Stryker School Board Of Education: Local Resident Questions Board On Money Spent

3-21-13 Stryk schl bd (AW) WEBMonday evening’s Stryker Board of Education brought local resident and former Board of Education member, Phil Short to the meeting. Phil approached the board with his concerns on the school taxes, how the money is being spent and his view of the recent Ohio School Report Card grade that the Stryker district received. The report card was in a recent issue of a local newspaper that gave a grade comparable to that of an “E” or a “D” in the classrooms. He stated that Stryker was the only school in the four county areas to receive such marks.

“If our children came home with report cards such as this, they would probably be grounded, given a time-out or serve a detention…” states Short.
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“The academic score card surprised us as well,” states Terry Blosser, “We have been working with the administration to take action to correct some of those deficiencies. I expect those scores will show improvement this year.”

President Erb explains, “One of the problems we have with the score card is the way the score cards are graded. A school district like Stryker has a distinct disadvantage because it only takes a small percentage of students to bring the grades down. So, our focus for the past five years, has really been trying finding the money to operate”

“Now we’re trying to find money to operate, we had to cut everywhere we need to cut. Unfortunately in doing that we had to make some curriculum adjustments too. We don’t have as many teachers as we would like to have.”

“We’ve made some difficult decisions, trying to conserve funds.”

“I think this is something we talk about all the time as a board. We want to do whatever it takes to give the kids the best education possible”

“Based on our numbers within our tested grade levels, it’s about 4-5%, so 3-4 student per grade can pull the score down, that’s what we’ve found” states Superintendant Nate Johnson.

“Also our special needs students are held accountable as our regular students for this testing” Johnson adds.
Mr. Short points out that the voters of the district voted to give Stryker a new school with the latest tools and technology, to give the students a good education.

“A building and contents is not what educates our students. Rather, it is teachers and parents working together to bring out the best in our children” states Short.

Mr. Short feels more research needs to be done to determine why the test scores are not near or at the top. Mr. Short also feels that the tax dollars should be spent “more on academics, and less for permanent improvements”.

In Mr. Short’s prepared speech, he notes that the past few years have seen improvements, which were not voted on by the voters, and as he puts it “not necessary”. Permanent improvements have been: on re-facing of a “1950’s building”, paving the track and parking lot at the athletic complex and Short Street, and the purchase of the bus garage.

“I feel now is the time to pull in the reigns on spending of permanent improvements and land purchases and to concentrate more on providing the best quality of education possible for our children.

“In other words, if I was the parent of the board, you would be grounded until I see significant improvements in your Ohio report card” states Short.

Facts of Stryker District:

  • Board of Education asked for 5.8 mill emergency operating levy; the auditor increased it to 6 mills
  • PI funds are used for building, maintenance and classroom tools (i.e. technology for students & teachers)
  • PI funds are used to instructional purposes

“It takes the entire community to educate our children, our students” starts Johnson. “We have to keep in mind the students need to do their jobs, the teachers their jobs, the parents their jobs, the administration and board, everyone needs to do be doing their jobs”
“We’re well aware of that, and we’re doing the best we can,” finishes Johnson.
In other news:

  • Superintendant Johnson congratulated Daniel Fether for placing 4th in the State for Archery
  • Superintendant Johnson also congratulated all the winter sports teams on a successful season
  • Spring sports season begins April 1st
  • Family Corn hole tournament will be held on May 10th
  • Spring Choral concert was held on March 21st
  • Grandparents day is May 3rd
  • End of third nine weeks was March 22nd
  • Grade cards issued on April 5th
  • Spring break is March 25-29
  • Spanish & Art programs field trip to Detroit Art Institute was March 20th
  • Kindergarten screening April 30th and May 1st
  • National Honor Society induction April 9th at 6:30 pm
  • Recommend the Board accept the resignations for the purpose of retirement for: Trudy Partee (teacher), Linda Roose (teacher), Tim Friend (teacher)
  • Recommend the Board approve Jaimee Olmstead as Jr. High track volunteer contingent upon the required BCI/FBI background check and required documents
  • Recommend the Board approve Susie Beals, Jur High track assistant
  • Recommend the Board approve the resignation of Kyleigh Meeker-Blad as Varsity cheerleading coach
  • Recommend the Board approve the overnight extended National Robotics Class Competition trip to Marion, Ohio, April 11-13
  • Recommend the Board approve the agreement with Owens State Community College Academic Dual Enrollment
  • Recommend the Board approve the change in the Kindergarten age requirement deadline to September 30th
  • Recommend the Board approve the use of district transportation for Stryker Preschool to the Ft. Wayne Zoo, May 9th

The Board will meet again in regular session on April 15 at 6:30 in the art room.[/emember_protected]

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