SPRINGFIELD TWP.  The Springfield Local Schools Board of Education accepted the resignation of board member Terry Robinson during its Oct. 30 meeting.

After accepting the resignation, the Board of Education went into executive session to discuss the appointment of a new member. Coming from executive session, Board President Larry Petry said they were lucky to have good candidates apply and members are thankful for their interest in the position.

"All candidates were well qualified," he said. 

The board approved the appointment of Neil Hess to fill the vacancy through Dec. 31, 2019. Hess was sworn in by Treasurer Chris Adams. Hess has been a previous board member.

Board member Mary Lou Dodson was appointed as vice president.

Five-year forecast

Treasurer Chris Adams reported on the five-year forecast and said, as of now, the district is probably looking at a levy in 2020.

"But it is getting harder every day to predict because of the assumptions that are coming every day," he said.

The good change that happened, Adams said, was that the district is seeing a positive shift in open enrollment numbers and Springfield will gain $250,000 in funding.

"Ten years ago, when I began in this district, we were losing a half million to $600,000 to open enrollment," Adams said. "We have more people coming in than leaving, basically. We have to figure out why that is.

"Charter Schools has bumped up. we are losing $150,000 less than we were losing before." Adams added, saying that is likely doing do recent changes and scrutiny that charter schools are facing.

 A task force is looking at school funding and Adams said district officials know they can’t rely solely on property taxes. He said the district must continue to do what it can to gain student population. 

"It’s all about if you are in a wealthy district you do well. If you’re not, you don’t do well," said Adams.

He said the bad thing is that kids are kids and a smart kid can live anywhere. They need to recognize that said Adams and he is hoping school funding increases. "The trend he is really excited about is that the district is gaining kids back.

Overall, Adams said his goal is to push the need to ask for new money to 2021 and he said there is plenty of room for more students in the district.

"We have room for growth," he said. "The new Ryan development on the border of Springfield and Mogadore was one of the fastest to sell out. People want to live in Springfield Township."

The five-year forecast was approved by the board.

Other business

- Schrop Intermediate School Principal Lisa Vardon updated the board on items pertaining to Schrop. She said out of 1,200 participants from 17 Summit County Schools in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades, Schrop students had 12 winners in Kids Safety Poster Contest. Four of the winners took first place and will have their art work featured on the safety calendar, TV and on billboards. 

- Schrop did a presentation honoring Patti Finn, a speech language pathologist. She survived for three years with cancer and Vardon said she came to work on days she had chemo, even though she couldn’t eat or hardly make it down the hallway.

"We lost her the first day teachers were back to school," she said.

In a video presented at the meeting, Vardon had challenged teachers to choose a student that inspired them and tell them why they were important, and they filmed the teachers telling the students why they had chosen them. The expressions on the student’s faces told the story.

"We want all our students at Schrop to know you are important and you are why we come to school each day," Vardon said.

- Physical education teacher Betty Kern announced that Schrop has received a SHAPE America grant.

- Athletic Director Kevin Vaughn made a presentation to the board on fall athletics and the accomplishments of each team.

- In personnel items, the board accepted the resignation of classified employee Cheryl Weinsheimer. Reassignments included Nannette Pelkey as a bus driver, Jennifer Fenton as a teaching assistant and Douglas Householder as an educational assistant. The board approved the employment of Tiffany Wearstler as a teaching assistant, Laura Shook as a bus driver, Amy Hurst as a bus driver, Laura Pace as an educational assistant and substitutes Nina Fleming, Misty Commisso, Heather Gresens and Miranda Strang. A variety of non-sport supplemental contracts were approved as well as athletic supplemental contracts. 

- Business Manager Dustin Boswell reported on the food service program, saying it is looking at running a deficit due to emergency repairs and there was training for staff at the beginning of the year. In October, the deparment took a count of riders on the buses and miles driven. On a daily basis, the buses travel 1,688 miles, up 111 miles from last year. Five new buses will be in service within the next couple of weeks.

- Other business included the approval of a service contract with Kent Education Excellence Partnership (KEEP) Academy for the 2018-19 school year at a cost of $500 to the district. A Springfield Local Associations of Classroom Teachers memorandum of understanding was approved related to an application of a side letter agreement to the collective bargaining agreement effective for the 2017-18 school year.

- The Board approved a service contract with Koinonia Enterprises to provide transition-based services for youth in the district. Also approved was a memorandum of understanding with Waterloo Local Schools to provide Title I services to residents of Springfield who attend St. Joseph School, which is within the Waterloo Local School District.

- Donations were accepted by the board from Brand and Linda Birch of a donation of $100 to the Spartan Caring Closet, Cathy Snoderly a $100 donation to the Spartan Caring Closet, Springfield Police Department a $600 donation to Spring Hill and Becky Musser a donation of a 1937 Springfield yearbook.

- Superintendent Chuck Sincere thanked custodian Sue Hennigan for all the decorations and the good work she does all year long at Schrop. He thanked the school for the presentation on why they teach.

"All the children make a big impact on us and that is why we are here," he said.