COVENTRY TWP. Safety is on the mind of many parents, and Coventry is no exception.
During the Feb. 21 board meeting, Superintendent Lisa Blough gave an update on what the district is doing to continue to keep children safe.
Blough thanked the Summit County Sheriff's Office for going above and beyond to help Coventry Schools and keep everyone safe. She said the district has safety plans in place and officials will be looking over them.
Blough said all staff took part in a training called "Run Hide Fight" last year and she plans to revisit that training with staff.
"Our number one priority is the care and safety of our students," Blough said.
A number of rumors started, Blough said, about an incident at the middle school. She said said those rumors were false.
"There is a significant amount of problems when information is shared on social media," Blough said. "We ask our adults if you have a concern come to the building principal or me."
She said posting about a concern on Facebook only hurts the students. If there were an emergency, Blough said, a call would go out to parents.
Blough said if anyone knows a student struggling, to tell someone and encourage them to talk to a teacher or administrator. She said during after school hours Summit County has a suicide number people can contact for help, 330-434-9144.
Blough also thanked the Ohio State Patrol for working with the district for the significant problem they have had of drivers running through the red lights and stop sign on buses. She said the concern has been growing and it is not just a problem in Coventry. The patrol has rode on buses, followed buses and followed up with drivers that ran the stop sign.
She said the district is exploring cameras to mount on the buses to catch drivers in the future.
In other business Feb. 21, the board:
- Heard from Stacey Hartwig, a parent mentor for the district, about services offered to bridge the gap between home and school for students with disabilities. She encouraged any parents who have children with disabilities that need assistance to reach out to her.
- Accepted a donation to the Coventry Schools Foundation from DaVita Dialysis in the amount of $650.
- Heard a presentation about a financial audit conducted by the state for fiscal year 2017. The district had a clean audit, but it noted the district remains in fiscal emergency. In the management letter, a few suggestions were made including allowing more than one person to handle the athletic receipts and student fee receipts. This would help prevent any money from being stolen if someone attempted to. There were also some verbal comments which included updating some policies and procedures along with handling some outstanding checks that are more than a year old.
- Approved to join OhioCheckBook.com, which is a website that school districts and city municipalities can join to upload how money is spent. The website shows how every dollar is spent as the state of Ohio is on the website along with Summit County. About 1,300 government agencies have joined since the website launched in 2014. Coventry’s spending will soon be listed on the website and updated quarterly.
- Approved an additional $5,000 for snow plowing, the district hopes to not need to spend the money.
- Approved a contact with Building Management Solution for cleaning at the Lakeview Building.
- Approved a contact with the Akron Civic Theater for graduation, which is schedule for May 31.
- Approved a contract with Zone Entertainment for prom. The contract comes at no cost to the district as tickets for prom and money fundraised will cover the cost.
- Approved an agreement with Kent State University and Stark State for College Credit Plus courses. Blough said the district will be partnering with other universities in the future.
- Approved a three-year contract with NEONET.
- Accepted a $2,500 donation from Cornerstone Church for Coventry Elementary School. The money will go towards tablets for the kindergarten class.
- Approved a first reading of an update to the district’s open enrollment policy. The district plans to create a priority list of which students would be accepted first as there was no priority list before. The district is proposing to accept previously enrolled students first; then students of siblings in the district; then Coventry staff students and finally those living in Coventry Township that are outside the school district boundaries. The board is expected to be addressing open enrollment more in the upcoming months. Board President Chris Davis said open enrollment is the biggest issue in the district.
- Approved for board member Ron Reed to serve on the Expulsion Appeal Board and for Davis and board member Josh Hostetler to be the board representatives at the Financial and Supervision Commission meetings.
- Heard from resident Jim Wiczen about open enrollment. He said the voters made their voices clear in November with new board members. He said he is tired of open enrollment and wants it to be reduced to the levels the state auditor recommended. Wiczen said he wants to see the board agree to reduce open enrollment. He also said many people on the board are convinced that open enrollment is not costing the district money. Board member Jeff Skaggs asked Wiczen if they ever spoke before because he wondered how Wiczen knew his opinion of open enrollment. Skaggs said he wants what is best for the students.
- Entered executive session to discuss personal matters with no action taken.
The next Coventry Local Schools board meeting will be at 6 p.m. March 21 at the Lakeview Administrative Offices.