OHIO — The Ohio Grade School Board met in regular session on Tuesday, July 25:
• In audience participation, Ohio Board member Carol Debruhl discussed the benefits of consolidating Ohio and LaMoille school districts. Debruhl outlined her position as why she believes LaMoille is a good option: LaMoille is the only small school in a 30-mile radius;
by consolidating with a small school, Ohio students would benefit from a balance of power instead of feeling overpowered by a bigger school; LaMoille and Ohio are like-minded and each community values their small school; high school sports have been co-opped for 10 years; a healthy school in both communities with quality education and sports is her goal, and this option provides cost savings for both districts.
The next step is to include any interested individuals from LaMoille and Ohio to determine how to move forward. Debruhl proposed Ohio continue to operate a K-5 building, and LaMoille would use the Allen building for K-5. LaMoille would send their junior high students to Ohio. Ohio would send their high school students to LaMoille.
Board member Rachael Fitzpatrick had a concern with what would happen to Ohio’s high school teachers and other employees. Also, how long her son would be on a bus?
• Approved food service contract with Princeton Elementary School District.
• Approved milk contract with Prairie Farms.
• Appointed Kelly Becker as recording secretary.
• Appointed Ward, Murray, Pace & Johnson of Sterling as legal counsel.
• Appointed Rick Phillips and Associates as auditor.
• Appointed Arthur Gallagher as insurance consultant.
• Appointed Dennis Parking (Landes, Benson, Parkins) as architectural firm.
• Established Heartland, Van Orin, Midland and Walnut as depositories of funds.
• Building project update: Boiler abatement is done; tuck pointers have begun; electrician is here getting ready for new boiler; roofers are starting Thursday, and next week they will start removing the old boiler.
• Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB) update: QZAB is tied up in paperwork at this time, and administrators are making sure the district is doing its part on that. Ohio has made sure its treasurer is bonded, which was a requirement.
• Board of education conference attendees will be Harold and Roma Albrecht, Cindy Hacker, Donna Popp, Brenda Reuter and Jennifer Hamilton.
• Budget review/tentative 2017-18 budget: Hamilton has started on the FY ’18 budget and says it’s a work in progress. Lots of variables to consider.
• 21st Century Program: Program Director Adam Weidner met with Hamilton to go over the program statistics from last year. Percentage of students attending programming included 60 percent of kindergarten to fifth grade; 96 percent of sixth through eighth grade and 88 percent of ninth through 12th grade. K-8 students involved in the 21st Century Park Test scores improved 90 percent.
• Administration has moved into its new district offices where all the board meetings will be held. Administrators thanked Geneseo School District for the new desks they donated for secretaries and also Adam and Bart for their work with the move. The move opened up a room upstairs for a reading literacy, which will benefit students.
Following closed session, the board:
• Approved to continue to retain the closed session minutes as stated in handout.
• Accepted, with regret, teachers Barbara Mead and Julia Person intents to resign at the end of the 2017-18 school year.
• Approved Julia Person 6 percent retirement incentive increase for the 2017-18 school year only.
• Accepted, with regret, the resignation of music teacher Danielle Zito, effective July 17.
• Approved moving the bookkeeper position from hourly to a salaried position.