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August 31, 2013

West Clark Community Schools: Growing up and out

Superintendent Monty Schneider talks about challenges and benefits in the coming school year


SELLERSBURG — What do you have to do to adjust for the growth?

The board has directed me to seek a feasibility study. Sometimes that leads to building, sometimes that leads to some changes, reallocation of spaces and those kinds of things. That will be one thing we’ll be looking at in this next year, to study our enrollment trends.

I just finished my sixth year here and starting my seventh and we’ve grown 800 students in that time. Greater Clark’s the largest district in the county and they rank somewhere at 10 to 15 in the state. But West Clark’s no longer a small district, we’re about 60th in the state, not counting charters. It’s a good problem to have, you’re better off gaining students than losing students. I know it’s a situation [where] some of our patrons probably within the district feel like it’s causing some of the crowding. It is, but it’s allowed us to continue with things the way they are, we haven’t had to cut back. Essentially, you can do two things: You can add students and retain your staff and add new staff as you need them, or you not take any transfers, remain the same or lose a few students and have to reduce staff. Anytime you can have an infusion of new staff members and students, it’s probably a benefit to the school corporation.

What challenges does the district face this year?

We have a new state schools superintendent and a new governor who has appointed a new state board of education, so there’ll be some changes that they’ll have. But our principals every year look at their buildings and what’s been done then talk it over with our administration. John Reed works with them to come up with school improvement plans to not  only keep them where they are but also to improve them with all of our students.

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