Millcreek-West Unity School Board Meeting Addresses Concerns with House Bill 59

Hilltop copyThe March meeting of the Millcreek-West Unity School Board convened on March 18, 2013, with all members present.

In the legislative report, the board heard concerns about House Bill (HB) 59 as, according to a memo from the Ohio E & A, “the breadth and depth of the flaws in the K-12 education section of the budget greatly exceeds that of the past”. The OSBA (Ohio School Boards Association) has asked local school boards across the state to approve resolutions addressing concerns about the proposed budget in HB (House Bill) 59.

The board then approved the consent agenda with the following items:[emember_protected custom_msg=”Full content protected for online subscribers. Purchase a one week subscription from the top menu bar for just $1.99 to read all online content (full access). Longer subscription plans are also available. Subscriptions cover our costs to attend local events; bringing forth Hometown News Coverage to our communities.”]
1. Approve the minutes from the February 2013 Board of Education Meetings.
2. Approve the Financial Statements and Investments for February 2013.
3. Approve contract with the accounting firm of Julian & Grube in the amount of $1,600. each year for 2 years, to perform the agreed upon procedures engagement for our district’s 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 Medicaid Service Providers Cost Report as specified by the Ohio Department of Education.
4. Approve Emily Maneval’s expenses up to $1200 for International Science Fair in Phoenix, AZ.
5. Approve MOU between N.W. State Community College and Hilltop High School to participate in Project Jump Start, a program allowing high school juniors and seniors to earn college credit while in high school.
6.Approve MOU between Teacher’s Association and the MWU Board of Education regarding College Compensation.
7. Accept donation of $150.00 from Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio to survey our students.
8. Approve calendar for 2013-2014
9. Employments as follows:
Substitute Teachers: Jaimee Frey, Carol McInerney, Cindy Myers, and Robert Taylor Michael Polley: Volunteer Coach for High School Track

The board congratulated student Emily Maneval on her science project that qualified her for the International Science Fair.
In his report, Interim High School Principal Larry Long said that the OGT tests were completed and have been sent on for grading. The testing went very well. The musical “Cinderella” and art shows also were successful and were well attended. Alyssa Kemps has been awarded the Franklin B. Walter Scholarship for Williams County and will be traveling with her parents to Columbus on April 10 to participate in the award ceremony. Long added that the new resource officer Michael Polley has been a great addition to the school and has a good rapport with the students and staff. “He offers so many variations and opportunities with the kids and staff to make the day go well.” Superintendent Dr. Smith then gave praise to Principal Long, stating that “Larry (Long) has taken on a role much deeper (than originally intended). He has done a great job.”

Elementary Principal Laura Springer said that testing in the grade school levels had gone well. Teachers are currently in the process of getting students ready for the OAA (Ohio Achievement Association) tests in grades 3-6. Springer then discussed an upcoming reward program for students who could win an iPod Touch. Students will earn coupons for answering questions correctly and for their grades on some assignments. They will earn three coupons for an A, two coupons for a B, and one coupon for a C. They can also earn coupons for good and neighborly behavior. Coupons will go into a drawing for the iPod. This will increase motivation for students, many of whom are very excited about earning coupons.

The school is also working toward a Mud Hens promotion, where students can earn a trip to see the minor league baseball team play. This will be for grades 3-6, and students would have to earn their right to take the trip. The Mud Hens provide a curriculum for schools to use as part of this promotion.

Springer also expressed her concern about the Race to the Top program as there is concern that federal money for the program could be cut, thereby ending the program for the district. She said that locally, the money is used for Title teachers, and would result in a loss to the district. She will soon be attending a conference and will attend administrative sessions where the Race to the Top program will be discussed.

April 9 is the date for spring pictures to be taken. OAA tests will take place the week of April 22 and it is important for students to be well rested that week in order to do well on their tests.

In treasurer’s business, the board was asked to approve an amended certificate. An additional $16,000 was requested for the general fund. The board moved to approve the following additions, revenue increases, and appropriation modifications. A revised certificate will be filed with the Williams County Auditor to reflect the increases in fund expenditures and revenue.

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The board approved the retirements of the following:

  • Sheryl DeGroff resignation as of May 31, 2013.
  • Terry Krause resignation as of May 31, 2013
  • Emagene K. Stuckey resignation as of end of the school year.

Superintendent Dr. Bob Smith indicated that the three retirees had a long history of service and that they had a great run. He deeply appreciated their service.
They also approved the following resignations contingent upon being rehired in the same position for the 2013-2014 school year:

  • Lisa M. Dobbelaere resignation as of May 31, 2013
  • Pat R. King resignation as of May 31, 2013

When they return, they will drop to the salary standards of a fifth year, one year contract, and they will forego tenure. There will be a public hearing, the date of which will be published in local papers.

The board returned to a discussion of House Bill 59, and approved a resolution that expressed their concerns about the budget as presently written. If the bill should pass without changes, there would likely be further cuts in funding for local schools.

Superintendent Smith discussed the upcoming levy. He emphasized that this is a renewal levy, not an additional tax. He noted that this renewal was at the heart of the school’s operating budget, and that it represents approximately 5% of the district’s budget. The district has already suffered the loss of around $300,000 in funding. Said Smith, “We need this desperately!” Letters will be going out to citizens in the district outlining the importance of the passage of this levy. Smith will be previewing signs this week, and they will be displayed starting in the first or second week in April. There will also be a series of public meetings for those in the district, as well as phone banks and a walking campaign right before the election.

There is a time change for the May 2013 school board meeting. Due to the chorus concert at 7:00 p.m., the board wanted to have completed business before that time. The board meeting will instead start at 5:30 p.m. The April 15 meeting will begin at the regular time of 6:00 p.m.

In other business, Roger Detwiler has noticed that the outside portion of the concession stand counter is rotting and needs replaced. Traci Thompson will look into the matter and get estimates on a replacement.

With no further business to discuss, the board went into executive session for the purpose of a pending court case and personnel. There was no further action following the session.

The board will meet in a Special Session on a date to be decided for the purpose of the retire/rehire hearing for Lisa Dobbelaere and Pat King. This information will be published in local papers.

The next regular board meeting of the Millcreek-West Unity Board of Education will be Monday, April 15, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. in the band room.[/emember_protected]

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