BOE approves date change for SHS graduation


SIDNEY — Members of the Class of 2016 will be graduating one week earlier than expected.

During Monday night’s Sidney City Schools Board of Education meeting, Superintendent John Scheu asked the board to approve the change in date for the school calendar so graduation will be held May 21, 2016, instead of May 28, 2016.

“The seniors’ last day is May 17,” said Scheu. “A large percentage of them have jobs that start on the last day of school at Sidney High School. We’re afraid that there might be a conflict with the graduation practice.”

The graduation practice, he said, is mandatory in order for the students to participate in the graduation ceremony. It is held the Friday before graduation.

The request was approved by the board.

Scheu also gave a report on the Straight A Fund committee of which he is a member. The committee met recently in Columbus and reviewed the 2014 report and talked about their concerns about the state budget which has to be approved by June 30.

“There are three competing budgets,” said Scheu. “There’s the governor’s budget, the House’s budget and the Senate’s budget. Sidney comes out best with the governor’s budget and worst with the Senate’s budget.”

The Straight A Fund, he said, provides innovative grants to school districts. Sidney, he said, came close to receiving a grant last year.

In the governor’s budget, the Straight A Fund would receive $90 million in 2016 and $91.5 million in 2017. The House budget has $40 million earmarked for the fund in 2016 and $42.8 million in 2017. The Senate proposal has no provision for the Straight A Fund.

In other business, the board:

• Recognized Lauren Boyd, who placed seventh in the pole vault at the State Track Meet. She is the first Sidney athlete in four years to compete at the State Track Meet. She was also honored for all her accomplishments in track for the season.

• Accepted a $4,000 donation from Roger Aschenbach for the sound system at the softball complex, and $1,000 donation from the Sidney Volleyball Boosters to Sidney Athletics for uniform expenses.

• Approved temporary appropriations for fiscal year 2016 in the amount of 25 percent of FY15 appropriations.

• Approved amended appropriations which included a $100,000 decrease to the retirement/benefits account; and increases of $300,000 to purchased services, $100,000 to supplies; $2,000 to public school support fund, $2,000 to other grants fund, $50,000 to district agency fund and $3,500 to Title VI-B.

• Approved lunch, breakfast and extra milk prices for the 2015-16 school year. For kindergarten to fifth-grade, lunch will be $2.35, breakfast, $1, and extra milk, 50 cents; for grades 6-12, lunch will be $2,60, breakfast, $1.50, and extra milk, 50 cents. There is no change in price from the 2014-15 school year.

• Approved the transfer of $150,000 from the general fund to the termination benefit fund.

• Approved an agreement with the Sidney-Shelby County Board of Health to provide school health services at a rate of $37 per hour from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

• Approved an agreement with the Midwest Regional Service center to provide special education and related services beginning Aug. 1, 2015.

• Approved an agreement with the Auglaize County Educational Services Center for participation in the West Central Ohio Assistive Technology Center Consortium to provide equipment for hearing-impaired students during the 2015-16 school year at a cost of $900.

• Approved the addition of AP comparative government and politics as an independent study class to the SHS curriculum.

• Approved the ELL 1 textbook adoption.

• Approved the2015-16 Title I Parent Involvement Policies for Whittier, Northwood, Emerson and Longfellow schools.

• Approved the recommended changes to the elementary, Sidney Middle School, Sidney High School and Sidney Alternative School student handbooks for the 2015-16 school year. One of the changes calls for three safety drills at each building during the school year.

The board’s next meeting will be July 20 at 5:3 p.m. at the board of education building.