With school dismissed for summer vacation just days before, members of Edon Northwest Local Board of Education were brought up-to-date on next year’s preparations and testing schedule during its regular session held Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in the Media Center. President Brad McCrea called the meeting to order with all members and one guest in attendance.
“Testing continues to change,” began Grades 7-12 Principal Anthony Stevens as he noted the number of tests expected to be administered next year. “[Going over] the next generation assessments, it now appears there will be seven tests given (they had planned on ten) ~ and that’s just high school. There are additional [required] tests in grades 3-8 and the OGT taking place as well.”
Referencing a color-coded 2014-2015 school calendar, Principal Stevens further explained the current testing schedule visual. “Starting in February, we have five weeks of possible testing with the entire District [grades 3-12] having twenty consecutive days to complete them all. As you can see [on the calendar], there’s a lot of overlap.” He also pointed out the window for end-of-the-year testing gets underway one week after returning from spring break.
With three labs accommodating nearly twenty-five students apiece ~ and every grade level utilizing two of them at a time ~ administrators are dealing with the challenge of scheduling all mandated tests. “Mrs. Troyer and I have been working to come up with a ‘Testing Map’ to determine which test will occur when and what labs ~ which are also classrooms ~ will be used,” shared Stevens. “We’re trying to be very creative!”
“As you can tell, there’s nothing blank here [on this Testing Map],” interjected Superintendent Ewers. “There’s hardly a week or month that doesn’t have some ‘color’ on it.”
“This has drastically impacted everything that we do,” continued Ewers. “Everything from course selection, to course offerings; to which grade will be in which computer lab to ‘do we have enough computers’. These are all pieces of a ‘moving target’ as changes in what tests will be offered are still being made.”
Current testing procedures ~ including the possible elimination of the OGT two-hour delay ~ along with rearranging courses, are being reviewed as the “Testing Map” is revised and defined. It is hoped, with the calculated timetable, large number of tests to administer and limited available space, testing can be completed without disrupting the normal school-day schedule.
“We just wanted you to be aware of what “testing” has placed upon us and [how we are addressing it],” said Stevens.
With questions posed by Board members answered throughout the subsequent discussion, continuing efforts by administrators over the next several weeks will remain focused on ensuring each child is completely prepared ~ and optimal conditions provided ~ for the testing schedule that lies ahead.
In highlighting their June Reports to the Board, administrators shared:
Superintendent Ed Ewers •Shared in addition to having Amanda Reiter, Guidance Counselor, speak to changes over the past year, he would like to “walk the building and tour the grounds” as the last item of August’s meeting agenda. Members will be joined by Facility Manager Todd Muehlfeld, to check out what has transpired over the past two years (location of staff, changing classrooms, implementations of cost-saving measures, etc.) ~ even the past five-ten years ~ along with being made aware of existing building issues to be addressed. Interested District residents are welcomed to join the building walk through as well.
•Stated ongoing high school gymnasium issues are being dealt with; a light sanding and paint touch-up by Deb Green is more cost-effective than completely sanding and resurfacing the floor. Ecolab will assume resurfacing costs associated with their product; additional costs will be covered by the District’s Maintenance Fund.
•Reflected on how the District ~ having just completed one school year ~ is already completely immersed in plans for the next. With the “break-neck” pace of what is naturally done in public education compounded by mandated changes incurred over the past several years, there’s not a “whole lot of sitting around”. Working with outstanding administrators and teachers, along with great parents and students, provides a huge support system in dealing with this seemingly unending process. •Noted while the Straight A Grant had afforded the District funds to purchase new laptops and upgrade the elementary computer lab, additional needs have yet to be addressed. Permanent Improvement monies ~ although mostly associated with structural matters ~ can be used to meet technology and other evident necessities as well.
•Expressed thanks to the Board for understanding his absence at graduation to attend his son’s college graduation; the support was greatly appreciated.
Treasurer Kerry Samples
•Noted the District was in compliance with new State Expenditure Standards (expected to be put into practice for FY2015); reclassifications were implemented by the District last June. Additionally, new Expenditure Data will be detailed on the annual Report Card for district-wide and building level comparisons; information will be sent to the governor’s office for recognition as effective or efficient.
•Shared the District received its phased-out Personal Property Tax reimbursements totaling seventeen thousand dollars (at one time, over five hundred thousand dollars was received into the general fund); monies will be collected until the current law changes.
•Submitted his standard SM2 Report indicating revenues were up one hundred forty-five thousand dollars and expenses up two hundred forty-five thousand dollars for the same eleven-month period as last year. The District is tracking one hundred thousand dollars worse than a year ago. (The State’s nearly ninety-three thousand dollar Property Tax Rollback and Homestead reimbursements were received May 31.)
Grades 7-12 Principal Anthony Stevens •Noted the Class of 2014 had earned $448,105 in Scholarship money; the District is very appreciative of the support afforded by local scholarship patrons.
•Shared Post-Secondary School plans for forty-seven EHS graduates included: Four-year College (twenty-eight percent); Two-year College (forty-five percent); Workforce (twenty-three percent) and Armed Forces (four percent). •Thanked corporate and individual sponsors of the recent EHS Bomber Golf Scramble outing; over twenty-five hundred dollars was raised for the Gymnasium Sound System Improvement Project.
Grades KK-6 Principal Bonnie Troyer •Recognized May’s Bomber Courtesy Club members.
•Submitted monthly reports outlining principal, teacher, parent and student activities for May along with her detailed 2013-2014 Disciplinary Report and annual Bullying Report (including historical data since 2010). Additionally, she presented a synopsis of students in special needs classrooms, instructed under the Extended Standards of Ohio, and their performance on the Alternate Assessment; indicated her Emergency Evacuation Report had been sent to the Department of Commerce and noted the 2014-2015 Grades K-6 Professional Staff Handbook would be ready for approval in August.
•Highlighted information for members regarding the District’s Reading Recovery Program. Funded by Title I, the one-on-one program, designed for first grade students only, is a half-hour session of very precise instruction. Currently, just eight students (four per semester) can be served each year due to the amount of time committed to the program; however, if a child does go through Reading Recovery, their chances for avoiding special education are significantly increased.
In other business brought forward, the Board: •Approved the resolution declaring it necessary to levy a tax in excess of the ten mill limitations; this is not a new or additional tax. (The five-year, 3.0 mill Permanent Improvement Fund Renewal Levy has been approved every time since first placed before voters in 1990. Monies generated by the levy are used for improvements of District’s assets, covering costs associated with items having a life of five or more years, such as building upkeep, busses, technology, etc.; not salaries or benefits.)
•Accepted Cash Donations during May of $1000 from CWU Thrift Shop (Senior Scholarship); $206.26 from Box Tops for Education (shared equally between Elementary and High School Principal Funds); $2,010 (various individuals and businesses/Drama Fund Stage Lighting Project) and Gift Donations of $296 from Rick Seaman (hog for FFA Sausage Sales); $296 from Dennis Fox (hog for FFA Sausage Sales); $486 from Hake Farms (discounted price of hogs for FFA Sausage Sales) and $400 from Hake Farm Services (discounted price of hogs for FFA Sausage Sales).
•Approved Temporary Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2015; permanent Appropriations will be submitted in September.
•Renewed the Cafeteria Software Maintenance Agreement with Esber Cash Register for 2014-2015 at a cost of $956.
•Granted permission to participate in all federal programs for the 2014-2015 fiscal year (community and parental input is welcomed and appreciated!) as well as participation in the 2014-2015 Federal Lunch and Breakfast Programs, including the commodity program and free and reduced lunches and breakfasts.
•Approved establishing an account for the Class of 2018.
•Approved the contract agreement with Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center for the 2014-2015 Mentor Program at a cost of seventy-five dollars per teacher being mentored.
•Approved the agreement with Northwest Ohio Juvenile Detention Training and Rehabilitation Center for 2014-2015 at a cost of $38 per day per student placed there. •Approved the Technical Service Agreement with Northern Buckeye Education Council.
•Approved the 2014-2015 Grades 7-12 Professional Staff Handbook and Grades 7-12 Athletic Handbook as presented.
•Approved Brock England, Danielle Raszka and Anthony Stevens as Grades 7-12 Summer Intervention Teachers at the rate of twenty-five dollars per hour.
•Approved Supplemental Contracts for the 2014-2015 school year with Christa Perry (Band Director/twenty summer days; extra for band, marching band, parades, concerts, etc.); Cathy Frastaci (extra for Chorus/seventy-five percent); Hannah Crossen (Vo Ag extended time for FFA/sixty summer days); Amanda Reiter (Guidance Counselor/twenty summer days); James Gallehue (Driver’s Education/driving only; Driver’s Education/Instruction); Tiffany McBride (Athletic Training); Jessica Fee (Varsity Volleyball) and Kim Hickman (Summer Band Camp).
•Approved the Shared Speech Services Contract with Edgerton Local Schools effective one year beginning July 1, 2014; anticipated District savings is $37,000.
•Approved the Rent-a-Tech Service Agreement with North West Ohio Computer Association effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 at a cost of $55,220.
•Approved employment of Wyatt Walkowski as summer help through the third week of July at ten dollars per hour (capped at 7.5 hours/day for each four-day week.)
•Renewed property and liability insurance policy with Schools of Ohio Risk Sharing Authority (SORSA) effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 at a cost of $38,000 for fifteen million dollars coverage; Andres O’Neil & Lowe is the local agent. •Approved minutes from last month’s special meeting on May 12 and regular session held Tuesday, May 13, 2014 as well as May’s Financial Reports, Appropriation Increases/Decreases and the Amended Certificate of Estimated Resources for FY 2014.
•Voted to enter into Executive Session prior to adjournment for the expressed purpose of discussing employment of personnel and negotiations (preparing, conducing or reviewing); no action was expected to be taken.
The Edon Northwest Local Board of Education will next meet Tuesday, July 8, 2014 in the school’s Media Center beginning at 5:30 p.m.