Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
By Margie Wuebker
Minster schools ranks high on state performance index
  MINSTER - A new state ranking of performance index (PI) scores puts Minster Local School 13th out of more than 900 schools across the state.
The PI score, which shows student achievement on annual state standardized tests, is one component of the state report card. Minster has earned the top score, excellent with distinction, on the state report card for a decade.
Minster's PI score was 109.8 last school year for its 835 students in grades K-12. Constellation Schools, a community school in Cuyahoga County, topped the PI listing with a score of 115.9. The school spends $24,038 educating each of its 53 students.
"We are very proud of our ranking as one of the best performing schools in Ohio," superintendent Brenda Boeke told school board members during a meeting Monday. "Our students and staff work hard and our parents and community members support education."
Minster's PI score was highest in the four-county area of Auglaize, Mercer, Darke and Shelby. Other area school districts achieving high PI marks were St. Henry, Versailles and Marion Local.
Boeke expects next year's PI ranking to increase when the Ohio Department of Education adds per pupil expenditures into the mix. Minster currently spends $9,351 - the second lowest amount posted by the top 20 schools. The amounts range from $37,000 per pupil in the Autism Model School to $5,935 at Menlo Park Academy. Both are community schools in Cuyahoga County.
A PI score provides an overall indication of student achievement on state standardized tests given each year, according to Boeke. Schools and districts earn points based on test scores on the Ohio Achievement Assessments in grades 3-8 and on the 10th grade Ohio Graduation Test.
In other business, the board:
• Issued a thank you to voters for renewing an eight-tenths mills permanent improvement levy earlier in the month. The levy passed with 62 percent in favor.
• Viewed a presentation by technology coordinator Greg Berning on the updated school website scheduled to debut Dec. 1. He said the new format integrates more information and photos than the current site.
• Hired Ted Oldiges as substitute bus driver, James Borges as substitute student cafeteria worker and Caleb Bowers as bus monitor for a student.
• Approved a contract with Hausfeld Motors for snow removal at the rate of $50 per hour - the same rate as last year.
• Recognized the golf, football and girls and boys cross country teams for their successful fall seasons. An excerpt of a letter saluting the high school band on its exemplary behavior during a recent trip to Walt Disney World was read. It came from the transportation company that handled the trip.
• Presented recognition certificates to the seven-member Super Nova Blast rocketry team that placed fifth overall in national competition last spring in the Washington, D.C., area. They also received recognition from the state school board.
• Accepted a check totaling $1,138.62 from Megan Timmerman, a high school student who recently earned a gold award in the Girl Scout program. The money covers the cost of lumber and other items used to construct needed shelving in the band room.
• Learned insurance rates will increase 6.4 percent or a $7 hike for family plan premiums. Treasurer Laura Klosterman informed board members they are eligible to enroll in the plan but they must pay the full premium themselves.
• Set Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. as the date and time for the next meeting at the elementary building.
• Met in executive session to discuss employment and compensation of a public employee. No action was taken following the closed-door discussion.
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