Trustees complete business, plan for 2013

NAPPANEE — The final pages have been written for the storied year of 2012, and as 2013 gets underway, members of the Wa-Nee Community Board of School Trustees have already begun looking ahead to the 2013-14 school year. 
The board approved the new academic calendar during their final session of 2012, held Dec. 10. Some highlights of the upcoming calendar include the announcement of the first day of classes, which will occur Aug. 15. The final day for students will take place May 27, 2014. A full version of the future schedule can be found at the Wa-Nee school corporation’s newly redesigned website, at
Director of Curriculum Jim Bennett provided a presentation reflecting attendance trends for the first grading period at each of the five district schools.  Bennett also shared reports with the board detailing participation in the most recent parent-teacher conference sessions, as well as comparison figures of current enrollment versus last year’s student totals.
When averaging the number of students presently registered at the three elementary schools, along with the middle and high schools, the total student count amounts to 608. Using the same principle to establish the average number of conferences held districtwide, the number ends at 459, for an average participation rate of 75 percent.
The three elementary schools posted the highest success ratio of students compared with the figures for parental or guardian conferences conducted.  Wakarusa Elementary, with 551 students, reported 536 scheduled meetings for a 97 percent rate. Woodview Elementary was close behind, with 479 students and 453 conferences, landing at 95 percent. Nappanee Elementary was also well represented, with 434 students and 409 meetings, for a 94 percent rate.
At the upper grade levels, conferences are held as an option for students’ families to consult with teachers as needed. For NorthWood Middle School, where 746 students are enrolled, 594 conferences were held, at a percentage of 80 percent.  NorthWood High School’s 856 members of the student body had 277 people come to conferences on their behalf, for a total of 32 percent.
Attendance numbers for the first grading period of 2012-13 were very promising at all five schools, with an average percentage of students in school coming in at nearly 98 percent. The average daily attendance total combined for the district was half a percentage point above 2961 scholars. The beginning enrollment for August was 3,031, inching lower just marginally in the weeks thereafter, ending at 3027 as of Nov. 9. Nappanee Elementary’s student numbers fell slightly, starting the year with 442 pupils and reporting 435 by November. Wakarusa Elementary lost just one student, going from 552 to 551, with Woodview Elementary gaining a new student, rising from 475 to 476. NorthWood Middle School’s numbers slid downward minimally, from 744 students to 738, while NorthWood High School marked the largest jump, up to 827 from 818.
While the current scholastic year’s overall numbers proved encouraging, measuring the figures against totals for the 2011-12 school year did illustrate a decline. For example, the student count for the district at the end of the first grading period last year tallied 3,105, against the 3,027 students registered at the end of the first grading period for this academic year.
Other matters acted upon by the board included:
— Accepting the resignation of Ronda Weldy as prime-time assistant at Nappanee Elementary, effective Dec. 20.
— Approving several donations, including $7500 from the Wa-Nee Waves, to go toward maintenance costs for the NorthWood High School pool. There was also a $1245 gift from the family of the late Kathryn Weaver, who was an avid supporter for the athletics program, and a $2,500 donation given anonymously to benefit the NorthWood High School wrestling program.
The next session of the Wa-Nee Community Board of School Trustees will be held Monday, Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m.  The meeting will be held at the Wa-Nee administration building.