The Franklin County Community School board of trustees celebrated several students and staff members at its April school board meeting.

Heather McCulloch, a teacher at Laurel Elementary School, recognized a group of students who worked on a Kids to Parks grant last year. Committees were formed together between four different classes, both 5th and 6th grades, which are now 6th and 7th grades. The students asked themselves what they wanted to do or improve on. First ideas included a mural on the pirate shop in Laurel park as well as cleaning up the park, cemetery and Feeder Dam.

The group received $992 in grant money, but the pandemic hit and modifications had to be made to their original plans. Because the tragedy had recently occurred in Laurel where six community members lost their lives, the students decided to create a memorial. The memorial is in front of LES and includes shrubs and patches of flowers.

The second celebration of the evening was for Bryson Ball. Bryson participated in a letter about literature competition where students were expected to write a 400-word letter to an author of their choice who has impacted them. There were 800 applicants in the state of Indiana and 105 will be published including Bryson's. Bryson wrote his letter to Charles London about his book Dog Tags: Semper Fido. Bryson's letter reiterated the importance and value of friendship and teamwork.

FCCSC superintendent Tammy Chavis also recognized Gary Bradburn. Bradburn has been a tremendous help in grades 6-12 in regard to the eLearning transition that had to be made during the pandemic.

A few updates were made to the 2021-22 school calendar. These changes allow for students of the Whitewater Career Center to get all of the hours they need. The start date to school is being pushed back to Aug. 9. Students will be attending school on Dec. 20 and 21 and Christmas break will last until Jan. 5. This adjustment also adds one extra day to the end of the school year.

Some updates were proposed to the cell phone policy for both the elementary and the high school. Cell phones are not necessary for the classroom. High school students are permitted to use their phones before and after school, in the hallways and during lunch.

Director of operations Keith Isaacs presented the curriculum costs for the 2021-22 school year; PreK-2nd grade remains the same, 3rd grade increase of $35.79, 4th grade increase of $35.50, 5th grade increase of $29.21, 6th grade increase of $24.69, 7th and 8th grades decrease of $7.44 and grades 9-12 also decrease of $7.44.

Theresa Calihan, a teacher at Laurel School, was excited that she is seeing community members who want to get involved with the state level legislation such as funding for public schools. She gave a little information about the Red for Ed movement. She said it was important to show state level leaders that small communities have big concerns.

Also on the agenda:
The board voted to liquidate the CD at Bath State Bank and deposit to FCN Bank for $1 million.

FCCSC received a few donations, one being $22,500 from the United Way for playground and sensory equipment, as well as, $7,700 for baseball field replacements.

Rebecca Hamilton, the in-school detention supervisor, was terminated and there was no further discussion on the topic.

Jon Johnson gave a proposal to the board for the band students to travel to Orlando, Florida for spring break 2022.

Sen. Jeff Raatz was unable to make the meeting.