A special meeting of the school board was held at the end of August to discuss our treasurer search with Lucas Co. ESC assistance. We talked about preparing a brochure of the position for potential candidates, timelines, etc. Obviously this is an awkward time to search for a school district treasurer, but we need to get moving. No time like the present!
Our September meeting began (after the usual preliminaries) with discussion and recognition of the district's new Excellent rating by the State of Ohio. Interim Superintendent Russ Griggs mentioned that he was in contact with the State Board of Education to find a person able to present the Excellent banner to our students in an upcoming assembly program.
Brooke Butler sat in for interim treasurer Arlene Wilson, and took our minutes that evening. Minutes of previous meetings were approved as presented. Financial reports and investments of the treasurer's office were presented and approved as well. Various budgets were presented to the BOE, such as the High School building account, the Class of 2013 budget, student council budget, etc. and these were all approved as presented.
Two additions to the "transportation in lieu" list were presented and approved. (This is for families who send their children to a private school where our district does not offer transportation. When this happens, the family may apply to the school district and request those transportation dollars be given to them, in accordance with state law. )
Several donations were gratefully accepted and applied to the costs of the high school Bulldog Blast event:
- Swanton Rotary Club $100
- Kroger $40 in gift cards
- Swanton Athletic Boosters $250
- SACC $250
- Dental Health Associates $250
- Oak Valley Realtors $250
- SPORTS Group $250
A big "Thank You!" to these organizations!
For the Superintendent's section of our meeting, we first approved personnel changes as presented. These included accepting the retirement of long-time school secretary, Carol Arvin, from Park Elementary. The place won't seem the same without her! A new Middle School secretary was hired - Shelly Fox. Among other items, several student teachers from BGSU were assigned to the teaching staff at our buildings.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the board and the teachers' union (SEA) was approved as well, which will allow better utilization of teacher resources and matches with students' needs.
Our fire alarm system maintenance agreement was renewed at the same cost as last year.
The Board approved a resolution with Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) to re-submit our letter of intent. This cost us no money to apply - it only holds our place in line. For a while, money from the large tobacco settlement was used to fund this program in Ohio. That money has all been spoken for, and thus the number of schools approved for funding this year and going forward will be significantly less than before.
Building reports from each of our principals had been received and reviewed by board members prior to our meeting. I have to say, our administrators do a great job of keeping us informed of what is happening in their respective buildings each month. At Crestwood and Park, a bus safety program was held for the students, and we also learned of the great start for the Dawg Pound this year. The security cameras were installed at those buildings in the hallways and outside playground area (no cameras in the classrooms/restrooms).
The Middle School held its first ever Open House this year, prior to school beginning. It was a great success with students and parents. A new secretary was hired (mentioned above) and 6th grade camp was scheduled. Plans were in the works for their after-school program, which will include an hour of academic work, a snack, and a club activity which will be different each night. Last year the program was very well attended, and we hope to continue that success.
The High School had a great attendance at their Bulldog Blast - over 300 people! A parent/student meeting on the new Drug Testing policy for extra-curriculars was held on Aug. 24th. The policy is included in the handbook for this year, but feel free to contact any board member if you have questions.
After every home football game, the high school and SACC will host a "Fifth Quarter" event for our students. These events are staffed by SHS and SACC staff members and provide a healthy and safe environment for students on a Friday night. Food is also provided. The money that is used to defray the cost comes from local businesses that donate money (PNC, Target), pay for advertising (Allstate), or pay commission (Coca-Cola, Rose Photography). The last event had around 200 students, which is great!
Aaron Hall from the Swanton Recreation was in attendance to give us an update on the programs and answer questions.
We were finished with all public board business early that evening, and then had one executive session on personnel matters and negotiations with the SEA before we adjourned.