Edon Northwest School Board Updated On District’s Safety Policy

POLICY UPDATE … Edon Northwest Local Schools Superintendent Ed Ewers presents highlights on progress made with the District’s Security Policy/Procedures.  A full report will be presented to the Board in March.

POLICY UPDATE … Edon Northwest Local Schools Superintendent Ed Ewers presents highlights on progress made with the District’s Security Policy/Procedures. A full report will be presented to the Board in March.

Edon Northwest Local Board of Education was updated on the District’s safety policy evaluation process during its regular monthly session held Tuesday, February 12, 2013 in the Edon Schools Media Center. President Jill Jacoby called the meeting to order with all members and one guest in attendance.

As noted last month, Superintendent Ed Ewers has been in frequent contact with Edon’s Chief of Police regarding current District procedures. “Since December, I’ve been talking with Chief Tom Szymczak about our school safety policy and present planning,” he began. “I don’t know of a day gone by that each of us hasn’t spent [time] looking at all the safety concerns of the District and our current crisis plan.”

Ewers also shared a group of police and fire department personnel, along with representatives from the school, had met twice to review and discuss those safety issues needing possible revisions or were appropriate for revisions. “We’re looking to update, not only our plan, but our procedures as well. There’s obviously a great deal of attention being paid to what schools already have in place but [they’re also [examining different measures] schools have taken to try and increase its security.”
With plenty of models and examples to go by, Ewers wanted to make sure the District looked at what would work best to manage the safety of its students. “Not every model or example fits every district,” he continued. “My approach has been to craft policy and procedures that are right for us ~ and that’s been [our] direction going through this process ~ policy and procedures that make sense for [our district].”

Ewers further explained his goal to have everything pulled together and ready by the end of February. “Once all pieces are in place, I’ll then begin sharing [information], not only with you, the Board, but certainly with the community as well.”

While no specific policy details were presented, Superintendent Ewers did offer revisions would affect what is done in the building and access to it would change as well. “Any time we create change, some inconveniences for our parents and for our community will [also occur],” he stated. “I’m sure there will be some frustration, but again, the goal is to minimize risk and maximize security.”

With that in mind, Ewers remains hopeful of the District’s goal. “Yes, we’ll have to work through some things ~ and continue to iron out maybe a couple other issues ~ but we want to [be certain] we have systems and procedures in place that ensure, to the best of our ability, the safety of all our kids and the staff who work here.”

Once presented at the Board’s March session, plans to implement policy changes would get underway as soon as possible. “There will be staffing and training to [address],” said Ewers. “And ~ as with everything else ~ some costs will be incurred with the updates.” Quotes from several vendors regarding various aspects of the building’s current safety features are now being obtained.

“I know there are some districts that have perhaps moved ‘quicker’ than we have ~ and that’s okay,” concluded Ewers. “I feel good about the communication that’s taken place throughout this process [over the past several weeks]. I would like the community to understand that as we move forward, there will be changes and I hope we’ll have the same cooperation during that process as well.”

Highlights from February’s Board Reports included:

Treasurer Kerry Samples

  •  Noted the District had received a $12,500 casino funding payment for this year; from here on, funding will be in two payments per year. Estimates indicate the District should receive seventy thousand dollars for 2013-2014; however, with casino-generated revenue not where organizers anticipated, the amount could be at fifty thousand dollars.
  •  Shared preliminary State Funding estimates for the next two years; the District, unfortunately, will not receive additional funding for FY14 and FY15. More than half the schools in the State are flat-lined (not losing any funding but not gaining funding either); eighty-five percent of rural schools received no funding.
  •  Submitted his standard SM2 Report indicating revenues were down one hundred thirty-four thousand dollars and expenses down one hundred thirteen thousand dollars for the same seven-month period as last year. The District is currently tracking twenty-one thousand dollars worse than a year ago. (With current adjustments in Foundation Funding, revenue will drop approximately thirty thousand dollars per month until the end of the fiscal year.)

Grades 7-12 Principal David Kennedy

  •  Shared the recent Financial Aid Workshop with Edgerton was well received by students and parents; extended thanks to the staff and NHS Advisor Mark Blue for their part in making the National Honor Society Recognition Dinner an enjoyable and positive event and congratulated Stephanie Bonitz and the EHS Band on their wonderful performance during a recent Lake Erie Monsters hockey game at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.
  • Noted several upcoming events included the annual FFA Community Breakfast (February 16); All-County Music Festival (February 24 in Montpelier); Family Fun Night (March 8); High School Musical Once Upon a Mattress (March 9-10) and OGTs (March 11-15).

Grades KK-6 Principal Bonnie Troyer

  • Recognized January’s Bomber Courtesy Club members for all the great things they did to help make the school a positive place to be.
  • Noted students in grades two, three and four recently completed the Junior Achievement hands-on classroom curriculum; a special thanks to volunteers Allyn Luce, Cathy Schuller, Andy Kiess and Wes and Jennifer Maier for their commitment to the program; congratulated students in grades five through eight on their outstanding winter band and choir concert.
  • Shared OAA testing would take place in late April.

Technology Coordinator Molly Miller

  • Noted the switchover from Honeywell Instant Alert to Power Announcement would start February 28; test announcements were set to begin the week of February 10.
  • Shared students are beginning to bring their own technology devices to school in accordance with stated policies; teachers are starting to pilot the program in their classrooms.

Superintendent Ed Ewers

  • Shared current enrollment figures stand at five hundred eighty-six students (those actually in the building) for grades KK through Twelve and last month’s Special Education Waiver for 2012-2013 had been accepted by the Ohio Department of Education.
  • Noted the District had used its allotted five calamity days; Blizzard Bag assignments, already in place if and when the need arises, are to be completed by students for additional days missed.
  • In other action taken, the Board:
  • Accepted Cash Donations from various individuals and businesses for Post Prom activities ($120.50) and a Gift Donation from Edon Athletic Boosters ($1,950 ~ basketball shooting machine; previous machine was traded in on new one).
  • Renewed OSBA (Ohio School Boards Association) annual membership dues ($2,730); School Management News ($190) and Briefcase subscription ($130).
  • Approved Inter-District Open Enrollment policies for the 2013-2014 school year. (Done annually; no changes since its adoption in 2007.)
  • Approved the contract with Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center (NwOESC) for 2013-2014; fees for services provided (gifted teaching and supervision, school psychologist, other supervisory services) will be deducted from foundation payments.
  • Approved a three-year contract with Northern Buckeye Education Council (NBEC) for internet services effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016. Approved 4-0 with one abstention.
  • Approved a Services Continuation Agreement with Index Blue effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016 for web hosting and Schoolpointe services. (A $2,797 E-rate rebate will reduce the combined costs of $3,996 to an end total cost of $1,199).
  • Approved a one-year contract with Communications Options Inc. (COI), effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 for local and long distance telephone services. (Same rates as last year; District should realize an $1,100 savings by the June 30 year end.)
  • Approved 2012-2013 contracts with Cindy Slattery (substitute custodian and cafeteria worker) and Shelby Thompson (substitute secretary).
  • Was updated by Kris Dobbelaere regarding Race to the Top (RttT); teachers continue to work at completing the curriculum unit design (what standards are being taught, how they teach and assess work, technology used, how they’re meeting all student needs, etc.)
  • Approved minutes from the organizational and regular Board meetings held Tuesday, January 8, 2013.
  • Approved Financial Reports for January 2013 along with the Amended Certificate of Estimated Resources and Permanent Appropriation Increases/Decreases for FY 2013.
  • Voted to enter into Executive Session to discuss employment of public employees; no action was expected to be taken.

The Edon Northwest Local Board of Education will next meet Tuesday, March 12, 2013 in the school’s Media Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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