SIDNEY – In the first meeting since the new school-year began, Fairlawn Local Schools administrators informed the board of education of events, plans, and goal achievement for the 2018-19 academic year Monday night.
The board was informed the district’s STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) has surpassed expectations early on in grades 4-7.
A video presentation informed the crowd various grade level projects underway. It was noted the sixth-grade class was coming together through team-building, problem solving, and social behavior.
Superintendent Jeff Hobbs reported $5,000 was received from the Bob and Thelma Sargeant Fund through the Community Foundation of Shelby County to cover the cost of an interactive television used in teaching in STEM and various classes.
High/Middle School Principal John Stekli and Elementary Principal Karen McRill reported the development of career planning curriculum continues to be ahead of schedule.
Working with the Workforce Partnership of Shelby County, Fairlawn authorities continue to develop opportunities for students, McRill said.
The Partnership group works to provide training and employment opportunities for high school students to better fit the skills and need of the local labor force. The Fairlawn Hangar is the third such educational lab created in Shelby County along with Fort Loramie and Sidney schools.
Stekli told of a local employer offering the district a 40-hour online class regarding employment skills and needs. Once the class is completed, the student will receive three job shadowing opportunities and a 40-hour paid internship at the employer.
McRill said the school has obtained an embroidery machine to train students. Officials at Holloways in Sidney will offer tours and consider any students who have successfully concluded the training.
Hobbs spoke of fiscal responsibility being a top priority for administrators and the board. He spoke of various ideas on cost-cutting and searching for grants.
The superintendent said office secretary Deb Middleton retired on Aug. 31. She may return on a part time basis, Hobbs said. He said the plan is not to hire anyone to the position in a cost-cutting move.
He said two educators will be retiring at the end of the current school-year. Hobbs said the positions may be covered by an aide and evaluation of program needs at that time.
Hobbs said he was trying to change the “spending mentality” of staff members. He has cut supply lists for teachers, is asking them to examine the re-use of items past one year, and, is lowering the amounts on purchase requisition. Staff is also being urged to search for grant opportunities to help those cover costs.
He also said there was no need to place a tax levy before voters in the near future.
In other business, the board unanimously:
• Approved the new bus routes as presented by Hobbs.
• Accepted the resignation of secretary Deb Middleton effective Aug. 31.
• Accepted a donation of $500 from Gary and Shelly Ginter for the Seth Rogers Scholarship Fund.
• Okayed a list of 24 people as substitute teachers at a rate of $100 per day.
• Awarded a one-year limited contract to Kimberly Cotterman as Spanish teacher for the current school-year. She was also approved as Foreign Language Club adviser with a pay of $698.14.
• Employed Charlotte Cornett as a substitute cook and Ashley Miller as a substitute aide. The pay rate for both was set at a rate of $10 per hour.
• Awarded a one-year contract to Jacob Benanzer as seventh-grade boys basketball coach. His pay will be $2,094.41.
• Approved two people as pep band directors. Jacquelyn Jenkinson will be paid $1,003.57 for the year with Dominic Lehman receiving $872.67.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.