In a matter of moments, the Duneland School Board cleared the way Wednesday
for its current Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Human Relations
Dave Pruis to become the next Superintendent of Schools.
At a special meeting Wednesday evening, all five board members voted
unanimously for Pruis’ contract, which will start on July 1 this year and
end on June 30, 2016, according to the terms.
The contract has not changed since its public hearing on April 4. Pruis’
annual salary will be $145,000, up more than $16,000 from the current
A copy of the contract can be found in the legal notices of the
Chesterton Tribune on Monday, March 25.
Pruis, will be taking over for Dirk Baer who is retiring on June 30 after
serving 26 years at Duneland Schools, 11 of those as schools superintendent.
Baer was also the principal at Chesterton High School for six years.
Pruis has been a DSC assistant superintendent since 2003 and previously held
school superintendent posts at Hamilton Community Schools near Indianapolis
and Union-North United School Corporation in Lakeville.
Wellness center rebid
In another matter, the board voted to authorize issuing a second Request for
Proposals for the renovation of the former Instructional Materials Center
building on Fifth Street into a health and wellness center for its faculty,
staff and employees.
The board on April 4 voted to reject bids that came in for a previous RFP
during the first few weeks of March because the cost estimates far exceeded
Pruis then searched for properties available for rent that would have the
potential to be developed as the DSC Health and Wellness Center. He did find
two such properties but the larger space in one would have cost in the five
figure range and the property next to it was a lot smaller in terms of size.
Baer said there are enough funds “sitting” in the schools’ rainy day funds
that could pay the extra costs for renovating the IMC building if the board
would like to reconsider.
Board President Mike Trout said it would seem logical to him “to look at a
piece of property we already have” rather than paying rent.
The upgrades would be significant, Pruis said, such making the restrooms
workable and handicapped accessible.
The bids that came back on individual items were “all over the place,” he
said, such as painting that ranged from $3,000 to $12,000.
Feeling they have already put a lot of time and effort into the project,
Trout and the other board members agreed to rebid the project with in hopes
they will receive bids lower than last time. They will also call on
architect Bob Gerometta for suggestions.
“We’re committed. We need to get a facility that our employees can use,”
Pruis said the build out time will be 45 to 60 days. The administration does
not have a completion date they are aiming for, only that it be done
properly, Pruis said.
No phones policy
Also, the board approved a first reading of an updated policy on the use of
personal communication devices.
PCDs such as “computers, tablets (e.g., iPads and similar devices),
electronic readers (e.g., Kindles and similar devices), mobile/cellular
telephones, smartphones (e.g., BlackBerry, iPhone, Android devices, Windows
Mobile devices, etc.) and/or other web-enabled devices of any type” are not
to be used by students during school hours and during certain after school
activities, the new policy states.
Students can use PCDs while riding the bus to and from school at the
discretion of the bus driver.
Students are not allowed to take pictures or video on the PCDs without
proper consent. If they do, the policy states that they will have their PCD
confiscated and may be asked to delete the content.
Violators will be given a warning or have their PCD confiscated by school
administrators. The device will then be turned over to the student’s parent
or guardian once the student agrees to any disciplinary actions that may be
CHS principal Jim Goetz said some students will try to challenge the policy
but he expects most will follow it. Students can use their devices once the
school day is over and the “last bell rings,” he said.
The new policy can go into effect after the board approves it on a second
reading at the May 6 meeting.