running without a hitch, ISTEP scores are up, Trojan fall football is
warming up, and school system finances are stable, the Duneland School Board
was told Tuesday.
Officer Lynn Kwilasz told the board Tuesday that from her projections, the
2015 budget “will be very close to what was advertised” for this year, with
just a few minor differences.
The board is
looking to start its budget work at a Monday, Aug. 25, meeting with a public
hearing scheduled a few weeks later on Sept. 8.
Kwilasz said levied
funds, like the bus replacement fund, will see modest increases because of
the annual maximum levy growth set by the state. The growth quotient for
2015 is 2.7 percent. “It’s kind of like a cost of living increase,” she
looks to purchase six replacement buses in 2015, the same number as this
In the referendum
fund, DSC will be seeking the full 22 cents per $100 assessed valuation,
which will generate more than $5 million to be used to shore up the General
Kwilasz said the
total advertised for the Capital Projects Fund will be lower this year as
the bonds for the pension debt service will be neutralized.
General Fund, which pays employee salaries and benefits, the budget is
determined through a state funding formula and Kwilasz said she will speak
on that more at the next meeting.
the Duneland schools are implementing to improve ISTEP testing results, it
“seems to be working,” said Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Jim
schools surpassed the state average by a substantial margin, with 86.2
percent passing English, 90 percent passing math, and 82.1 percent passing
Those are among the
highest scores in the last five years, Goetz said, commending the teaching
staff. “Across the board, we’ve improved at every grade,” Goetz said.
He also pointed out
Chesterton Middle School “showed huge improvements” this year. CMS saw its
8th grade scores rise from 69.9 percent passing both Math and English in
2013 to 79.8 percent this year.
Both 7th and 8th
grades saw 84 percent pass the English portion and 88.2 percent pass the
math. In 2013, 79.8 percent passed in English and 83.1 passed in Math.
“We’re happy with
the results, but not satisfied until we see perfect scores. Except for
Jackson Elementary third grade. They made 100 percent (passing) in Language
Arts,” he said.
President Ralph Ayres expressed his satisfaction with the schools’
“We seem to be
going in the right direction,” he said.
Life goes on
Schools David Pruis said he hasn’t heard of “any major difficulties” at any
of the schools with registration.
Last year, glitches
were reported across the school district with the new online registration
format. Goetz, at the time, said the snafus would be worked out for this
continues today at CHS for all grades from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., CHS Principal
Jeff Van Drie said. He said 1,100 students had already registered online
before in person registration began.
Pruis mentioned the
school district will see about 30 new teachers this year. “That’s an awful
lot of new faces and we’ll be happy to see them all on Thursday (for
In other news,
Pruis said Yost Elementary school won a “grand prize” of $1,000 for their
participation in the Kids Caring Community service projects, such as helping
the local food pantry. The money will go toward the purchase of new
technology devices, Pruis said.
Director Garry Nallenweg said the CHS Boys Football will face Lafayette-Jeff
in a scrimmage game this Friday at 6 p.m. Soccer, volleyball and golf teams
have also started their seasons.
commended the street departments of Porter County, Chesterton, Burns Harbor
and Porter for making the roads drivable for buses over the summer in light
of a snow-packed winter. “I think people are very pleased with what’s
No comments for
In other business,
the board held a public hearing on the appropriation of $185,000 from the
Rainy Day Fund for special uses such as purchase of a new delivery truck
with a lift gate and an emergency generator for the special services
The public hearing
was advertised in the newspaper on July 31. No citizens came before the
board to speak.
The board members
approved the appropriation unanimously.
Also, the board
authorized the schools to publish the DSC annual performance in local
newspapers. The report is included in today’s Chesterton Tribune.