Subsequent to an extended executive session called to discuss negotiations and employment of personnel, members of Edon Northwest Local Board of Education were pleased to approve the hiring of Dr. John Granger as full-time Superintendent upon returning to open session during the regular monthly meeting held Tuesday, April 14, 2015. “The board is excited to have Dr. Granger stay on as superintendent,” commented President Jamie Schaffter. “We are grateful for the expertise and knowledge he brings to our district.”
Having served as Interim Superintendent since the first of the year (replacing Ed Ewers who resigned in November to take a position outside the District), Dr. Granger is glad to be here and looks forward to continue working for the best interests of the District – its students, staff and residents.
Granger’s three-year superintendent contract, effective August 1, 2015 through July 31, 2018 includes an annual salary of $90,000.
Additionally that evening, members approved the purchase of two new busses as part of the fleet’s intended replacement schedule. With the acquisition, no busses will be purchased in 2016.
Noting only a slight difference ~ just over twelve hundred dollars ~ separated the base prices of the two submitted bids; further explanations for each tendered proposal were then given.
“Cardinal Bus Sales and Service [in Lima] had a base bid of $178,720 for the two busses,” shared Treasurer Blakely. “They also offered an ‘early paid discount’ of two hundred dollars if payment was received upon delivery along with a $1,340 discount if paid by May 1 and $5,000 trade-in allowance. That would bring [Cardinal’s] total bid price to $172,180.” Myers Equipment Corporation of Canfield, Ohio, offered no discount incentive to their $179,982 base bid; the $5,600 allowed for trade-in brought their final bid to $174,382.
“My recommendation,” stated Granger, “would be [to go with] Cardinal Bus Sales and Service.”
With brief follow-up questions posed and addressed, members approved the recommendation and accepted Cardinal’s bid of $172,180. Each new eighty-four passenger bus (with Blue Bird body) will be purchased with District Permanent Improvement Fund monies and not from the General Fund; on-site delivery is expected within thirty days.
April Reports highlighted to the Board that evening included:
•Noted one of the biggest challenges of the District is keeping its students (current enrollment figures indicate 536 students in the building); Edon Athletic Boosters is looking to replace the scoreboard at Leanne Field (football and track); the District is still set to lose approximately one hundred thousand dollars in annual state funding; Edon Farmers Co-Op is donating acreage to the FFA program for farming and food plots (more information in May); funding for a Family Consumer Science program has been approved with some general fund monies needed to cover the half-time position if courses are reinstated; a negotiated agreement should be ready for review next month.
•Conveyed while addressing recently-expressed ACLU concerns, he discovered the District had been “overstepping its bounds” with regards to the First Amendment, particularly the establishment clause which says students “do not shed their constitutional rights at the door”. Students are allowed and may pray in school (free will to choose) but cannot be made to attend religious-sanctioned activities; church activities are allowed at the school, however, not during school hours. This practice will now be followed within the District.
•Shared how Springfield Schools (Holland) is an example where the District would be in two years without additional monies (Fiscal Caution, forced to balance the budget, making further cuts while maintaining those already in place after previous levy failures); this is only a prediction for Edon Northwest and not a “scare tactic”. The District can be managed without a reduction in force (RIF), by taking advantage of attrition and implementing more cost-saving measures. The best option is passage of the Earned Income Tax; it not only would bring in an estimated four hundred seventy-five thousand dollars (which is close to the margin of annual deficit-spending) but would also improve the local share index, an action rewarded by the State. Failure to pass the request would mean limited program loss, larger class sizes (retired teachers not replaced) and additional reductions to avoid Fiscal Caution (and being told by the State what to do.)
•Stated survey responses from parents choosing to open enroll children outside the District indicated no real animosity for the decision; “convenience” seemed to be a recurring answer. Additionally, Open Enrollment into the District has declined from ninety-eight students in 2010-2011 to forty-nine students projected for 2015-2016.
Grades 7-12 Principal
•Commended March 2015 High School Student of the Month, senior Karli Munger and Junior High Student of the Month, seventh-grader Jacob Dulle.
•Noted the District will host the BCI Crimes Against Children Department for a series of Internet Safety and Cyber-Bulling programs for Grades 5-8, Grades 9-12 and parents; tailored for each group, the free presentations on May 11 are made possible through the efforts of Edon Chief of Police Tom Szymczak in conjunction with representatives at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
•Shared credit recovery classes could be made available to students on campus through the District’s Straight A Grant; 2015 Senior Scholarship Interviews went well and the reorganized Academic Boosters Club continues to develop new ideas to generate funds for student rewards and incentives.
KK-6 Grade Principal
•Congratulated March’s Bomber Courtesy Club members.
•Shared everyone is prepared and ready for the second round of testing; twenty-six children completed the 2015 Kindergarten Registration and Screening process and an all-day KinderKids program will be offered during the 2015-2016 school year (“Cost neutral”~ no additional personnel will be added; less distance covered with bus routes.)
•Noted tentative plans look to expand the Summer Intervention Program to five weeks (two in June, two in July and one in August); participating students in grades one through four would meet three hours/day, five days/week each session. Transportation and other program costs would be funded with federal monies from the U.S. Department of Education’s REAP (Rural Education Achievement Program) initiative.
Treasurer Bill Blakely
•Submitted his standard SM2 Report indicating revenues were up seventy-four thousand dollars and expenses up one hundred fifty-six thousand dollars for the same nine-month period as last year. The District is tracking around eighty-two thousand dollars worse than a year ago.
•Noted approximately one hundred one days of cash is available in the general fund to operate the District if no new cash is generated; this reflects a thirty-two-day loss over the past year.
•Heard measurements had been taken for exterior replacement doors donated by Therma-Tru in Butler (i.e. weight room, west-end maintenance building, baseball dugouts); installation is expected to be completed this summer.
•Agreed drainage issues on the grounds must be addressed before moving forward with paving the parking lot; tiling project quotes will be solicited for review. (Permanent Improvement Fund monies will cover the project’s cost; general funds will not be used.)
•Noted newly-delivered, dye-free mulch would help create a much cleaner base for playground activities.
In action taken, the Board:
•Accepted the resignation of Jessica Horning as Grades 6 and 9 Intervention Specialist effective June 30, 2015, the end of her current contract year.
•Accepted Cash Donations during March from various businesses and individuals ($125/Post Prom); Edon Athletic Boosters ($1,000/high school gymnasium sound system); Edon Baseball Club ($2,430/Baseball Account) and Gift Donations from an anonymous donor (thirty high school baseball game hats/$567 value) and Scott Bergdall (Euphonium/$800 value).
•Approved the April 30-May 1 FFA trip to Columbus for FFA State Convention as well as the 2016 High School Band and Choir Trip to Washington DC.
•Approved the annual non-renewal of all supplemental contracts (coaches, club and class advisors, spring and summer intervention teachers, etc.) at the end of the 2014-2015 contract year.
•Approved non-renewal of positions for Cheri Jacobs (Title I Classroom Teacher Aide); Jack Gensler, Sharla Kirkingburg, Sue LaDuke, Madison Muehlfeld, Noreen Piechocki, Susan Shellhorse, Lynette Skiles, Edith Stilner, Tomi Zuver (Classroom Teacher Aides) and Karen Wilson (Media Center Aide) at the end of the current contract year. (Done annually, this routine action is no reflection of an employee’s job performance; positions can be renewed at a later date if needed.)
•Approved the 2015-2016 School Calendar as presented. Noteworthy dates include: First day for students (Wednesday, August 19); Christmas Break (December 21-January 1; classes resume January 4); Spring Break (March 28-April 1); Last student day (May 26) and Commencement Exercises (May 29). To view the 2015-2016 Calendar in its entirety, visit the school’s website at www.edon.k12.oh.us.
•Approved Policy Revision File IKF – Graduation Requirements. Commencing with the EHS 2015-2016 freshman class, the number of Social Studies units needed to graduate will be lowered from four to three; this now aligns with new State Graduation Requirements effective with the Class of 2018.
•Received an updated Earned Income Tax Campaign Report from Co-chair Erin Nester. Approximately six hundred dollars has been donated; yard signs, along with additional larger signs, have been placed throughout the District and radio spots will be aired prior to the May 5 voting date. She also noted the last Earned Income Tax Informational Meeting will be held Saturday, April 25 in Edon. To learn more about the tax request, feel free to contact Erin, Cody Best or Jeff Mills; residents are also encouraged to visit the Campaign’s website at www.citizens4edon-nw.com.
•Learned about “Fairy Tale Fever” the 2015 Right-to-Read Week program slated next month for Grades Preschool – Sixth. A delightful PowerPoint presentation by Brenda Parrish and Mindi Kepler outlined the varied activities planned for students, e.g. reader’s theaters, writing fairy tales, decorating classroom doors and a Principal’s Challenge. Attending a TinCaps baseball game in Fort Wayne concludes the exciting week.
•Approved the agreement with Northwestern Ohio Educational Research Council effective for the 2015-2016 school year at a cost of two hundred dollars.
•Approved minutes from the regular meeting held Tuesday, March 10 as well as March 2015 Financial Reports.
•Took no action during Executive Session regarding negotiations (preparing, conducting or reviewing).
The Edon Northwest Local Board of Education will next meet Tuesday, May 12, 2015 in the Edon Schools Media Center beginning at 5:30 p.m.
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