Schools step up background checks

ANDERSON — Frankton-Lapel Community Schools adopted more stringent rules governing criminal background checks for teachers July 13 in order to comply with state regulations.

According to the policy updates, extended criminal background checks must be done on all teachers within 30 days of hire, and an index check must be done within 60 days.

Assistant Superintendent Sterling Boles said the changes in policy insert the time element, which puts into writing what was already being accomplished in practice, as well as an additional safeguard years after teachers are hired.

“Before, there was no timeline on how many days (the district had to conduct a background check),” Boles said. “Our practice was that they could not start work until they had an extended background check. We kind of met that, but our language was a little bit different.”

New going forward is a requirement that all employees will have a background check every five years, according to Boles.

“On the other end, when you were hired, you had the extended background check, and that was it,” he said. “This way, every five years, you’re going to have to go through the process again.”

Schools are now also required to check all references for any contractors doing work for the corporation.

In other FLCS business:

• District medical claims for the month of June were down $158,097 from June 2016. That makes for a $180,096 improvement for the year to date from 2016.

• The fall school schedule was reviewed, along with the announcement of several modifications to the buildings. The first day for teachers will be Aug. 11, while students return to school Aug. 15. Boles said most renovations and improvements to the buildings being done over the summer are ahead of schedule, and he expects all facilities to be ready to go for the school year. This includes the Lapel High School Media Center, where furniture is expected to be delivered Aug. 11.

• The 2017-18 budget schedule was announced. The trustees will have a work session on Aug. 14. A public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 14, and a vote on adoption of the budget is anticipated Oct. 12.

• The board accepted bids from Prairie Farms for all milk and Klosterman’s Bakery for bread and buns.

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Rob Hunt covers news, sports and other happenings in South Madison County. He can be reached at rhunt@pendletontimespost.com or (765) 778-2324.