Monday – May 16: The Wellsville Board of Education (BOE) held their regular monthly meeting this past Monday evening. The meeting was held in the School Superintendent's office, Present at the meeting was BOE President Tom Brophey, and BOE Members Ed Bauer, Mike Cook, Karen Dash & Bill Miller. Also attending the meeting was Superintendent Rich Bereschik, District Treasurer Coleen Wickham, OAPSE Rep Ed Swogger, WTA Rep Darlene Allison, Buildings & Grounds Supervisor Joe Traina, WHS Principal Linda Rolley, High School Athletic Director Don Elliott, Garfield Elementary Principal Lisa Ferguson and three of Mr. Meek's Government Studies students.
The Treasurer's Report was approved as read. Mrs. Wickham reported that the General Fund balance at the end of April was $1.8 million. April receipts were $570,806 and expenditures were $599,360. The General Set-Asides balance for April was $719,477. Interest earned on investments for April amounted to $2,999 and Wickham noted that “none of the rates has really changed that much”. The payment of bills was approved and the Five-Year Forecast as prepared by the Treasurer was accepted.
Brophey reported for the Legislative Update that the Biennial Budget Bill has passsed the State House of Representatives and moves on to the State Senate. If it stands as is the overall losses from state and federal funding would amount to more than $3 billion over the next two years compared to FY2011 figures. Another bill in the House “has a significant number of provisions to expand choice and relax the accountability requirements for charter schools”. Also in the House there are several Senate Bill 5 type proposals dealing with teacher compensation, contracts, teacher & principal evaluations by BOE members and lay-offs not being based on seniority. They are still working on changes to employer & employee contribution rates to the retirement systems plus new options on calamity days. Brophey concluded his report talking about the Healthy Choices/Healthy Children program that allows districts to waiver out of the body mass index reporting requirements, which the District is doing. Fresh fruit will have to be available and cafeteria portions must be the same for 4th graders as is offered to 8th grade students.
Building & Grounds Supervisor Joe Traina commended Daw Maintenance employee Ed Swogger for his life saving efforts a few weeks ago during lunch time at the Middle School. There was a female student student choking in the cafeteria. Being familiar with the technique Mr. Swogger performed the Heimlich Maneuver on the student and most likely saved that young girl's life. Outstanding!
For the Good News Report, Mrs. Fugueson reported for Garfield Elementary that approximately 250 students and family recently attended the PTO/Bug Awards. Congratulations were given to winners in the Arbor Day poster contest. First place went to Jayce Sloan, second to Zion Mike-Clark and third to Isaiah Dorsey. Over 200 students and family attended Family Night on May 12.
Mrs. Jeanne Waggoner sent a note reporting that all three 4th Grade Homerooms at Daw Middle attended an one hour science program presented by an Youngstown station WYTV meteorologist. A snapshot of the students was shown the next morning during a broadcast.
For the High School Mrs. Rolley reported that last week's Music Department's show was “absolutely wonderful”. She also reported that the Freshman had a practice OGT test recently and there were 31 out of 77 that passed. That number includes the Special Ed students and Rolley noted there is possibly items on the test that the Freshman haven't touch on yet. Overall the results were considered pretty good and gives an idea where work is needed before the actual tests begin in their Sophomore year.
Mr. Bereschik reported that bids are out for the new stadium seating. Bids will be opened Friday, May 20. Everything in the Phase 1 Environmental testing on the old Sterling China property appears to be in order and the District will be able to proceed with the purchase of the land with the garage.
The Board approved the first reading to approve Drug & Alcohol Testing for Students. We'll have more detail on that later. The testing will start with high school students participating in athletic and extra curricular programs and those applying for parking permits. It will be effective July 1, 2011. Students participating in activities that they are graded on will not be included in the program.
High School Principal Linda Rolley stated she has only been in her job as principal for a short while but she has been in the Wellsville system for 37 years. There is a problem with drug and alcohol abuse among some students. The problem is not unique to Wellsville. She felt it was time to do something proactive in taking steps with helping the students. Rolley empahsized that the testing program is not intended to punish the students that test positive. There will not be any consequences academically. The purpose is the help the students that are already involved in drugs and discourage those that are not using. It is designed to create a safe and healthy environment for students and assist them in getting help when needed.
Work on the new policy began this past April when a 12 member committee was formed to draw up the policy. At their first meeting officials from the East Palestine School District were invited to describe their program. East Palestine has had a policy in effect for six years. The committee was made up of members of the Wellsville school staff, a couple of BOE members, a police officer and members of the community that included medical professionals. Rolley said the policy was revised four times before it was presented to the BOE. Rolley said this is something she has a passion for and truly believes it will help the students. Mr. Bereschik and every member of the BOE extended their thanks to everyone on the committee for their hours of hard work.
In other business the 2012 WHS Prom was approved to be held at the Das Dutch Village Inn. A field trip to Kennywood Park was given the okay for the WHS Band & Choir on Jue 2, 2011. A three day camping/educational experience to Camp Fitch was approved for the district's 5th & 6th grade students, staff and chaperones. Mr. Joe Scarabino was approved as a parent volunteer, field trip chaperone for Daw Middle School if necessary. Mrs. Gabrielle Burns Baker was given a two-year teaching contract beginning with the 2011-2012 school year. Three-year contracts beginning July 1, 2011 were given to WSD Central Office employees Susan Boggs, Julie Moore, Rita Koopman and Joe Traina. YSU student Leslie Monterio was approved for Integrated Science student teaching at Daw Middle for the fall of 2011. C.A.R.T.S. transportation to American Spirit Academy for the balance of the school year was given the okay for one student. Varsity “W” Club adviser Carissa Wilcox's resignation was accepted effective at the end of the school year. An agreement with Lifetouch National School Studios for school pictures next school year was accepted.
A contract with Wellsville's Ohio Assoc. of Public School Employees Chapter 707 was approved as negotiated. The three-year contract begins July 1, 2011. President Ed Swogger said terms of the contract is very similar to the teachers contract that was recently negotiated.
In closing remarks Mike Cook said the drug testing policy will be awesome for not only the school and the district but for the community as well. Bill Miller stated he believes the WSD has always been proactive. As an example he cited the Code of Conduct instituted a few years ago. The drug testing policy is another step in that direction. Karen Dash said a big thanks is owed to the East Palestine people and the members of the local community for all their help in putting this together. Realizing it will be a lot of extra work she believes the efforts will be worth it. Dash added that the Spring musical was great and the Prom Grand March was super. Ed Bauer expressed his displeasure with unfunded mandates being passed down by the state such as the cafeteria food. He noted that he was made aware of the program that WPD Juvenile Officer Marsha Eisenhart presented to the Crime Watch Committee and wanted to insure Eisenhart that the Board is behind her efforts 100%. That program was on bullying in schools. Bauer concluded his remarks stating he was impressed with the Senior recognition for the softball team players. He said he was not aware that a Senior Night was held for the players and thanked Coach Baker for having it. Tom Brophey wrapped up the remarks advising that there is currently legislation in committee in Columbus regarding cyber bullying. Brophey also offered his congratulations to Linda Rolley for placing in her age group in last week-ends Pittsburgh Marathon.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 PM. Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 20 at 6:30 PM in the Superintendent's Office at 929 Center St.