Three new board members take their seats
The Rolling Hills Local School District, Board of Education met for the first time in 2014 tonight, and welcomed three new members.
Tom Kenworthy, Darlene Miser and Cheryl Gadd, elected last fall took the oath of office, then took their seats for their first meeting.
During the organizational portion of the meeting, the two returning board members were elected to the president and vice president positions.
Tim Mourer will serve as Board President, while Bryan Stoney will take the Vice President's position.
The board members finished up the organizational meeting by setting the various committees, and other items.
The board has decided to continue to meet the third Thursday of each month, but changed the meeting start time to 6:30 pm.
Outside of the organizational portion of the meeting, the board faced a light agenda for their first meeting of the new year.
The board accepted the resignations of Brittany Biggs and due to retirement, Judy Tidd.
Superintendent Ryan Caldwell reported that the district is in desperate need of substitutes, especially in the area of teachers and bus drivers.
Other items from tonight's meeting:
The Watchdog program at Brook Elementary is quickly becoming a very popular program, and many good things are being seen from the presence of various male volunteers in the school.
Byesville and Secrest Elementary schools have received their portion of a literacy grant, and many new materials including books have been received.
At the high school, the dual enrollment program is getting underway for the new year, and is offering more college level courses than ever. Superintendent Caldwell points out that Meadowbrook students have the chance to obtain two years of college education, while still in high school, at no cost to the district. He notes that the program will continue to grow.
During committee reports, Bryan Stoney noted that meetings are getting underway leading to the second phase of the MHS stadium rehabilitation project. The next phase is expected to include renovations to the concession stand and rest rooms.
The board also discussed changes to the school day beginning this fall. Starting with the 2014-15 school year, schools will be counting hours, not days. Currently, the minimum school year is 182 days. Under the new system, 910 hours will be required for those in (all day) Kindergarten through 6th grade, and 1,001 hours for grades 7-12. This includes only educational time, lunches for example, don't count.
One big change is calamity days, under the new system they are eliminated. If school is closed for weather, water line break or other similar reason, the missed hours will be made up. Exactly how, is pretty much left up to the individual district.
Superintendent Caldwell says that the Rolling Hills District will need to plan how to obtain the needed hours, as currently, they have just the minimum number of classroom hours. Administrators, teachers, union representatives, board members and others will be working to formulate a plan.