Saturday, July 23, 2011

June 2011

I keep writing these blog entries about what happens at our school board meetings even though many people are using the podcast option to listen in for themselves.  For one thing, this blog includes my personal opinion and is not solely a reporting device - plus, not everyone is going to want to listen to an entire board meeting that runs several hours.   So I'll keep plugging away.

We started the June meeting earlier than usual as we held an executive session on the Superintendent's Evaluation right off the bat.  The balance of our regular meeting then began at 6:30 p.m. and it was a good thing we got an early start as we didn't get out of there until 11 p.m.

After handling routine treasurer business, like approving past meeting minutes and various financial reports etc., one item brought before us was a proposed contract with a company called "Enlit" - pronounced "enlight".  Their services are described on their website.  Here are a few descriptive sentences taken from the site:

   Enlit is a web-based district evaluation system that leverages the power of measurement, analysis, benchmarking and scorecards. 
  Enlit users do not require new hardware, data bases, or staff.   Within one hour of gaining access to your personal web site, you will see and  understand strengths, weaknesses, and a full range of improvement and cost saving opportunities.
 Enlit has helped discover cost savings in the range of $200 – $675/student in administration and operations and well over that in education. Our Lean based approach has helped districts find department savings in the range of 8% – 30%, unwind complex technology issues, and streamline operations.

The idea is to check all systems within the district to see where we may be able to work smarter instead of harder, and possibly save some money in the process.  The Board voted to accept a contract for their services and also included a request that a representative give a presentation at our next board meeting. 

The Athletic Budget was presented, but we asked that it be tabled until our next meeting to give the Athletic Director more time to see where we might cut some costs while not sacrificing quality in our sports programs.

We also discussed the fact that our district currently does not use a collection agency for past due payments - some of which are a couple of years old!  The treasurer was asked to investigate collection agencies to see how we might remedy the situation.

We went into executive session at 7:30 to discuss employee employment, and returned to open meeting at 7:58 - a quick one!  (although someone reading the minutes of that meeting might notice that board president Dick Ueberroth voted "no" to enter into executive session, he was just trying to be funny. . . )

Other agreements and contracts were also approved, as was a trip to Washington, D.C. for the 8th graders next year.  Fund-raising options will be made available to the students so that their out-of-pocket expense may be minimized.

Several reports were given: 
  • TimWalborn reported on the water issues at Crestwood
  • Rec baseball/softball had a Home Run Derby and McNeill Chevrolet/Buick presented a check to the Swanton Rec Program.
  • The need for a mission and vision statement was discussed.
  • The need for a district-wide strategic plan was discussed, and it was decided to invite Kathy LaSota from the Ohio School Board Assoc. to attend our next meeting to discuss their services.
  • The proposed drug testing policy was tabled to the next meeting.
We were given information on a security camera proposal for the 2 elementary schools to look over and be prepared to discuss at our next meeting.  Board member Michelle Tyson is pushing for security cameras for the purpose of preventing bullying on school property, which is a noble cause.

The district uses a Visa card which grants us "points" that may be redeemed for various types of gift cards.  Currently we have 40+ cards in various denominations for places like Subway, an office supply store, and a couple of gas stations.  We want to make the best use of this program for our staff and kids, and tabled discussion to our next meeting.

Another executive session was called at 8:45 p.m. (all 5 members voted "aye" this time . . . ) and we were out and adjourned our meeting at 10:54 p.m. 

Like I said before:  sure was glad we started early that evening! 

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