August 15 is first official day
Back to school for area students
Change is something people often resist. However,
the changes that are taking place in the area schools are good
changes - ones that are designed to improve the learning process.
Jac-Cen-Del will look completely different to students as they
return this year. We are very enthusiastic about the new
Jac-Cen-Del Middle School and high school facilities that will
be available to our students this year, noted Dr. Leanna
Phillippe, elementary principal.
Dr. Phillippe said when school starts the construction will not
quite be completed. However, many areas will be new including
a multi-purpose music room, science lab rooms and cafeteria. This
is an exciting change for our students. She went on to say
the staff and students are eager about the educational opportunities
that are available to the school community with this building
The middle school concept will be implemented at JCD for the first
year. Students in grades seven and eight will be isolated more
this year than in the past, according to Dr. Phillippe. She said
the sections have less numbers and small group instruction will
be available. The sixth grade will transition to the middle school
in January 2012.
JCD is offering new this year a College and Career Preparedness
Program for students in grades two through six. The goal
is to have every student to visit college campuses, tech schools,
and career center before they leave the elementary, Dr.
An exciting addition at JCD is the Collaborative Innovation Center.
Here the classroom has the latest up-to-date available technology
for students. This room is the result of a combined effort of
the Ripley County Community Foundation and Rising Sun Community
Foundation. This grant will enhance the educational prospects
for our students, Dr. Phillippe noted.
We are thrilled with the upcoming possibilities for our
students with the new facilities. This project will impact our
ability to present instruction in the best manner. JCD is improving
each year and we look forward to opportunities that will benefit
our students future, noted Dr. Phillippe.
SOUTH RIPLEY SCHOOLS
South Ripley offered a mail-in registration this year to provide
better service and convenience to students and their families.
The mail-in registration has been going very well to this
point, commented Dr. John Mehrle, superintendent for South
Something new at South Ripley are the strides that have been made
to make the entire campus wireless. Dr. Mehrle noted the investment
will allow the school to explore moving towards a 1-1 initiative
which means each student may eventually be provided with a laptop,
Beginning this year, South Ripley is offering parents the opportunity
to check on students progress, assignments, and test results
online via a Parent portal.
Changes to routes were also made this year to provide more efficient
bus service. Color maps of the school routes have been mailed
directly to the parents, according to school officials. They are
also posted on the South Ripley website which is sripley.K12.IN.US.
South Ripley Community School Corporation is very excited
about beginning a new school year and in having the opportunity
to provide engaging learning experiences to all of its students,
noted Dr. Mehrle.
According to Dr. Tom Reale, superintendent for Milan schools,
while there arent a lot of changes this year, there are
One change is that the high school and middle school have adopted
a rotating schedule in which the order of the periods changes
every day to keep the first and final classes of the day from
always being the same. Also, the school has a new calling system
that can telephone all parents in the district in a matter of
minutes. He noted, This will allow us to get important information
to parents very quickly.
New this year at JCD is their link to the Town of Osgoods
automated texting notification system. Parents can receive a text
when school is delayed, cancelled or other pertinent information
is given. Parents can sign up for this service at OsgoodIndiana.gov
(click on txtwire (greenbox) and complete the form on the page).
When emergencies arise such as extreme weather conditions of snow,
ice, fog, or mechanical failure, the following local radio stations
will carry area news: WRBI Batesville, 103.9; Greensburg 1330
AM; and WTRE Greensburg 107.3 FM.
Parents are encouraged to register for Nixle at South Ripleys
website. This free service enables parents to receive text messages
and updates regarding school closings and delays. For an overview
of the notification services available, log on to www.nixle.com.
Dan Goris is the transportation supervisor and can be contacted
at 689-5385 regarding any transportation related questions.
For Milan schools, Dr. Reale noted that they will have school
if at all possible. If they cant proceed in a safe manner,
they will have mostly one hour delays. If it seems the road conditions
will improve between 9 and 10 a.m. they will have a two-hour delay.
It is an important decision for school officials to call a delay
or closure that sometimes isnt popular with everyone. They
try to make the call in the best interest of the safety of the
students, also knowing that every day has to be made up at the
end of the year.
Project Based Learning:
Project Based Learning is a theme at both Jac-Cen-Del and South
Ripley schools. This summer staff and principals from JCD and
South Ripley attended the Project Based Learning Academy. The
focus is on creating engaging work that is authentic. This
training will help us create a learning environment that is student
centered, noted Dr. Phillippe. Teachers and administrators
received first-hand instruction on how to develop project based
lessons that enhance student critical thinking skills and collaboration
skills, said Dr. Mehrle.
Both schools continue to expand the course offerings for Project
Lead the Way.
Dr. Phillippe noted that the addition of science rooms will allow
students to have the latest advanced hands-on experiences. Teachers
are excited and understand the expectations of utilizing the new
facilities, she said.
Administrators provide the best learning experience for
students (at Milan) by ensuring high quality instruction in every
classroom and providing each teacher with the support and supplies
needed to be effective, noted Dr. Reale. He said administrators
also ensure that students have a safe and clean environment in
which to learn.
All three schools have bullying policies in place, according to
administrators. Dr. Mehrle noted they have a team that has been
very pro-active in regard to trying to provide a bully-free school
environment. He said building administrators will be reviewing
the South Ripley bullying and sexual harassment policies with
their respective staff members at the beginning of the new school
Dr. Reale of Milan schools noted that bullying is taken
seriously and we educate our students not to engage in bullying.
He further noted that immediate action is taken if bullying does
occur. We encourage students and parents to come forward
if they feel bullying is going on and the school seems unaware
of it, he told The Versailles Republican.
JCD is using the theme Education Matters this year.
We realize that not every child will go to college, but
students need to understand the importance of graduating from
high school, noted Dr. Phillippe. She urged parents to stress
to their children the necessity of graduating and possibly attending
college or a technical school. Students must be informed
about their options to determine if post-high school education
is needed. This will allow our community to provide a better prepared
workforce and community members, she added.
All school administrators urge parents to be involved with their
childrens education. They need a quiet place for homework,
need to read daily and most importantly stay connected with the
teacher and school if there is a possible problem. Please
feel free to ask questions if you have concerns pertaining to
your childs education, Dr. Phillippe said. She suggested
a great time to build vocabulary is around the dining room table
(with the TV turned off!). Families who eat dinner together
have a stronger family bond as well as higher performing students
on academics, she noted.
Dr. Mehrle encourages parents to stay in contact with their childs
teacher whether it be through the new parent portal
the school has created, or a phone call or email. He also advised
that, students who are involved with school activities in
some form or another typically stay in school and perform better
Critical elements for your childs successful learning is
making sure the students come to school on time every day they
are well enough to do so, according to Dr. Reale. He noted that
another element is making sure the childs homework is done
and they have the opportunity to study. These are critical
elements in academic success that are beyond the schools
control, he noted.
Students should get adequate sleep and nutritious meals to begin
Area school administrators are busy making sure students have
the best learning experience possible. They encourage dialogue
and participation from parents and students to make education
a joint effort that will impact students for years to come.