New Bremen approves forecast

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

NEW BREMEN – The New Bremen Board of Education met Wednesday night to hear about the district’s five-year financial forecast, anticipated district revenues and appropriations, and progress on the new elementary building project.

Treasurer Jill Ahlers told the board that she had lowered anticipated appropriation costs largely associated with the impending K-8 building construction project. She said current appropriations were estimated at $8,697,084.

For the five-year-forecast, Ahlers gave the board a listing of projected revenues and costs for the years 2019 through 2023. In 2019, revenue was expected to be $9,206,376 and expenditures totaling $9,123,469 with a cash balance of $6,428,29 . In 2023, revenue is estimated to total $9,164,198 while expenditures would be $10,251,274 and a cash balance of $2,945,803.

Ahlers also reported she had created separate accounts for various funds. For example, one account holds the $145,208 from the recent annexation agreement with Minster. Another account holds revenues from the Coca Cola contract. Separate accounts also are there for cross country, softball, track, swim and golf.

District Superintendent Jason Schrader reported to the board that the land swap with Crown Equipment exchanging the current elementary school property with two plots by the high school would be completed on Thursday, Oct. 18. He said the two land areas were only one-tenthc of an acre different in area. The transfer allows the building of the new K-8 elementary next to the high school.

Schrader also said he will be at the next New Bremen village council meeting on Oct. 22 to begin the vacation of Cardinal street. The public hearing is set to begin at 6:15 p.m. and following council meeting at 6:30 p.m. The closing of Cardinal will allow a one-way drive past the new complex. He said Crown would take possession of the former elementary property in 2020 when construction of the new elementary was complete.

The board accepted the superintendent’s recommendation to approve the Community Reinvestment Area Agreement with Crown Equipment Corporation, which would amount to a donation to the school district of $260,405 for ten years. This agreement is in lieu of property tax dollars Crown would have paid to the school on new construction. Crown expects to begin constructing their new expansion west of town in December 2018 with completion set for December 2019.

Schrader also said the village had approached the district about donating current elementary school playground once the new elementary is completed. He said the cost to transfer the equipment to the new school complex was prohibitive. Also, he said by the end of the year reviews would be completed deciding what would be of value to keep in the old elementary building. He also said reviews were being made of school course offerings.

K-6 Principal Diane Kramer said that online parent-teacher conferences were continuing until Oct. 21, with face-to-face conferences to be held Oct. 29 and Nov. 1. Kramer also reported representatives from Garmann-Miller, the architectural firm in charge of the new elementary school building project, met with elementary teachers September 19 and 20 to show them virtual renderings of the classrooms in the new building. She said this gave teachers an opportunity to offer input on the design of the classroom space.

Over the past few weeks, she said they have been reviewing safety procedures with the village police and fire departments in regards to fire drills, lockdowns, and evacuation procedures. She said the Wellness Committee kicked off a six week challenge to encourage school staff to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Grade 7 to 12 Principal Marcus Overman reported that the district was ranked 51st among 800 Ohio schools based on their Performance Index by the Ohio Department of Education.

He also said that grade 7-12 teachers were given webinar training on the Edge Factor website, a program which will provide career exploration and show the relationship to the various disciplines, such as math or language arts.

Letters had been sent out to parents about impending parent/teacher conferences. He congratulated Diana Kramer as being selected as the Ohio High School Volleyball Association Coach of the Year for girls’ volleyball. She will be the state representative for the National Coach of the Year Award. He also congratulated Nick Wells on receiving the Honda-Ohio State STEM award, created to increase interest in the profession of engineering as a career choice.

He said he and board member Shelly Busse had a presented to each grade level the Job Readiness Seal program which improves a student’s chances to gain employment in desired vocations.

Brian Puthoff, director of technology, reported that the One-On-One Committee started looking at Learning Management Systems to determine how which system should be used by the school district. He said the system would allow a one stop shop for students for receiving and using on-line class content. Teachers would be able to administer tests, quizzes and assignments. The LMS being looked at are Canvas, Schoology and Google Classroom.

The board also approved one-year supplemental contracts for Elly Puthoff as Softball Coach, Lynette Ross as assistant softball coach and Kristen Kopf as assistant swim coach.

The board also agreed to pay Laura Gerlach $1,450 for transportation costs of two children to attend Holy Rosary Catholic School.

They also authorized the purchase of competitive retail natural gas services by the Southwestern Ohio Educational Purchasing Council beginning in July 2020 and ending in 2025. Also approved was paying $68,342.07 in General Fund bills, and lunchroom fund paid bills ogf $6,586.94. They also accepted the donation of $1500 from the Cardinal Pride Assn to purchase fitness trackers for PE classes.

The board went into executive session. They expected no action would be taken.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.