The Wellsville Board of Education met in regular session last evening in the Superintendent’s Office. Present at the meeting was President Karen Dash, Board Members Ed Bauer, Tom Brophey, Mike Cook and Bill Miller. Also attending the meeting was Superintendent Rich Bereschek and OAPSE President Ed Swogger.
On the financial side Bauer reported that June expenditures were $784,649, June receipts were $488,440 and the General Fund balance was $1.3 million. There was nearly a $3 million drop in the General Fund. Bauer said that was predicted by District Treasurer Coleen Wickham and was no great surprise. On the bright side Bauer said the Food Service Fund is now in the black with a balance of $43. June interest on investments of $3.6 million was $2,894. Bauer noted interest rates haven’t changed much and are still very low. Approval was given to pay the bills.
Mrs. Dash reported that the Student Achievement Leadership Team is anxiously awaiting the State report cards. Preliminary results issued show an exciting improvement on the Ohio Achievement Test scores. Dash noted she felt the improvement was the result of Wellsville educators using the data provided by the state and the work of the Building Leadership Teams. In his Legislative Update Tom Brophey reported that most of the State legislatures are on summer break. They are expected to come back after Labor Day for a short session to work on the Cleveland Plan and Ohio SB-316.
Senate Bill – 316 is the controversial bill that many of the Board members feel is unfair to students failing the third grade achievement goals. There is a reading proficiency provision that goes into effect with the new 2012-2013 school year stating the students who fail the reading achievement tests can be given tutoring. If they fail the reading tests again, after tutoring, they will be held back to repeat the third grade.
Superintendent Bereschek reported that installing new lights in the gyms is proceeding with Daw Middle School nearly finished. Maintenance Supervisor Joe Traina is installing the new AEP recommended lights which is a big cost savings to the district. Swogger noted the difference in the lighting is remarkable. The new lighting system uses half the energy that was burned up with the old one. Work on the Daw playground is to begin this week.
For the Good News report Bereschek advised that Garfield Principal Lisa Ferguson and the Garfield Coordinator are presently in Baltimore being trained for the new “Success For All” program. The new program is to be put into effect this year and is designed to better prepare the students for the Ohio Achievement Tests. Teachers will have a 3-day in-service training session in August. At the May BOE meeting Ferguson noted the teachers are attending the in-service on a volunteer basis even though they are on their summer break.
In Personnel moves the Board named Beth Rettos as the Special Education Coordinator for the upcoming school year and Arden Montgomery will be the Testing Coordinator. Joe Olesky was renamed the Bus Trip/Bus Transportation Coordinator. Volleyball coaches name were Ashley Cunningham as new Varsity Assistant, Sara Drysdale as 7th-Grade coach and Jasmine Richardson as 8th-Grade. With regrets the resignation of Bug Thompson as Assistant Varsity football coach was accepted. Mr. James Bauer was named new Garfield custodian on the afternoon shift. Bereschek noted there were 40 applications received for the custodian job. Eleven of them got interviews and he felt that Bauer was the most qualified for the job.
The Board amended the contract for the District Treasurer giving her a 2% raise, the same as everyone else received last year. Ed Bauer noted that the contract was approved earlier but did not include the raise. The 2% increase raises the District Treasurer’s annual salary to $54,900 according to Mr. Bereschek.
A contract with the Jefferson County ESC for the Visual Impairment Unit was approved. Wellsville currently has three students attending Buckeye Local according to Bereschek. The student handbook for Garfield Elementary was also improved and the Sheakley Law firm was named as “third party administrator” for the Worker’s Compensation Rating Program.
School lunch prices were raised 20 cents for the new school year. Students K – 12 lunches will now be $2.05 and adult lunches will be $2.50. Reduced cost lunches will be $.40. The District will continue providing the free breakfasts. Brophey noted the prices are in accordance with a new Federal program that says all lunch prices must be $2.50 minimum by 2015. Wellsville is gradually increasing the lunch prices to comply with this stipulation. The Board also approved asking Nutrition, Inc. for a “Request for Proposal” on a food service management program. Bauer noted that if they go with the proposal there will be no change in Wellsville cafeteria staffing. The mandated program will change the purchasing procedures for cafeteria supplies. Bauer said one example is a 58% cost savings on forks used. It was noted that many area school districts are already in the bulk purchasing program. The Wellsville School District currently does their own cafeteria supply purchasing. The District Treasurer also serves as the District Food Coordinator. Many area districts have this position as a separate job. Another resolution was passed to make a district wide policy for charging school lunches. A cap of five lunches for adults and three for students will be enforced. If the cap is reached by an individual student an “alternative lunch” will be offered that excludes the al la carte selections. The District has found that many offenders are using lunch money provided by the parents & guardians for other purposes and running up unhealthy accounts for their food.
The meeting adjourned at 7:09 PM. There will be a Special BOE meeting on Thursday, August 2 to consider the rehiring of the High School principal. The next regular scheduled meeting is Monday, August 20. Both meetings are set for 6:30 PM and will be held in the Superintendent’s Office at 929 Center St.