Friday, August 28, 2009

August Board Meeting

We are off to a good start of the 2009-10 school year.

At our regular August school board meeting, we learned that enough children had enrolled for Kindergarten that allowed us to recall a teacher. Good news!

Superintendent Paulette Baz had suggested that we tap Russ Griggs to fill in for her when she is off on maternity leave. Mr. Griggs has over 27 years of experience and is well known by many in our area. He has served in the Delta and Evergreen districts, among others. He should allow our school district to move forward smoothly until such time as Mrs. Baz returns to the helm. Her due date is in the latter part of September, so no doubt we will have her for a few weeks before her first child is born.

By now you have received your first issue of the Bulldog Bulletin, which is our newest venture in communication with residents of the district. This format will allow our principals to share their news and other updates, along with the Board. By having this newspaper mailed to all residents of our district, everyone will be informed in a timely manner.

It may surprise some to know that our district is made up of a majority of people without children currently in our schools. The Bulldog Bulletin will thus help us to communicate with those who otherwise might not be aware of school district events and progress. In addition, consolidating school district news into one publication will help the district to save money. It is a "win - win" situation for all!

Our cumbersome school district policy manual is going the way of the dinosaur, as we have worked closely with NEOLA to get all of it organized and available online. This was a huge task, and many thanks go to Mrs. Baz, Mrs. Woods, Mrs. Swisher, Mrs. Dyke and others who put in so many hours to make it happen.

Issues with the Swanton water supply have made football practices and other things difficult. We have had to purchase water, as the odor and foul taste mean the kids refuse to drink it. We are told that the Village is working on the problem.

Our state ratings have been posted, and Swanton remains "Effective" by Ohio standards. Our principals are working closely with the Superintendent to formulate and implement a cohesive plan that will allow our kids to be "Excellent" .

As a reminder, if you have a question or concern please follow the regular "chain of command", by contacting the appropriate building principal first. Most of the time this will be all that is necessary, but if you feel a need to take your question further you may contact the Superintendent. Board members are charged by law to formulate the policies under which the district operates, so if you have a general policy question you may contact one of us.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Board Candidate Reminder!

Hey - do you know of someone who is running for the office of school board member in Ohio this November? If so, please remind them that the Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) is sponsoring workshops across the state during September.

According to the OSBA, attendees will learn:
-> school board powers and duties
-> the most difficult things to learn about being a school board member
-> campaign issues, including campaign finance

Board member ethics and behavior
-> conflicts of interest
-> compatibility of public offices and positions
-> locally developed policies
-> Ohio's Open Meeting Law
And a Question and Answer session will be held.

There will be workshops in six locations throughout the state, as follows:
Sept.11 - New Philadelphia, Hampton Inn
Sept. 12 - Columbus, OSBA office
Sept. 14 - Findlay, Findlay Inn & Conference Center
Sept. 15 - Ohio University Inn, Athens
Sept. 21 - NEOUCOM, Rootstown
Sept. 21 - Roberts Conference Centre, Wilmington

The cost for the workshop is $75, and you must make a reservation. All sessions (except Sept. 12) run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with registration beginning at 5:30 p.m. The Sept. 12 session runs from 9 a.m. to noon, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Registrants for the workshop will receive a Board Candidate Kit, which contains a lot of useful material.

Encourage those you know to attend one of these sessions!