a public meeting Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at the high school auditorium to give community members a chance to weigh in on the list. It includes almost $92,000 worth of improvements at the elementary school and $4.7 million at the junior/senior high school building.

CPA Pooja Shrestha from Umbaugh and Associates says the work can be done without a tax increase and without taking away money from teacher salaries or student programs.

“This is not coming out of the existing general fund or anything,” she explained. “We are assuming that the school corporation will be issuing property tax-supported bonds.” They will be repaid with money from the corporation’s existing debt service fund, so a tax increase will not be necessary.

The debt service fund can only be used for bond-financed projects like renovations, repairs and additions. The bond on the auditorium project will be retired soon, which will free up enough money to pay the work off in seven years and maintain some borrowing capacity should another need arise.

Community members in attendance at Tuesday’s school board meeting questioned the need to invest in all three buildings given the corporation’s declining enrollment and the essentially empty junior high. Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin says updates to things like the boilers need to be done regardless of current occupancy. She says the corporation is keeping its options open with regard to future uses of all of its space, and it needs to be ready should a need arise.

Zupin adds state lawmakers set up a debt service fund so school corporations can ensure their infrastructure needs are met without jeopardizing their operating budget.

Projects under consideration at the elementary school include a new boiler, duct cleaning if necessary, restroom partitions, secure entrances, electronic access and video surveillance.

The junior/senior high school list includes new roofs, tuckpointing of the brick exterior, restroom partitions, secure entrances and electronic access, improvements to the main staircase, temperature control upgrades, new carpeting in the office, media center and computer lab and restroom partitions.

Other projects at the junior/senior high include a welding hood system, new baseball dugouts and a pressbox, a new tennis court, a new roof for the football locker room and repairs to the swimming pool which could extend its life by 15 to 20 years.  Should the corporation decide to do away with the amenity, the estimated cost for repurposing the space is between $650 and $850,000.

4/25/2017 NJ-SP School Community Meeting

posted Apr 19, 2017, 10:09 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Apr 19, 2017, 10:13 AM ]


N.J.-S.P. School Board Hires Elementary School Principal

posted Apr 19, 2017, 8:23 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on April 19, 2017
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

A veteran school administrator will soon be the principal at North Judson-San Pierre Elementary. The school board last night voted unanimously to hire Julie Berndt for the opening created by Mike McBride’s retirement.

She is currently the assistant principal at Culver Junior/Senior High School, where she also serves as the corporation’s testing coordinator and curriculum director. Berndt has 12 years of school administrator experience and has serves as assistant principal at Culver Elementary, principal at Culver Middle School and principal at Monterey Elementary.

The N.J.-S.P. School Board approved Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin’s recommendation of offering Berndt a two-year standard administrator’s contract with an annual salary of $76,000. She will start her new job July 1st.

2017 - 2018 School Calendar

posted Jan 25, 2017, 1:41 PM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library


*School Activity Calendar

posted Aug 1, 2016, 10:31 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Apr 24, 2017, 11:44 AM ]

The information shown here is subject to change at any time.  

NJ-SP School Calendar


2016-2017 Balanced School Calendar

posted Apr 22, 2016, 10:21 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Feb 22, 2017, 11:42 AM ]


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