SIDNEY – Two Fairlawn Local School administrators were preliminarily given positive performance reviews following their personal job evaluations. The reviews were held in executive session following their reorganizational and regular school board meeting Wednesday, Jan. 9.
Also, Bob Gold was chosen board president for the second year in a row with Hope Abke elected vice president. The 2019 Fairlawn Hall of Honor inductees were also announced.
The SDN was informed that Superintendent Jeff Hobbs and treasurer Keith Doseck received the good reviews by board members. Neither evaluation included any salary increases or contract extension, according to Hobbs.
He added than an official statement regarding the evaluation would be forthcoming when the reports are added to their personnel file.
In an unrelated topic involving salaries and fringe benefits, Hobbs said contract negotiations with teachers were set to resume Thursday, Jan. 10. He hopes both sides reach an agreement by early March.
On May 14, Fairlawn educators were given a 3 percent raise for the 2018-19 school year by the board of education. Similar raises were also given to administrators and other staff members.
At the time, Hobbs reported all administrative and classified staff members also received a 3 percent raise starting this school year to remain in step with the certified employees.
The three-year pact with the Fairlawn Teachers’ Association called for all certified members to receive a pay boost of 3 percent starting the beginning of the current school year. The salary schedule was only solidified for the 2018-19 school year along with insurance rates.
On Wednesday, Hobbs said the current negotiations involve salaries, medical insurance, and other fringe benefits.
During his financial report, Doseck said, speaking of budget uncertainties, that employee insurance rates increased 12 percent for the current school year. He noted a 25 percent increase for the previous school year.
Doseck told the board that tightening the spending should be a priority to better ensure a sound financial picture for future school years. His comments came during his quarterly report to the board.
He called for a “slow down” of expenditures. He reported current expenditures account for 8 percent of the budget. He said “normal spending” should be 4 to 5 percent. Calculations using today’s known partial financial factors, Doseck said the spending needs to be around 1 to 2 percent.
When questioned, Doseck said dwindling revenues include lower property valuation, fewer open enrollment students, and, uncertain state funding levels are the main factors.
With the district having an estimated $6.1 million in cash reserves, Doseck said now is the time to keep spending in check to better preserve the future.
Satellite contract near
In an income producing project, Hobbs told about negotiations between the district and Viasat, a global communications company established in 1988.
Hobbs said the company wants to lease a 10-foot by 10-foot section of land located behind the bus barn to erect a satellite and run an underground cable out to the road. The company would pay $750 per month during the first year of a 5-year contract. The following years would have 10 percent payment increases annually.
According to the company’s website at www.viasat.com, satellite applications could include digital HD television, satellite imaging, military communications, broadband networks, telemetry, satellite tracking, and teleports. The company also designs and produces small antennas for mobile and transportable satellite communications.
If approved, work to construct the satellite could begin in late spring.
In his report, Middle School\High School Principal John Stekli said math testing will be held next week. He said presentation of STEM projects for students in fourth through seventh grades went well. An online ACT test is scheduled for Feb. 1-2.
Stekli presented a written report on behalf of Elementary Principal Karen McRill, who was not at the meeting. She indicated teachers have been informed they will be in two-person teams for the 2019-2020 school year. The entire elementary school will soon be using the Scholastic Guided Reading program grouped according to their reading level.
The board was presented a list of three Fairlawn graduates to be enshrined into the school’s Hall of Honor. They include Charles Dudley Caudill, W. Mac Ware, and Liz Cavinder. They will be inducted during the annual alumni dinner on June 1.
Meetings, donations, etc.
In other business, the board:
• Set their regular monthly meeting for the second Monday of each month starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Workforce Hangar (school library). Their compensation of $80 per meeting was approved.
• Established a $10,000 board service fund, and, approved the calendar for the 2019-20 school year.
• Accepted donations of $200 from Bart and Jennifer Rogers for the Seth Rogers Memorial Scholarship Fund; and $100 each from board members Hope Abke, Bob Gold, Andy Brautigam, Rita Gilfillen, and Mike Henman to Fairlawn school.
• Voted unanimously to adopt the Ohio High School Athletic Association eligibility guidelines for students to maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average.
• Hired Vonda Rodeheffer as a substitute aide at a rate of $10 per hour on an as needed basis.
• Elected board members to various committees for 2019. They include: Bob Gold, Legislative Liaison and Small School District Advisory Network; Andy Brautigam, Strategic Planning Liaison; Mike Henman, Athletic Council Liaison; Rita Gilfillen, Student Achievement Liaison; Hope Abke, Alumni Liaison; and, Gilfillen and Abke, Board of Education Scholarship Committee.
• Agreed to participate in the Ohio School Board Association Legal Assistance Fund at a rate of $250.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.