Two days into the new school year, officials say all is going well. Building administrators all noted a positive atmosphere in the schools, and very few problems to report. At one point Wednesday morning, one school officials said it was "almost eerie" how well things were going. School officials were quick to applaud the efforts of the custodial and maintenance staff, along with many others, getting the buildings ready for the new school year. After handing over management of the food services area to an outside group, officials say the transition is going well. Last meeting the board approved a one-year contract with Food Service Management Company out of Irwin, Pa., to oversee the district's Food Services, in an effort to increase participation and efficiency.
In a continuing effort to bring technology into the classrooms, it was reported that within a few days each high student, will be given an Acer Chromebook for the year. This 1:1 program is funded by Straight A grant funds the Chrome Books will be returned at the end of the year and upgraded before next school year. Students will sign out the computers and insurance will be available as well.
It was also announced that the district has received an "E-Text" grant through the Ohio Board of Regents. Totalling $97,000 the grant will fund the purchase numerous electronic type text books in the areas of math, reading and writing. The electronic text book programs will go hand-in-hand with new Chrome Books as well as other electronic devices in use in the district.
During the financial report, Treasurer Theresa Emmerling reported that the district has a "healthy" total fund balance at the end of July of $8.8 million, with $4.6 million of that in the General Fund. Based on Emmerling's recommendation, the board approved a contract for Susan Bates as Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable/Student Activities Coordinator. Bates was selected from 30 resume's submitted for the position.
With the beginning of the school year, the board approved numerous personnel items. The agenda included Non-Certified and supplemental contracts along with WATCH DOG volunteers and substitutes.
Wednesday night, the board also approved contracts with Pepsi and Chummney Farms. Superintendent Richard Hall also reported that the purchase of two school busses are in the plans for this year. The district is part of a buying consortium which looks to save around $1200 per bus. The going rate for a new school bus is approximately $85,000 which is down around $2,000 from last year.