AKRON – Tippecanoe Valley School Board unanimously adopted the 2019 budget, capital projects plan, and the school bus replacement plan during its regular meeting Monday.

The total was $24,194,956.

As of January, the state will establish education and operations funds that will combine previous fund accounts.

Each of the school principals shared a few comments on how they are progressing with their school improvement plans. The results from the state’s testing, as well as grades for individual schools, have not been released yet.

TVMS Principal Scott Backus said they are using a team approach to allow teachers to collaborate and determine if or what types of interventions might be needed for each student. He said they use clustering of students at different levels (of mastery) to take away stigmas that may be felt by individual students.

Christy Mills, Akron Elementary principal, told the board that each teacher has to have a goal and that administrators meet at least one time each month with teachers to review the goals. This year, the report cards for grades kindergarten to third grade will reflect the state standards. She said, “This gives parents a better idea of what we are going for.”

Mentone Elementary Principal Randy Dahms said, “We are making sure we have a handle of data.”

He went on to indicate that they are closely monitoring students who may have emotional needs. Dahms said when they learned that state testing will be taken on computers, they started teaching typing skills.

TVHS Principal Chad Cripe praised his teaching staff for the extra time and energy they have put into math and English language preparedness for students along with looking at data, literacy and public relations.

“It is really a total team effort. I know we are going to see the rewards,” Cripe said.

In other business, the Sweet and Sassy Golf Classic proceeds allowed the committee overseeing the event to present a check for $26,600 to  school board President Adam Heckaman. The funds are being distributed to each of the five schools in the corporation for student needs identified by teachers, staff, counselors and coaches.

The committee members will review applications for the grant monies and vote on how it is distributed.

The event is to honor the memory of Scott Bibler, who was a 1982 graduate of Tippecanoe Valley High School and then returned to serve as a teacher, counselor and coach at TVHS.

Bibler was one of four killed in a 2015 plane crash in South Carolina.

Committee members said Bibler influenced students and staff members with his positive outlook on life and dedication to excellence.

They referred to the donation as “Bib’s Billfold” and explained that he always opened his wallet to help fund a need.

Cathy Olson, special education teacher, presented two donations from Donors Choose Grants for board approval.

One was for $431.18 to purchase robotic kits that allow students to explore engineering and its applications by designing and building 20 different machines. Three students, Aiden Kimble, Hunter Shepherd and Elijah Music-Smith, demonstrated their finished project to the board members.

A second donation for $432.42 went toward the purchase of CD Books. Olson said, “If they can be listening on CD to the same books as peers, than they can have something in common with them.”

The Northern Indiana Community Foundation donated $1,200 to the TVMS and TVHS to sponsor Nathan Harmon’s lecture series, “Your Life Speaks.” The series topics include such traits as peer pressure, bullying, overcoming adversity and the power of choice.

The board recognized TVHS FFA members for their achievements. Four students, Sarah Tucker, Brandon Dugan, Rolando Riechard and Chloe Hostetler, placed second in an area contest for Livestock Skill-a-thon.

Two teams advanced to the state contest for soils. Team members included Amber Evans, Hailey Backus, Brandt Alber, Sydney Petersen, Cheney Canada, Mackenzie Woodson, Sarah Kelley and Nicole Ziemek.

The TVHS Unified Flag Football Team is headed to Indianapolis to compete at the Lucas Oil Stadium. The team competed and won sectionals at Warsaw on Sept. 31.

Team members recognized by the school board included Hailey Hale, Cheyenne Barngrover, Arianna Wright, Andrew Thompson, Connor Frentzel, Tanner Tripped, Cade Brouyette, Tyler Nine and Nathaniel Heckaman.

A grant donation extended by Good to Go Oil Company for school safety was unanimously approved by the board.

Last summer, the company announced a $2,000 grant award to schools within the district. Additionally, they said they would give 2 cents on the gallon at spirit pumps at certain locations. The grant had been allotted ahead of time to benefit the Project Valley Safe program that is a student-led initiative. Funds will be used to supply “first responder” kits for each of the 144 classrooms in the Tippecanoe Valley School Corp.