EATON — The Eaton Community Schools Board of Education held their final board meeting before the 2015-16 school year on Monday, Aug. 10, and Samantha French was hired as the district’s 13th new teacher employed over the summer.
Joining those teachers will be a new guidance counselor in the high school and a new assistant high school principal, as a total of 19 new employees will begin their first year at Eaton.
Despite the upcoming school year, Superintendent Dr. Barbara Curry informed the board the Ohio Department of Education has yet to inform the schools as to what changes are coming to the state-wide testing procedures.
Dr. Curry said major changes are coming at the state level, since they have dropped PARCC testing from the standards. Curry said they not sure what the changes will be, but they should lead to less testing time for students this year.
Director of Education Cindy Neanen said one positive about the changes is the state clearly listened to feedback from the school districts as many of the changes will be in areas where districts expressed concerns to the state.
Also during the meeting, the board met with Chris Cameron, the President and CEO of Accent Services, a communications company based out of Columbus, to discuss the schools current phone and communication services.
Cameron, a graduate of Eaton, said his company will be able to save the district around $500 dollars per month on its phone communication services. Currently the district pays $5,000 a month on average, according to Cameron.
According to Rodger Clark, the District’s Technology Coordinator, the district currently has two different phone services, one system in the newest buildings and one system in the district’s two oldest buildings.
Accent Services will provide a system connecting the two services, allowing for easier communication within the separate buildings of the district.
Accent uses a cloud-based service using the internet to connect the two systems, something board member Joe Renner expressed concerns about. Renner pointed out, if the district lost internet it might lose the integration of the two systems.
The district would be responsible for $16,218 in upfront costs to install 150 phones to the single system. The process would take 9-12 weeks, but would not affect the district’s communication services during the time, according to Cameron.
No action or motion was made for changes to the schools’ communication services, but Clark said during the meeting his department had been exploring ways to integrate the two phone systems for the last three or four years.
In other business:
• The 2015-16 bus routes were approved. Those routes are available in the Transportation Department Office.
• The board also agreed to terms of service with the Eaton Police Division to provide on officer at Aukerman Street and Eagle Lane during the student dismissal and arrival times.
The ECS Board of Education will hold a special meeting at Hollingsworth-East Elementary on Wednesday, Aug. 19. The next regular scheduled meeting is Monday, Sept. 14, in the same location.