Head Start Program Coming To Edon Local Schools This Fall

By: James Pruitt
THE VILLAGE REPORTER

Edon school officials are excited about the new Head Start program that will open this fall at the school. The program is open to area families that meet income levels, Superintendent John Granger said May 10 at the regular Board of Education meeting.

The program is designed for students ages 3-5 who are unable to get into the ESC program. There is no cost for students who qualify.

“We have students who will qualify and this is a way to get them in the door before kindergarten,” Granger said.

The district has 522 students in grades K-12. There is a preschool program for handicap children that other children can qualify for, but there’s not enough sport, Granger said.

“This (Head Start) will open up some spots,” Granger said. “We could have 18 students in each half day class. We could have 32 kids in ESC.”

Edon will likely have one half-time Head Start class. If recruitment goes well it may have two.

“We want as many children served as possible.

Head Start students get breakfast and lunch every day.

No Edon money going to Head Start.

The program will be run by federally funded Head Start personnel, but Edon will interact with them on a daily basis.

For a visit or to enroll call 1-419-784.5136 ext 1140

The district also agreed to a new three-year contract with its teachers.

The contract runs through June 30, 2019. Teachers will receive a 2 percent raise in 2016-17, 2.25 percent in 2017-18 and 2.5 percent in 2018-19.

Teachers pay 10 percent of their monthly premiums now and that will remain the same next year. Teachers will pay 11 percent in 2017-18 and 12 percent in 2018-19. The district will provide incentives for teachers to switch from a PPO to a Health Savings Account with a high deductible.

“We anticipate that will save some money for the board,” Granger said.

The HSA allows teachers to put money aside to go along with the board is paying and at age 65, the teacher can keep the money, Granger said.

There were some tough talks in the process, but there was also a spirit of good will, Granger said. Both sides kept things moving by always agreeing to set a date for the next round of talks before they left.

Negotiations began in March. Bargaining sessions never lasted more than an hour.

Another strength was that the board did not hire an attorney, all discussions were kept in house, Granger said. Representing the district was Granger, the treasurer and high school Principal Anthony Stevens.

“It was Edon Northwest people working with Edon Northwest people,” Granger said.

The Edon Teachers Association has 42 members.

The board also gave classified employees a 2 percent base increase for next year.

The June board meeting has been moved to June 21.

The district’s finances are in good shape as revenues are up and the five-year forecast is pretty solid.

The forecast, required to be filed every May and October, is part of the state’s oversight and fiscal caution to keep schools from getting into financial difficulties,

Superintendent John Granger said. While the last two years show deficit spending, they are also the most inaccurate, he said/.

The district will have reserves of at least $ 1 million to draw up over the next three years and the forecast reflects the new teachers contract and 8 percent increases in healthcare.

Two area residents will remove the dirt pile behind the school at no cost to the district.

The gym floor will be refinished June 16 by an outside crew. It is cheaper to have others do the gym floor, so school workers can focus on other tasks.

Track resurfacing should start right away.

The board will decide next month whether to all Spanish class students to raise money for a trip to Spain next year. The cost would be $3,720 each.

Graduation is set for 2 p.m. May 20 in the gym. Rehearsal will be May 23 and students will practice shaking hands.

Enrollment is up to 522 up from last year’s total of 504.

James Pruitt may be reached at
publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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