SIDNEY – Updates involving plans to improve elementary state report card results were presented to the Fairlawn Local School Board of Education Wednesday. A multi-county coordinator has been overseeing the implementation of those plans.
Also, the board heard about Pre-K and kindergarten testing, and a bus safety report expected to lead to improvements.
Bridgett Moots of the Midwest Region Educational Service Center said she has been working with Fairlawn classified staff member Gretchen Hageman to improve the student data input through the Education Management Information System.
Moots works at the school one day per week.
Also known as EMIS, the program is a statewide data collection system for Ohio’s primary and secondary education, including demographic information, attendance, course information, financial data and test results.
Previously, Superintendent Jeff Hobbs said information is entered in the program in-house but said keeping the information vital to state authorities is much improved over previous years.
According to her report, the district had a 673 average daily membership with 298 being non-residents of the district. District students opting out totaled 44.
Moots said daily communication is vital to all in helping maintain the records. The statistics factor greatly into the district report card and governmental funding.
She also reported all third-grade students have been tested and reported all Reading Improvement Plans data.
Third-grade testing was also discussed by board members before they would approve a resolution to test students using pencil and paper instead of by computer. Passed by a 4-0 vote, the testing methods for all students will begin during the 2019-20 school year.
Board member Hope Apke asked why such testing would be held after the board purchased new computers with the testing processes in mind.
Elementary Principal Karen McRill said, on average, test scores are higher when taken by pencil and paper. With third-grade being the first year the test results factor into the report card, the result would be expected to improve.
Passed on Nov. 2, 2018, the pencil and paper legislature is noted on Senate Bill 216.
McRill also reported Pre-K and kindergarten screening has been successful. She noted all openings for kindergarten are already filled by district residents.
Resource Officer Mark Henman spoke of meeting with bus drivers and results of ride along sessions on various busses.
Henman spoke of the majority of time spent on security planning for the buildings and parking lot. He stated bus drivers feel they are outside the group in regards to security discussion.
Henman spoke of problems of students crossing a road, traveling rough road areas and others. He suggested a closer look be taken at the bus routes. The routes have been established to mostly eliminate students having to cross the road to board the bus, but Hobbs said plans are made to review and improve the issues.
Henman said a special training session will be held at Sidney High School in June that will deal with methods to stop an intruder boarding the bus.
Maintenance Director Matt Dankworth presented a five-year financial forecast he developed with Hobbs. He also shared energy use comparisons and three quotes he received for lighting.
The figures for equipment purchases varied greatly from year-to-year. A floor scrubber, booster pumps and upkeep of parking lots topped the list. Listings in repair were led by HVAC costs of $20,000 per year followed by maintenance of same at $12,000.
Noting the energy comparison and electric and propane gas costs were an apples to oranges scenario. In quotes for interior and outdoor lighting, Energy Optimizers of Tipp City bid $158,650; Dynamics of Columbus, $179,000; and, Evolved of Columbus, $124,714.
Coaches hired, resign
Ashley Miller spoke to the board regarding her new position as varsity volleyball coach for the 2019-20 school year, which was officially approved following an executive session. Other volleyball coaches hired were Stacy Hamaker as varsity assistant and Stacy Huelskamp as junior varsity volleyball coach.
Miller spoke of planned summer league play and tournaments. She said 53 players have emerged from Fairlawn’s third- through sixth-grades.
All sports contracts are 1-year limited agreements for the next school year, according to Hobbs.
Two varsity coaches resigned their posts and were accepted by the board. Justin Tidwell, who is now employed by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, stepped down as boys varsity head coach. Matt Hickman resigned as girl assistant coach. Also, Arron Boerger resigned as volunteer baseball coach.
Other sports hiring include Gavin Cathcart, varsity girls basketball coach; Todd Heckman, varsity golf; and, Amber Poeppelman, assistant golf coach.
In other board action:
• Approved the attendance of FCCLA members at the national FCCLA convention in Anaheim, California, June 30 through July 4, if they qualify.
• Approved the high school band and choir to go on an overnight trip to Cincinnati May 10-11 for participation in an event.
• Accepted $210 in donations in memory of Charlotte McAlexander from three families.
• Agreed to voluntarily to reside under the jurisdiction of membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the 2019-20 school year.
• Employed Sheenon Boyer as a substitute teacher at a rate of $100 per day.
• Granted 20-day extended guidance requests for Tonya Slonaker and Christopher Lauterbach.
• Awarded a two-year contract to Catessa Cathcart and Jaimi Allen, and a continuing contract to Amy Jones all as aides.
• Approved various advisers including Elizabeth Maxson, Academia, musical director, fall drama dinner theater director; Power of the Pen and drama club; Cheryl Leighty, senior class; Katrina Maxson, senior class, Flyer coordinator, Dual CC Enrollment and Lead Local Professional Development Committee (LPDC); and Junior Honor Society; Danielle Poeppelman, junior class and yearbook; Tara Berning, sophomore class, Senior High Honor Society, and Dual CC enrollment, Society; Karen Ike, freshman class and LPDC; Jill Smith, senior high student council; Elisabeth Baker, senior high student council; Stacey Hamaker, junior high student council; Rebecca Gerardi, art club; John Stekli, tour director; Christopher Clark, Envirothon; Tracy Eilerman, spelling bee; Jodi Hickman, LPDC; Sonya Phillips, choir director, assistant musical director and children’s choir; Rycki Schmiesing, senior and junior varsity cheerleader advisor; Kimberly Hooker, Sharon Phelps and Brent Wright, bus drivers; Keith Doseck, Title I treasurer; Sue Gump, transportation coordinator and Flyer coordinator; Jacquelyn Jenkinson, band director; Cory Huelskamp, lead teacher; Aaron Cox, iPad program facilitator (by 3-0 vote, one abstention); and Debra Cummons-Parker, tech aide.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.