The following are the highlights from the January 23, 2014 school board meeting:
- The district received the Ohio Auditor of State Award for last year for having a completely “clean” audit – the first one anyone can remember. This is a tremendous accomplishment by our Finance Department, led by Treasurer Debbie Caudle. Congratulations on your hard work!
- The district is moving to self-funding for our health insurance program as part of the SWOOSH health care consortium, consisting of local school districts. The program will still be administered by a third party, but self funding will allow us to save almost $300,000 a year and not have to pay Obamacare taxes.
- The board approved a new calendar for 2014-15. The biggest change, made based on community input, is the semester break will now happen before the winter holiday break, with semester exams for high schoolers taken before Christmas instead of after. In addition, because of a change in law starting next year, school districts will have to be in session a certain number of hours vs. a certain number of days. “Calamity days” will be gone – as long as the district is in session the appropriate number of hours, there is no issue. Our calendar always has and will still provide quite a bit of instructional time over the minimum. Next year, the JH & HS will be 17 days over minimum; the elementary grades 31 days over; and Kindergarten, with a 2 hour, 50 minute day will be 14 days over. Seniors will no longer have “early release” per se; instead, they can choose to participate in a supervised activity or an approved educational option, such as an internship.
- Operations Director Jeff Johnson provided a construction update. We have put School Design and Site Selection committees in place, both consisting of administrators, staff, board members and community members. We expect to have the information to make the Seipelt site decision this spring and will then work on designs this year. Construction is expected to start spring of next year.
- Gary Knepp asked our curriculum directors to look at holding a public discussion about the Common Core. There is much confusion about what the Core and the other State standards are. The session will be designed as an open discussion with anyone who has interest, questions or concerns welcome to attend. More information will be announced when available.