Edon Northwest School Board Closes Out Year With Light Agenda; Approves 2013-2014 Calendar

indexEdon Northwest Local Board of Education addressed a light agenda when it convened in regular session Tuesday, December 11, 2012 in the school’s Media Center. President Suzanne McCullough called the meeting to order with all members and one guest in attendance.

In addition to taking care of routine business, the Board took up an alternate option of the 2013-2014 Calendar presented at the meeting. “The proposed calendar in your packet came from the teachers ~ their committee and their voting,” noted Superintended Ed Ewers. “I spoke with Association and they wanted me to share this is what they believe is the best option; a fair option.”

However, a possible alternative to the teachers’ original proposal was made available for the Board to consider as well. “The Alternate Option I have tonight,” continued Ewers, “is based on later comments I heard also from the committee related to days in November.”

At the center of the ensuing discussion was Thanksgiving Break. Under Option I, school would not be in session Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and the Monday following Thanksgiving giving everyone a four-day break; the Alternate Option would provide a three-day break (early dismissal at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday with no classes on Thursday, Friday and Monday).

Factored into the discussion were the committee’s concerns of absenteeism on the days in question (Wednesday and Monday) and the Board’s reservations in creating another “spring” break. “I think the Alternate Option accommodates much of what we’re trying to accomplish here,” commented Ewers. “It will still keep students in session on [Wednesday,] November 27 but will also allow for families traveling out of town to have at least the afternoon [to leave].”

After weighing the pros and cons of Option I and the Alternate Option, agreeing to track absences during Thanksgiving Break to see if the changes had addressed attendance concerns, Board members went on to approve the Alternate Option Calendar.

The 2013-2014 School Year will find classes beginning Tuesday, August 20; Thanksgiving ~ November 28-December 2 (early dismissal November 27); Christmas Break ~ December 23-January 1 (classes to resume January 2, 2014); Spring Break ~ March 24-28 and Monday, May 28 as the last day for students. The full calendar will be available on the school’s website at a later date.

Treasurer Kerry Samples

• Noted new health insurance premiums would go into effect January 1, 2013 (medical/eight percent increase; dental/three percent increase; vision and life insurance remain unchanged); additional costs to the general fund are estimated at forty-two thousand dollars over the next twelve months.
• Submitted his standard SM2 Report indicating revenues were down eighty thousand dollars and expenses down fifty-two thousand dollars for the same five-month period as last year. The District is currently tracking twenty-seven thousand dollars worse than a year ago. (Revenue reflects loss in Stimulus Monies and personal property tax reimbursements.)
• Shared the District had received a certificate from North Western Electric Co-Op, Inc as one of the top ten Capital Credits recipients for the year; the $2,713.23 patronage refund was applied against November’s billing.
• Explained the State’s per pupil reduction factor ($148 to $135.50/student) to meet federal requirements; “charge-offs” deducted for each student will result in an additional $6980 for the District.

Grades 7-12 Principal David Kennedy

• Congratulated the FFA Parliamentary Procedure Team on placing first in county level competition and fifth at districts.
• Noted students had participated in the ACT Explore Test; detailed results would be available at a later date.
• Offered personal thanks to staff members Mark Blue, Kayla Lapham, Annette Peckham, Cathy Frastaci and Lisa Heslop, for giving their time to chaperone the recent Senior Retreat; thanks were also extended to senior parents for their help with meals, transportation, etc. Everyone’s efforts were greatly appreciated by the Class of 2013 as well.

Grades KK-6 Principal Bonnie Troyer

• Recognized November’s Bomber Courtesy Club members.
• Noted Parent/Teacher Conference attendance was down slightly from last year.
• Shared sixty-four percent of students passed their fall reading achievement assessment on the first try; work will continue with all third graders to help them achieve a passing grade (as subject to Third Grade Reading Guarantee Program rules).
• Submitted annual Mobile Dentist figures; twenty-three students participated in this beneficial program.

Technology Coordinator Molly Miller

• Noted the newly restructured Technology Committee met last month; concerns and policies related to the new “Bring Your Own Device” program were discussed at length.
• Shared implementation of “Bring Your Own Device” would begin January 2013 (laptops, iPads, etc., already owned by students would be incorporated into classroom lessons and projects); Mrs. Becker’s fourth graders, Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Kepler’s sixth graders and Mrs. Lapham’s high school classes will be part of the pilot program. (There is no penalty for not having a device to bring in.)

Superintendent Ed Ewers

• Noted Mrs. Dobbelaere and Mrs. Troyer, along with ESC, were facilitating an Early Literacy Grant in connection with Third Grade Reading Guarantee program mandates. With only fifty-two, one-time grants available, the State suggests working as a consortium (rather than individually) to better the chances in receiving grant monies; as discussed by local district superintendents, county-level work will begin this week to create the proposal. The District is also applying for an ODE 21st Century Grant for after-school/supplemental programs currently not available to the District, intervention programs associated with the Third Grade Guarantee, etc.
• Shared additional information would be presented next month regarding a community member’s ten thousand dollar financial gift to the District; monies were given to improve the building’s sound system (notably in the auditeria and high school gymnasium).
• Stated enrollment remained steady over the past month; currently, the District is down thirty-four students from last year.

In other action taken, the Board:

• Set January 8, 2013 as the date for its re-organizational meeting beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the school’s Media Center; the regular meeting will immediately follow its completion.
• Confirmed Jill Jacoby as President Pro-Tem for January’s re-organizational meeting.
• Accepted Cash Donations from Edon Music Boosters ($1,000 ~ High School Choir Columbus Trip), T.O.P.S. ($500 ~ High School Choir Columbus Trip), Edon Lions Club ($200 ~ High School Principal’s Fund for Career Day), Ohiopyle Prints ($62.13), Various Businesses and Individuals ($123 ~ Post Prom 2013), Midwest Community Health Association ($265 ~ Sports Fund) and Gift Donations from Edon Athletic Boosters ($3,150 ~ forty-five football game jerseys).
• Exited a fifteen-minute executive session, called to discuss the employment of public employees, and approved Shannan Hulbert’s request for one year of unpaid medical leave effective December 7, 2012.
• Approved Dawn Becker, Brock England, Michelle Free, John Gallehue, Deb Gensler, Denyse Johnson, Mindi Kepler, Carey Kiess and Heather Taylor as Grades 3-6 spring intervention teachers.
• Approved board policy revisions to comply with required or recommended changes in state and federal rules and guidelines.
• Learned the District remains on target in accomplishing its Race to the Top goals.
• Approved minutes from the regular Board meeting held Tuesday, November 6.
• Approved November’s Financial Reports along with the Amended Certificate of Estimated Resources and Permanent Appropriation Increases/Decreases for FY 2013.
With all business addressed, Board members voted to enter into a second Executive Session to discuss the employment of public employees; no action was expected to be taken.

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