Tipp BOE approves program of studies

TIPP CITY The Tipp City Board of Education unanimously approved the 2021-2022 program of studies for Tippecanoe Middle and High Schools at Monday’s meeting.

The program of studies includes new courses, some of which will offer students an opportunity to earn college credit on Tippecanoe High School’s campus. There are several classes offered through Sinclair Community College, which include courses in fine arts, computer science and programming, and government-focused courses. There will also be a college writing course offered through Franklin University. There will also be courses offered that are career pathway focused in an effort to set students up for success down the road and give them opportunities within Tippecanoe schools, according to assistant superintendent Steve Verhoff.

“We have to give kids a reason to want to be in our building, otherwise they’re going to pursue opportunities outside of our building, and then that creates a whole host of other problems,” Verhoff said. “(We’re) trying to be proactive in developing programs where (the kids) can earn college credit, programs where they can earn work experience or gain work experience that really is the challenge and the mindset of the program of studies and what the high school was tasked with doing.”

Additionally, superintendent Mark Stefanik said that the courses added to the program of studies for both schools were created with no additional staff members considered. Some of the courses line up with the pre-apprenticeship programs organized with Sinclair Community College and Edison State in fields such as law enforcement, healthcare, and manufacturing.

These are programs that are going to provide kids with real work experience. We’ve developed some courses that were either already in existence and beefed them up a bit, or added things like Intro to Criminal Justice and partnered with the Tipp City Police Department and other agencies in the county and Montgomery County,” Verhoff said.

Also passed in a 3-2 vote was the motion to approve using Roetzel and Andress as the board’s bargaining attorney for negotiations with the Tipp City Education Association; board members Simon Patry and Joellen Heatherly voted against the motion. Bricker & Eckler was the law firm previously used in negotiations with the Tipp City Education Association.

“I would prefer that we stick with the attorneys that helped us through the last negotiation,” Patry said. “They’re going to have a lot more contextual understanding of what the issues were, there’s going to be less of a learning curve, less of time spent trying to figure all of those items out, which will save us a lot of money.”

Board member Corine Doll brought up from her observations and experience that teams during negotiations change and are fluid, and that generally, lawyers are not a big part of the engagement.

The following items were also approved at Monday’s meeting:

The monthly financial report for December 2020 with four votes approving and Patry abstaining;

The Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriation Amendments for January 2021, in a unanimous vote;

Purchase Order Certification, Then and Now for Fiscal Year 2021, in a unanimous vote;

The purchase of a PV200 W/Wireless Connect System to track fuel with a purchase price of $16,518.85 in a 4-1 vote with Patry voting no;

The approval to accept $7,684.68 in grant dollars from the TEE Grant, in a unanimous vote.

The board will meet for a work session at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9. The next regular board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22.