Board of Education, April 9, 2019

April 27th, 2019  |  Published in Observer Reports

Present: Board President Jeffrey Isaacs and board members Bill Clawson, Lisa Cremer, Ayesha Hardaway, and Heather Weingart; Interim Superintendent Dr. Stephen Wilkins; and Treasurer Bryan Christman

The meeting was called to order by Board President Jeffrey Isaacs at 6 p.m. The Board approved the minutes of the past seven meetings held in March.

  1. Dr. Wilkins recognized the following: Shaker again won the Best Communities for Music Award given by NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants), being honored for its commitment to music education. The SHTA has won a 2019 “Friend of Education” award for its support of school public relations. Students from the high school traveled over spring break to Laos (community service project), France, and Italy (band trip). The Verb Ballet performed for Lomond School, thanks to support by the Lomond PTO. The high school has a new eSports team participating in a competitive league with 44 schools across Ohio. A middle school robotics team was the 2019 state champ and will compete in the world competition in Louisville, Ky., and some 125 Woodbury and middle school students represented 18 countries at a Model UN Conference in Columbus. High school art students won top honors at the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition, and for the first time four students were recognized at the national Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. The Shakerite, the online and print high school newspaper, won an award from Columbia Scholastic Press; and Shaker high school and middle school students did well at National History Day—23 projects representing 47 students will move on to compete at the state level.
  2. Dr. Erin Herbuck, director of professional learning, updated the board on the high school principal search. Seventy-five candidates filled out applications; the search firm identified 15 candidates for review. Six semifinalists will come to the district for a day and will appear before a panel of stakeholders (staff, teachers, parents, and students), and two or three will be invited for a full day in the beginning of May. The goal is to aim for final approval at the May 14 board meeting.
  3. SHHS assistant principal Sarah Chengelis and other members of the Italy Tour Leadership team gave a brief presentation on the recent high school band trip to Italy, which included 245 student performers, 10 directors, nine administrators, seven staff and spouses, 20 parent chaperones, and two doctors, plus 147 others in the shadow trip. The band directors thanked the board for its support of the entire music program.
  4. All personnel updates and changes were approved. Dr. Wilkins gave a shout-out to longtime employees who are retiring this year: first grade Mercer teacher Mary Beth Eakin, with 34 years of service, and HS custodian Charles Orange, with 37 years of service. A group of 18 teachers recommended for continuing contract status will be honored at the May board meeting.
  5. The following business items were approved: an addendum to the construction management agreement with Gilbane Building Co. in conjunction with the district-wide facility improvements; a resolution authorizing participation in the Ohio Schools Council Cooperative School Bus Purchasing Program for the 2019-20 school year for purchase of up to three new school buses; and a routine approval for an MOU for the Heights Career Tech Prep Consortium for the next five years.
  6. The board had the second of three readings on revisions of board policies in five areas.
  7. The board approved a routine request for the district to be voluntary members of the Ohio High School Athletic Association with regards to interscholastic athletic programs.
  8. The Treasurer’s report: Real estate tax collection is down, tied to changes in federal tax law and the fact many people paid ahead in December 2018. It should be more level next year. The district is expected to receive approximately the same State Foundation funding in FY2019 as it did in FY2018 due to being on the “guarantee” funding method. Our investment earnings are on track to be $200,000 above budget by the end of the fiscal year. This year’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) has been submitted for award consideration from two groups: the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) and the Government Financial Officers Association (GFOA). Each of our last 20 CFARs has won both awards.
  9. eFinanceplus conversion work is still taking place, with work sessions to prepare for the first parallel pay for the first half of April. The district has implemented in March the web-based Arbiter system, an online system for submission, approval, and payment of all District athletic-event officials as well as assignment of officials. This new system replaces a paper-based system and greatly increases efficiency.
  10. Mr. Christman also reported on the following legislative items:      House Bill 75 (HB 75), which requires local governments that contest property taxes to formally pass an authorizing resolution for each contest and notify property owners; and HB 76, which affects language on ballots for levies, which district officials think could overstate the cost of levies to voters.
  11. Dr. Wilkins reported that he would be attending the superintendents meeting in Columbus on April 10. On April 23, there will be a board workshop on the high school principal search from 5 to 7 p.m.
  12.  Mr. Isaacs announced that the three taxing body forum sponsored by the LWV will take place on Tuesday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Building, 3450 Lee Road.

The Board adjourned the public session at 8:35 pm.

Holly Wang

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