The Board of Education met on Tuesday, November 16th at 7 o'clock. After the Pledge of Allegiance was recited and a moment of silence observed, we moved into our business meeting.
Under Board Commendations, special notice was given to our Band for their qualifying in state competition. Tom Krupitzer was recognized as "Coach of the Year", and the boys soccer team was congratulated on being league champions. Other fall sports athletes were also commended.
No one from the public indicated a desire to address the Board, so we moved into the Consent Agenda. The Treasurer's section included October's meeting minutes and several financial reports and the check register. I have asked several times for more back-up information to be included with the check register - how can we know what we're approving on a huge Visa bill when we can't see what the money was spent on? To date, no report has been created that includes a "memo" column where an explanation might be held.
The Superintendent's section was for Personnel items, such as volunteers and supplemental contracts.
The Consent Agenda was passed as presented.
The first new business item under the Treasurer was the Athletic Budget for 2010-11 (the current school year). At this point, board member Kris Oberheim asked about basketball shoes - she had received a phone call from a parent thanking her (as a board member) for paying for basketball shoes. Kris questioned what this was about? Treasurer Cheryl Swisher and Superintendent Paulette Baz shared that the district had purchased shoes from Team Sports for both boys and girls basketball, 7th grade through the Varsity teams. No exact figures were available, but the estimate given that evening was that close to $9,000 was spent on shoes - an expense that the district has never before incurred. (Since then, I was told that we will learn the exact cost when we are asked to approve a Then and Now PO at our December meeting.) Some discussion was held on the matter, which you may listen to by going here to download the podcast.
As the basketball shoes were not an item on the athletic budget, I voted "yes" to approve it. The vote was split 3 to 2, with Kris Oberheim and Michelle Tyson voting "no".
Also approved were the amended certificates, an emergency purchase of a bus to replace #20, and continued payments to bus driver Kelly Hartlet who was injured in the bus accident.
Under new business for the Superintendent, Stacey Parrish (NwOESC education consultant) gave a presentation on our district report card. Ms. Parrish also works with our district on the Ohio Improvement Process.
A VarTek change order was approved (at no additional cost to the district), and then we had a discussion on fund raising activity in the district. It is the intent of the Superintendent to consolidate fund raising efforts in the community so that residents and businesses are not being "hit" for donations or raffle tickets etc. over and over and over again. The Superintendent requested permission to form a committee to meet with booster groups, athletic groups and extra-curricular organizations to determine how to minimize the number of fund raisers. The Board gave its permission for the committee to be formed.
Next, a resolution was passed to approve the ranking of the top 3 architect firms who had interviewed earlier that day as part of the process through OSFC. The top 3 are: Munger & Munger (a local firm which includes Swanton resident Kevin Young on its staff of architects), Bielharz and Buehrer. The resolution passed.
A short discussion on board development was held, and then reports on various items: Swanton Rec, Ohio Improvement Process (OIP), OSBA Capital Conference, Athletics, Building reports from each principal, and Drug Testing.
Our final order of business was an executive session, after which the meeting was adjourned.