Batesville Community School Corporation and Pinghu Danghu (China) Senior High School recently signed a memorandum of understanding to share students and teachers beginning in 2014-15.
In October, Batesville Superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts visited select schools including Pinghu Danghu in China.
“I learned a different culture and learned about different schools,” Roberts noted. “It eventually led to the signing of a memorandum of understanding when we had a return visit from a school I visited.”
The memorandum was signed Nov. 11.
Roberts was impressed with some programs at Pinghu Danghu, and would eventually like to see select programs implemented locally.
“They are very aligned with what their mission is as a school and what they expect their students to achieve. Everything they do is directed to achieving that,” expressed Roberts.
Roberts explained some differences and similarities between both schools at the Board of Trustees meeting Monday evening. While students at Batesville typically have an 8-3p.m. school day, Pinghu Danghu students attend from 6:40-5p.m., and some until 9 p.m. depending on additional studies.
The extended hours pay off, as Roberts noted nearly 99 percent of students at Pinghu Danghu attend post-secondary education after graduation.
The exchange program could lead to some students from Batesville attending Pinghu Dangchu for two or three weeks, and vice versa.
“A full year is a long commitment. We may not have parents ready to give up their child for a full year necessarily to China, a half a world away,” Roberts said. “But they may be willing to have their children do that for two or three weeks.”
Mandarin Chinese language courses will be offered to Batesville students next year, along with the preexisting German and Spanish programs.
BCSC Board of Trustees President Chris Lowery hopes the memorandum leads to future sister school relationships internationally.
“The next stop for us is o reach an agreement with a school system in Germany,” Lowery said. “[Hillenbrand Inc.] and other companies in town have operations countries where Spanish is the predominant language.”
“Just knowing the culture and people of other places in the world are very important,” Lowery added.
Other School Business
School Board members approved a calendar change for 2014-15. BCSC students have traditionally attended school on the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving, however that will change next year. Due to the high volume of travel associated with the holiday, board members agreed to substitute Presidents Day as an in-school day to allow students a two-day week during Thanksgiving. A replacement day is required by law to fulfill the minimum number of student instruction days.
All-State Students Recognized
Several student athletes were honored for exceeding on the classroom and on the field. Four members of the girls soccer team, four members of the boys soccer team and 2 cross-country academic all-state recipients were recognized during Monday’s board meeting.
Members of the girls soccer team include: Rebecca Roell, Senior; Megan Doll, Junior; Kelli Hartman, Junior; and Kelsey Gausman, Junior.
Roell plans on studying Exercise Science in college, while Doll hopes to pursue Radiology at the University of Southern Indiana or University of Cincinnati. Hartman will study Pre-pharmacy and Gausman is undecided.
Members of the boys soccer team include: Andrew Grossman, Senior; John Krieger, Senior; Matt Weiler, Senior; and Seth Parker, Junior.
Grossman, who also received a National Merit Scholarship Program Commendation carries a 3.97 GPA at Batesville. He hopes to attend Purdue for Engineering. Krieger, the team MVP looks forward to attending UC, IU or Purdue for Business. Senior Matt Weiler will major in Computer Science at Miami (OH) and Parker is undecided.
Kelsey Gausman also received an Academic All-State for Cross Country along with Elizabeth Cuttle, Junior.