COVENTRY TWP. As a part of being in fiscal emergency, the Coventry Local School District formed several committees to study how it can operate more efficiently
Those committees were made up of school staff, board members, commission members, parents and community members. Areas that were focused on included open enrollment, personnel, competitive bidding, transportation and facilities. During the March Board of Education meeting, those committees each shared their reports.
The personnel committee took a look at staffing and found the district has reduced staffing by 30 teaching positions, 14 support staff, and eight administrative positions since 2008.
In comparing salaries of administrators to the average per diem rates of similar positions in Summit County, the district pays the superintendent, treasurer, assistant superintendent, middle school principal and athletic director below average. The high school and elementary school principals are slightly above average. The directors and assistant principals are also above average.
Assistant Superintendent Lisa Blough said it is important to keep in mind that salaries can vary based on the number of students and level of experience an employee has.
The committee recommended creating a short- and long-term staffing goals plan and hiring a full-time elementary school principal rather than splitting the position between two employees . The committee would also like to see the district have a 22 to 1 student teacher ratio, a number that currently is higher.
The competitive bidding committee took a closer look at the bidding done by the district and if there needed to be an revisions or changes to the policy.
Findings revealed the district is following the Ohio Revised Code and only made one change to the way it obtains quotes. For costs between $1 and $500, the district will obtain one quote. For costs between $501 and $3,000, two quotes will be required. Anything more than $3,000 will need three quotes.
The transportation committee took a look at routes and fuel for the district. The district has a contract with Peterman Transportation, which was found to be sound. In the future, when the contract is renewed, the committee recommended the district revise some of the wording in the contract to make it easier to allow for the reduction of routes if necessary.
The district operates 24 routes on a three-tiered schedule. Even if the district didn’t offer open enrollment, the same number of routes would still be needed.
The only recommendation the committee made to the district is to continue to receive multiple quotes on fuel and to purchase from the lower priced company.
Director of Facilities Jon Hibian said the district has been reducing the number of buildings the last five years. He said a lot of moves and closing of older buildings was planned as the district went from six buildings to three. The district closed Cottage Grove due to mold issues, Lakeview due to water issues and then Turkeyfoot last year. The district also demolished Erwine School to make way for the new high school building. Hibian said the district is at where it has wanted to be in terms of the number of facilities.
He said installing LED lights throughout the buildings has also helped saved the district money in the long run.
The district is expected to continue to utilize the Lakeview building for office space because it is cheaper to operate compared to renting office space, which would cost $70,000 to $80,000 per year, not counting utilities. If the Lakeview building were sold, that money would only last a little while before money would have to be used from the general fund to cover the rent.
Hibian said while some people in the community believe there is extra space in the three buildings that are in operation that could house offices, that isn’t the case. He said the buildings are almost all maxed out in terms of space.
"It’s not efficient to have the offices spread out," Hibian said.