Jackson Center Board of Education approves tax abatement

JACKSON CENTER – The Jackson Center Local Schools Board of Education approved a Community Reinvestment Area agreement between the village of Jackson Center and Tred Properties, LLC, among actions at its April 20 meeting.

The agreement is for a retail project investment of $900,000 and grants a 15-year property tax abatement at 100 Davis St.

Also during the meeting, fourth through 12th grade Principal Jeff Reese reported senior class coordinator Susie Harris is leading discussions with high school seniors on how to conduct graduation in the current landscape. The graduation remains scheduled for May 24, and a series of plans and contingency plans are being worked on with a focus on providing as much as possible for these graduating seniors while maximizing safety and abiding by state and federal guidelines.

Earlier in the meeting, the board approved 36 students in the class of 2020 for graduation upon completion of all requirements, 33 of whom will participate in the ceremony.

Reese also provided updates on the process to hire an art teacher to replace Sandra Corbett, who will retire next fall.

Superintendent Bill Reichert provided updates on the current situation and tentative plans in dealing with the coronavirus with respect to state and federal guidance and mandates. On April 20, Gov. Mike DeWine announced school buildings will be closed for the rest of the school year.

Pre-kindergarten through third grade Principal Ginger Heuker said the recent homework and activity exchange day with parents and students went smoothly. There have been some necessary phone calls, home visits and a few deliveries to facilitate this and keep some on task, she said.

Student education in the virtual world continues to progress as teachers and students become more comfortable with systems and planning for such, Heuker said. Much discussion is occurring on how to recognize the end of the school year with activities, which are recognizable and anticipated yearly by students.

The board approved summer activities, which includes overnight stays, provided they meet the pandemic safety precaution expectations in place at that time. Those that might require a general fund expenditure will be reviewed again prior to final approval.

During the financial report, the board learned monitoring continues of all three main revenue streams including state funding, real estate taxes and earned income taxes. It is too early to tell the effects, but the main concern will be the earned income tax.

The first time the district likely will see a real effect will be for the April-June quarter, which will be received in late July and reflected in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Preparations are underway to conduct a virtual meeting with staff on changes approved by the health insurance consortium for the current health plans that will become effective in January 2021.

The district will begin the conversion of all accounting and payroll systems beginning with a kickoff meeting in July. This conversion will take approximately 12 months to backup data, convert systems, conduct training and quality check output.

The board approved updates to the policy manual per recommendation by the Ohio School Boards Association including staff conduct, staff-student relations, student absences and excuses, and graduation plans for at-risk students. Most of the changes were clarifications while the change for graduation plans was a change in law with newly mandated steps, which already occur.

The board approved authorization of the superintendent to hire part-time seasonal maintenance workers.

The board of education went into executive session and then accepted the resignation of elementary teacher Rachel Borchers. The board thanked her for her service to the district since August 2012.

The next Jackson Center Local Schools Board of Education meeting will be at 7 p.m. May 18.