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Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Board OKs reduced after-school program

District no longer qualifies for grant due to better rating

By Amy Kronenberger
CELINA - The district's after-school program will be spared but reduced, school board members decided Monday.
The Bulldog Academy, for elementary through high school students, has been funded the last five years with a 21st Century Grant. Officials last month learned the district no longer qualified for the funding since its state report card rating improved to excellent with distinction.
Interim superintendent Steve Keller said he recently met with the principals and they all agreed a portion of the program should be kept.
"All of the principals talked to me about the hope that we can put together some kind of program ... we would have to dip into general fund monies to handle the program at this time," Keller told the board.
The school received $200,000 in the first year of the grant. The amount gradually decreased, with the school receiving about $100,000 last year, treasurer Mike Marbaugh said.
"The after-school program has offered some tutoring and additional assistance to many young children," Keller said.
Keller worked with the principals to cut the program in half by decreasing hours and staff members. The original 30-week program cost the district $53,640 in teachers' wages. The new schedule will cost $24,480, Keller said.
The remaining $46,360 of the $100,000 grant covered an additional 18 percent in fringe benefits, materials and supplies and the salary of the director. Keller said the director is no longer part of the program, which will be run by the principals.
The new schedule includes two hours per day, two days per week with one staff member at the high school; one hour per day, four days per week with two teachers at the middle school; one hour per day, four days per week with one staff member at the intermediate school; and one hour per day, four days per week with two teachers at both elementaries.
"Each of the buildings took a hit, but they all agreed that if the board was willing, it would work," Keller said. "They have been receiving requests from the parents and some of the students, too. They all want to know if after-school tutoring or assistance will be available this year."
Board president Matt Gilmore said he has only heard positives about the program.
"I think it's the best money for the direct educational value," board member Amy Hoyng added.
Also at Monday's meeting, board members met in executive session to discuss hiring a new superintendent. The board met last week to conduct second interviews with the final four candidates.
The candidates include Jeff Hobbs, Fort Recovery High School principal; Tod Hug, Ayersville Local Schools superintendent; David Peltz, Greenville City Schools curriculum director; and Jesse Steiner, Hicksville Exempted Village Schools superintendent.
Celina Education Association Co-Presidents Matt Loughridge and Dave Scott and Ohio Association of Public School Employees President Carol Henderson thanked the board for letting them be part of the interview process.
"It was an interesting process and we have four viable candidates," Scott said. "We're anxious to hear the outcome just like everyone else."
Board members said they hope to make a selection soon.
In other action, the board,
• approved Gilmore as the representative to the Ohio School Facilities Association for the elementary building project if the bond levy passes in November.
• transferred $10,000 from the general fund to the IDEA Special Dyslexia Grant to cover costs until funding arrives.
• approved a donation of $2,000 from Speck Shots to the athletic advertising fund for the Fieldhouse scoreboard.
• approved the resignation of head start teaching assistant Tessie Collins; the resignation of Kelly Stetler as middle school intramural coordinator; and the resignation of JV girls soccer coach Tom Braun.
• approved contracts for various staff members.
• approved the 2012-13 tuition rate of $5,315.
• approved an overnight trip for the boys and girls basketball teams to Indianapolis on Nov. 16.
• approved an overnight trip to the Disney World Athletic Complex for the girls softball team March 28-31.
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