Thursday, April 7, 2011

March 2011 Meeting

We actually had 2 meetings in March.  One was a special meeting, where we had to approve an amended certificate and appropriation resolution (which reflected a net decrease of funds in the amount of $25,729.41) along with a transfer of funds to athletics.  We also discussed the school calendar for 2011-12, and then held an executive session to discuss upcoming negotiations, as well as pieces of the superintendent's evaluation.

At our regular meeting on March 15, we made a minor adjustment to the agenda before proceeding with the evening's business. 

We had several people to recognize with commendations that night!  There were students who had placed in the Regional Accounting contest, and two band students who had participated in the Toledo Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.  Good job!!

We also made special mention of Jerry Smith and Jerry Bowser for their facelift of the high school cafeteria.  It looks great!

There were two significant items related to our wrestlers that were honored as well.  Of course, those young men who had gone to state were congratulated, and the whole district was still sharing in the glow of Mimmo Lytle winning the state championship in his weight category.  In addition, we took time to thank the two upstanding citizens of our community, Don and Derek Johnson, who had discovered a large amount of cash and turned it in - much to the relief of the happy owner.  Our extra-curricular programs have life lessons to teach that simply cannot be covered in a regular classroom - but the embracing by individuals of those lessons is the proof in the proverbial pudding.  We are all SO proud of these honest young men who did the right thing simply because it was the right thing.  What a simple concept - and yet, how rare in our world today.

We received a status report on the Middle School boiler heating system by Mr. Will Oswald, and were grateful to learn that the machine is operating at a high efficiency despite its age.  There remains tweaking to be done to all of our buildings' systems so that operating costs are kept to a minimum. 

In response to a recent federal mandate, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, our food service director gave a report on its impact on our school. 

Meeting minutes and financial items of the treasurer were approved.   The tax rate information from the counties had been received, which required us to approve it, per the Ohio Revised Code.  (We don't really have a "say" in where the rates are set, but we are required to approve it.)

Under new business from the superintendent, we approved personnel recommendations as presented.  In response to another mandate (this one under H.B.1), we adopted a formal resolution to teach something called "financial literacy and career readiness" to 7th and 8th grade students. The two-page document includes reference to teacher training and: "teaching students to become financially literate, including the ability to read, analyze, manage, and communicate about the personal financial conditions that affect material well-being. . . "        I'm not kidding.  Most of you reading this are around my age - I'll bet you thought kids were already getting this stuff, just like we did all those years ago.  Surprise.  Surprise.  Between all of the other mandates handed down from The Government, the basics of how to establish and maintain a workable personal budget have been edged out and now require yet another mandate to be reinstituted.  If you had any doubts that allowing The Government to meddle in education might be a bad idea, this should give you an answer.

We also approved the 2011-12 school calendar.

Building reports from the respective administrators had been provided ahead of time, which is very much appreciated.  From these reports, the Board is able to see what each building has been working on over the past month, and any upcoming projects.

Next on the agenda was a discussion on the Swanton Recreation program.  Kris Oberheim, as a representative of the rec committee, asked if the Board would be willing to allow them to use Swanton Rec funds to pay for materials required to repair the stairs at the village park concession stand.  The Village would then provide the labor.  As our teams store equipment upstairs during their season, the rec committee believed it to be a valid request.  I disagreed, stating that the Village was responsible for the physical upkeep of their facilities - not us.  The tax money we had for Swanton Rec was for the programs themselves and equipment.  The dollar amount requested was not large - I disagreed on principle.  The vote on this item was thus 4-1.  The next day, a Village council member saw me and thanked me for the Board agreeing to pay for these materials.  I just grinned and said, "Don't thank me - I voted against it!"

Other committee reports were short, and we then went into executive session to discuss the superintendent's evaluation and employee employment.   When we came out from executive session, our meeting was adjourned.

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