“We want parents to have choice, but we want that choice to be in Kokomo,” he said, adding that he is focusing on making educational opportunities available to Kokomo’s students, not on marketing. He said expanding opportunities will benefit Kokomo’s students and also draw in additional students.
Elementary enrollment is up for the 2011-2012 school year because of the international school, he said. About 1,600 elementary and middle school students are enrolled, and more than 50 teachers are training to teach in those schools.
The career school, at Maple Crest Middle School, is filled to capacity, and the corporation had to have a lottery to assign students to the program.
Hauswald said the new schools created a need for changes in the transportation department, because students attending international schools needed to be bussed to those programs. In addition, funding is down for transportation because of the circuit breaker limiting property taxes, he said.
“We’re trying to do more with less,” Hauswald said.
Using a consultant, the board approved changing boundaries to have more students walk to their neighborhood school and changing the number of bus stops. Students attending programs outside their neighborhood school will walk or be bussed to that school, then will take a shuttle to their school.
The board also changed the beginning and end times of the school day, meaning the buses will run a shorter amount of time. Hauswald said they reduced an hour per day of bus time and reduced between 10 and 15 buses from the fleet.
The corporation also implemented an energy savings plan, which he estimates saved $650,00.
One of the harder parts of the job was implementing a reduction in force of 28 teachers. David Barnes, the corporation’s community relations consultant, said Hauswald attended every meeting with every teacher involved. There were originally more than 30 teachers on the list, but some were recalled before the school board approved the reduction, Barnes said.