AKRON – Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation will be opening an early learning center for staff members’ children starting in the 2022-23 school year.

Meagan Wilks, director of special services, and Lori Tilden-Geiger, director of marketing, public relations and grant writing, updated the Tippecanoe Valley School Board Thursday about the center.

The center will provide child care for staff members’ children, Wilks said. The goals of the center is to fill in gaps for child care and to help attract and recruit new staff members.

She said she knows there are staff members at TVSC that travel far between their child care and work, so she feels it would be a great opportunity to have a child care center at one of the schools.

She also said the center might be a good attraction for people who are new to the school corporation if they’re trying to decide where to take their children for child care.

The center will be at Mentone Elementary School. For the first year, there will be two rooms. One room will be able to accommodate about eight infants from 6 weeks to 16 months. The second room would be able to accommodate about 10 toddlers from 17 months to 3 years. The hours of operation that are being looked at are 6:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It would only be open teacher-contracted days.

Tilden-Geiger said the formula for staff members for the child care center has been figured out. Wilks said, for staffing, the center is looking at an early childhood coordinator, who would be the one in charge of the center. There would be an instructor and an instructional assistant in each room.

Mentone Elementary has been reconfigured, so the day care center will be in the back of the school.

Board member Todd Hoffman asked if the goal is to bring the center to Akron, noting he didn’t think it was fair to people who lived in Akron to go back and forth between Akron and Mentone.

Superintendent Blaine Conley said Akron has the Akron Church of God. The school corporation will also re-evaluate their needs at the end of the 2022-23 school year.

Tilden-Geiger said she believes it’s a very robust program.

The team that worked to get the center started worked in collaboration with other day care centers. She said the school corporation’s center is not planning on competing with other day cares. However, other day care centers in the area do have waiting lists and if TVSC can take children of staff members off those waiting lists, those child care centers can help other people.

Conley said the center is a great selling point for the community.

In other business, the Board:

• Will look to approve the boys varsity basketball coach during Monday’s meeting. The position became vacant when the Board decided not to approve Chad Patrick’s contract for the 2022-23 school year during the April 18 meeting.

• Heard Burket Educational Center graduation is 10 a.m. May 19.

• Heard there will be a Building Trades Open House from 1 to 3 p.m. May 22. Conley said he would have an address for the open house Monday.

• Heard Tippecanoe Valley High School graduation will be June 5 with the baccalaureate at 2 p.m. and commencement at 2:45 p.m.

• Will look to approve the reappointment of Janet Morgan to the Akron Public Library Board.

• Heard Conley should have more information for the Board of where the high school building project is during the June meeting.