Once again, Edon Northwest Local Board of Education was apprised of weather-related changes to the school calendar when it convened in regular session Tuesday, February 11, 2014 in the school’s MediaCenter. President Brad McCrea called the meeting to order with members Jamie Schaffter, Aaron Hake, Dave Wehrle and Dave Haase in attendance.
“The modified [2013-2014] Calendar is very much a ‘fluid’ calendar based on what happens tomorrow and what has happened over the last month,” began Superintendent Ed Ewers. “Several changes have already been implemented [including a new Pre-School/KinderKid two-hour delay schedule.”
The first calendar modification placed into effect, occurred Friday, February 14. Originally planned as a Professional Development Day for staff, it was changed to an additional day of instruction for students. “This is not a ‘make-up’ day in the sense of replacing a calamity day or making up another day we missed,” shared Ewers. “The day was one of two requested Waiver Days and cannot be used for two purposes (wavier day and make-up day).” Actual ‘make-up’ days for the District are slated for Monday, February 17 (President’s Day) and Friday, April 18 (with early dismissal); Thursday, April 10, a planned two-hour delay, is now a full day of instruction for students.
“We’ll have to watch what happens through the State as far as [giving districts] additional calamity days,” he remarked. “[Legislature] has proposed three to four additional days; there’s also the conversation of adding thirty minutes at the end of each day which could accumulate into a make-up day.”
Currently, seniors won’t be impacted by additional make-up days and graduation will not have to be moved; however, at this point, the last class day for staff and students is still up in the air. “With all we’ve implemented as far as changes to the calendar, when is our last day?” posed Ewers. “I don’t know; I really don’t know because of calamity days that may happen and what decisions the State will make.” For now the District will take a “wait and see approach” to making up days missed while also maintaining calendar goals to have classes completed at the end of May.
Additionally that evening, an ambitious Stage Lighting Project for the auditeria was wonderfully summarized for Board members by High School Choir Director Cathy Frastaci and music students Kaitlyn Sonneberger and Kaden Dulle. Thoroughly researched, the informative twenty-minute PowerPoint presentation shared the current lighting situation and how improvements could enhance, not only musical productions and other District and community-supported functions but would also provide students the opportunity to learn transferrable theatre lighting skills as well.
“As Kaitlyn [explained to you earlier], we work really hard to perfect every aspect of our shows,” shared Mrs. Frastaci. “We work hard on the sets; we make sure costumes are professional and we work as hard as we can with students on their acting and singing to make sure everything is good, but the one thing that is holding us back, really is the lighting.”
As highlighted in musical clips and photos, center stage students were well lit while those at the back or off to the side were not; lighting was inconsistent and not the desired quality to showcase talented student performances. While temporary solutions ~ borrowing equipment, spotlighting individuals off and on, doing the “wave” ~ worked in the past, the time has come to explore more permanent lighting solutions.
“Our efforts are serious,” noted Frastaci. “We got a quote last summer [for the project] where they wanted to sell us one hundred two thousand dollars worth of equipment ~ not including installation.” Greatly impacting the cost was how the stage was built; sprinklers located at the top of the area prevent the use of regular halogen lights as heat emitting from them would set off the system!
Realizing there’s “no easy fix” to a major project like this, a more economical solution has been worked out. “What we’re able to do completely depends on the funding we receive,” explained Mrs. Frastaci. “Our proposal for lights, dimmer packs to fix existing lights, digital light board, can lights, some electrical work, etc. comes to seventy-five hundred dollars.”
While some donations have been received, others are still coming; grants have been applied for and every penny brought in would be put to good use. Although now ‘playing the waiting game’, it is hoped once fundraising efforts for the project are completed, Board members will consider offsetting any remaining costs with Permanent Improvement Funds.
With project questions addressed, the Board thanked Mrs. Frastaci and her students for their informative presentation and proceeded with the evening’s remaining light agenda.
In highlighting their February Reports to the Board, administrators noted:
Treasurer Kerry Samples
- Stated the District had received a $14,700 casino funding payment, the second of two annual payments (August and January). Program estimates at the onset indicated the District should receive fifty to sixty thousand dollars for 2013-2014; however, casino-generated revenue is not where organizers anticipated it would be.
- Submitted his standard SM2 Report indicating revenues were down eighteen thousand dollars and expenses up two hundred twenty-nine thousand dollars for the same seven-month period as last year. The District is tracking two hundred forty-seven thousand dollars worse than a year ago. (Expenses included three January pay periods; tracking figures would be more realistic without the additional one hundred sixty thousand dollars in salaries and benefits.)
Grades 7-12 Principal Anthony Stevens
- Shared the Parents Advisory Committee met for the third time Monday evening; the forum provides a wonderful resource for parents to communicate ideas and insights on issues and concerns. The next committee meeting will be held Tuesday, March 4 beginning at 5:30 p.m.; parents of all grade 7-12 students are invited to attend.
- Noted research into the Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) Report will continue; subgroup data (proficiency goals not met) will be tracked for progress.
- Stated preparations for next year’s registration are now underway.
Grades KK-6 Principal Bonnie Troyer
- Recognized January’s Bomber Courtesy Club members for the model students they are.
- Shared how daily teacher meetings ensure the individual needs of each student are identified and programs provided to help meet those needs.
- Submitted monthly reports outlining principal, teacher, student and parent activities for December and January.
In other action, the Board:
- Accepted Cash Donations during January from Northwest Fire and Rescue ($100 for Backpacks for Families); various individuals ($60 for Backpacks for Families) and various individuals ($15 apiece to Boys Basketball and Girls Basketball Funds.)
- Approved the Service Agreement with Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center (NWOESC) effective July 1, 2014. (The State requires school districts with enrollments fewer than sixteen thousand students be aligned with an ESC; $6.50 per student is pulled by the State to cover administrative costs.)
- Approved the contract with Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center (NWOESC) for 2014-2015 with fees to be deducted from foundation payments.
- Accepted Nance Steinke’s retirement resignation as custodian effective January 31, 2014.
- Approved Deb Gensler, Denyse Johnson, Dawn Becker, Carey Kiess, Michelle Free, Brock England, John Gallehue, Heather Taylor and Mindi Kepler as grades 3-6 spring intervention teachers.
- Approved 2013-2014 supplemental contracts with Abbey Peters (Assistant Softball Coach/JV); Emily Bockover (Volunteer Softball); Brandt Thiel (Volunteer Baseball) and Jay Klingler (Volunteer Baseball).
- Approved the Resolution adopting a Calamity Day Alternative Make-up Plan. (Student “Blizzard Bags”.)
- Approved minutes from the special meeting held January 13 and last month’s regular session held January 14, 2014 as well as January Financial Reports.
- Learned from Superintendent Ewers weather-related equipment and roof repairs would be covered by the maintenance fund (subsidized by the one-half mill approved by voters when the facility was built) and not general fund monies. He also commended the custodial and maintenance staff for their continued efforts in keeping campus lots, drives and sidewalks cleared these past wintry weeks; their dedicated and hard-working service is greatly appreciated.
- Voted to enter into Executive Session to discuss the employment of public employees; no action was expected to be taken.
The Edon Northwest Local Board of Education will next meet Tuesday, March 11, 2014 in the school’s MediaCenter beginning at 5:30 p.m.
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