NLCS Board of Trustees holds final meeting of 2021

BEDFORD – The North Lawrence Community Schools Board of Trustees met Thursday night for the last regularly scheduled meeting of 2021.

The agenda included items to start the new year off right, with a vote to approve Dr. James Halik to facilitate a Facility Improvement Assessment for the corporation’s buildings in Spring of 2022.

Dr. Halik is the president and founder of Compass-Keynote Consulting, with experience in multiple principals and superintendents roles as well as adjunct professor positions for local Indiana colleges and universities. Dr. Halik serves more than 200 of the state’s 291 school systems with his consulting firm, providing developmental guidance and facilitation of strategic plans and facility assessments.

As funds become available that can only be used to maintain, improve, or construct facilities, NLCS will conduct an internal building audit to determine options for these funds and provide insight into the current K-12 facility conditions. Beginning in January, a facility improvement assessment process will take participants through all NLCS K-12 buildings to complete a thorough evaluation of structural components such as the roof, HVAC, interior details and overall square footage. Additionally, each facility’s administration and teachers will have input on educational elements to be evaluated by the group such as class sizes, cafeteria operations, the overall safety of the building, and other details they observe on a daily basis.

This process will be completed in six separate visits to each of the K-12 buildings, followed by a final report to the board as outlined below:

  • Jan. 29: Saturday, 8:30 am -12 pm, BMS
  • Feb. 5: Saturday, 8:30 am -12 pm, BNL/Career Center
  • Feb. 10: Thursday, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Parkview Intermediate/Parkview Primary
  • Feb. 19: Saturday, 8:30 am -12 pm, Oolitic/Needmore
  • Feb. 24: Thursday, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Shawswick/Lincoln
  • March 5: Saturday, 8:30 am -12 pm, Final Meeting
  • March 10: Thursday, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm (Snow Make-Up Day if needed)
  • March 17: Final report to board at the regularly scheduled meeting

Beginning Monday, Dec. 20, anyone interested in participating in the facility improvement assessment can fill out the online application on the NLCS website and Facebook page. Paper copies will also be available at the NLCS Administration Office. Participation in the assessment is a commitment, as participants will be asked to please make every effort to attend all six sessions in order to keep data as accurate as possible and receive feedback from everyone involved.

NLCS hopes to receive applications for representatives from a wide variety of stakeholder groups such as parents of students, community members, civic organizations, local business leaders, teachers, and more.

The deadline to apply is January 7, and all applicants will be notified of their status by January 14 after consultant evaluation to ensure all stakeholder groups have a proper ratio of representation. Applicants will be chosen by the consultant, not NLCS administration or the Board of Trustees.

In addition to the facility improvement assessment, the board granted permission to explore the possible benefits of hiring a managing company to oversee and manage Custodial/Maintenance operations, which would allow the opportunity to provide students with enhanced services.

Contracting a company to manage these services could mean a reduction in the overall cost of services, increased efficiencies, and opportunities for employee training and career advancement which could lead to increased wages and benefits.

NLCS reinforced that if this transition takes place, all current NLCS employees in these departments will retain their job and will not experience a decrease in pay or benefits. In fact, it should allow employees to take advantage of additional benefit options as well as training and career opportunities. If any employee or community member would like to share their concerns
or ask questions, please contact
Lastly, with funds from the ESSER grant and a 2020 bond set aside for HVAC, roofing and
athletic improvements, the board approved to upgrade the three original HVAC systems, add air
conditioning to the auxiliary gym at BNL, and update the HVAC system at the North Lawrence
Learning Center.