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The Suburbanite
  • Springfield Board of Education, Dec. 18 meeting

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  • Dec. 18 meeting
    KEY ACTION
    Superintendent William Stauffer asked for a moment of silence for those affected by the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
    “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in Newtown for their loss. It is just such a terrible tragedy,” Stauffer said. “I think the governor of Connecticut said it best when he said, ‘Evil visited that community.’ There is no other word to describe it.”
    Stauffer said every Springfield school building has a crisis plan that was developed in conjunction with law enforcement. He said the public won’t know the details for those plans because administration does not want them in the wrong hands. He met with administrators and instructed them to continue to review the plans with staff members and tweak them with law enforcement if necessary.
    “We practice lock down drills in our schools. Every one of our buildings had lock down drills this fall. Roosevelt Elementary had one within the last two weeks,” he said. “Hopefully, you never need to use one for real. If the situation ever occurs, our staff and kids will be prepared.”
    Each building is equipped with buzz-in systems Stauffer said the new junior high/high school will have “very good” security.
    “When we presented the levy to the community and we passed it, I don’t think safety was the foremost concern at that time,” said board member Neal Hess. “Our concern at that time was a building for educational purposes. In light of what has happened, the safety features in the building are worth their weight in gold.”
    The school made counselors available for any student who needed help.
    “Generally, the kids here seem to be doing fine,” Stauffer said, adding that staff is reassuring students they are safe in the buildings.
    “We are doing everything in our power to keep our kids safe,” he said. “Student safety is one of our highest priorities, along with learning. They are our most precious resource. In light of everything that went on (Dec. 14), give your kids and your grandkids an extra hug.”
    Parent Greg Kindle was at the meeting and thanked Stauffer for answering all the questions he had about safety for the children.
    OTHER BUSINESS
    •The school calendar for the 2013-14 school year was approved. School will not begin until after Labor Day in 2013 because extra time is needed to move into the new school. There will be no spring break in the next school year.
    •Mary Lou Dodson, Dave Hofer and Hess were appointed to the Portage Lakes Joint Vocational School Board.
    •A one-day field trip request was approved for the 7th and 8th grade band to Kennywood in Pennsylvania in May at no cost to the board. No school days will be missed.
    Page 2 of 2 - •Accepted donations from MKC Associates, and Regency Construction Services, Inc. of $300 each for the Soapbox Derby Gravity Racing Challenge.
    •Approved new, revised and replacement policies to conform with state laws.
    “We are five months down and we are tracking as expected,” treasurer Chris Adams said. “That is good considering our revenues are down 5 percent. I talked to the county auditors and, surprisingly, our valuations went up.”
    He said that there is a lot of new construction in the millions, which is a good sign. He reported finances are strong and stable for years to come.
    “The biggest thing that disturbs all treasurers in Ohio is the money that is going to charter schools. I don't think anybody has a problem giving money to an excellent charter school, but there are a lot on the opposite side of the spectrum,” Adams said.
    He said the district is losing $750,000 a year to “for profit” charter schools.
    “We are going to institute a new program here. We would offer our own charter school that would benefit the children and the school financially,” he said. “It is a win win for Springfield.”
    Business Manager Dan Laskos said the food service is $37,000 in the black this year. He also said they took possession of the Maranatha office building for the administrative offices and it should be ready the end of January.
    “June 10 will be the last date we will be able to be onsite,” Laskos said. “Everything is being tagged as to what will be moved or salvaged from the buildings.”
    •Hess was named president pro tem for the January meeting.
    INFO
    • Construction is about halfway complete on the new school. An open house will be held in May for those who would like to walk through one last time. The ribbon cutting for the new school will be mid- to late August.
    UP NEXT
    Jan. 8 at 6 p.m., there will be an organizational meeting followed by the regular board meeting, 2960 Sanitarium Road