By Laura Walker
NEW BREMEN -- The local school district has won both national and state awards, Superintendent Larry Smith announced to board members Wednesday.
The high school is being recognized as a National No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School, an award earned primarily through consistently high test scores on statewide tests. This year 16 Ohio and 295 schools nationally received this award, Smith said.
Kristine Cohn, Regional Secretary for the United States Department of Education will visit the school during an assembly later to accentuate the effort put into getting the award.
The second award is from the Ohio Board of Education, recognizing New Bremen's excellence for six consecutive years. Only 23 Ohio schools have achieved this, Smith pointed out.
The board also learned enrollment has decreased by 18 students from the 953 students en-rolled during 2004-05. The state provides approximately 54 percent of the money needed for each student. The school must provide the rest. For tuition students, those students who live in another district but attend school in New Bremen, a rate is set by the Ohio Department of Education. For 2005-06 the rate is $336.97 per month or $3,032.76 per year. This is an increase of $22.93 per month from last year.
The board also reviewed the state-required financial five-year forecast.
Treasurer Debra Meyers said the forecast is updated every three months and is due to change in December. The tangible tax will start to be phased out, but there will be a direct reimbursement from the state. This reimbursement is only for five years. Up front, this will pay more than the school is losing, but will equal out later, she said.
Now, "On top of phasing out tangible taxes, the school will be paying out $200,000 from a tax appeal that happened over 10 years ago and $48,000 incoming tax money will be lost from the closure of Solae, formerly Central Soya." according to Meyer.
She said other immediate financial concerns are an increase in the appropriation in December and in the property tax.
The appropriation increase is due to the lightning strike and fuel costs. Most of lightning strike expense will be reimbursement through the insurance claim at a later date. The evaluation of property taxes on average increases 15 percent every three years, due to triennial update or reappraisal. There will be a higher total on tax bills. When reviewing a tax bill though, new added taxes must be considered. Not all of the new higher tax total goes to the school.
In other action, the board:
¥ Went into executive session to discuss contract negotiations. No action was taken.
¥ Reminded those attending that Election day is Nov. 8. There is a renewal levy and three school board seats on the ballot. Meet the Candidates Night is Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the High School Auditorium. All six candidates will introduce themselves and answer questions.
¥ Reported that Parent-Teacher Con-ferences for the elementary and junior high are Nov. 2 and 3.
¥ Smith congratulated the marching band on two superior ratings achieved last weekend, various other awards and qualification for state competition. He also invited everyone to the band show on Saturday at 7 p.m. on the football field.
¥ In conjunction with the village the "Healthy Ohioans Youth Pilot Project" has 47 first- and second-graders participating. They meet for 90 minutes, three days a week for physical activities and nutrition and anti-tobacco education.
¥ The athletic department submitted an update on improvements. With help from the parks department, athletic boosters and town the baseball and softball diamonds are continuing to improve. The football fields will have dirt work and seeding done after the season.
¥ A school-wide fundraiser for the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund raised over $5,600. Julie Lee and National Honor Society were organizers.