CAMDEN —Preble Shawnee Board of Education approved a plan to renovate the junior/senior high building on Somers-Gratis Road with a 4-1 vote during a meeting held Wednesday, Jan. 6
The PS BOE held both the annual organizational and regular meetings that night, voting for board appointments as well as making a decision on the school renovations and the next calendar school year.
Candi Turpin was re-appointed the board president while Emily Hamblin was voted in as the vice president. Both nominations passed by unanimous decision.
There were also appointments of committees with Turpin and Charlie Biggs heading the athletic committee; Hamblin taking on course of study and curriculum; Jeff Wood, Gary Rader and Biggs appointed to facilities; Hamblin to wellness; and Turpin and Wood to the community and staff relations committee.
As part of the community and staff relations committee, Turpin will be the legislative liaison while Wood will be the student achievement liaison.
The board approved “Master Plan #7,” which is a plan to renovate the junior/senior high school first, and then proceed to work on Camden Primary School while educating all elementary students at West Elkton.
Once Camden Primary is ready to reopen, the district will rename it “Preble Shawnee Elementary” and repurpose or sell the West Elkton building.
Biggs was the dissenting vote on the plan.
Passing the plan also allows the board to create a resolution to allow them to apply for an “active planning process” with the Ohio School Facilities Commission’s classroom facility program to begin the process, according to officials.
The board also reviewed plans for next year’s calendar, and approved a one-hour early dismissal of students on every Wednesday of the school year.
Shawnee was reported at “moderate health” for their report card rating and is required to take part in the Ohio improvement process, which requires several meetings for teachers to attend as they continue to assess how to improve student results.
“It is very intense, it is very time consuming,” said Shawnee Superintendent David Ulrich.
The early dismissal will allow teachers to meet with their respective teams in order to fully participate in the improvement process.
Other changes to the calendar include a fall break, a shortened Christmas break (due to it falling on the weekend,) and an end date of May 21.
It was also voted that, if there is a two-hour delay on Wednesdays, there will be no early dismissal.
Turpin closed the meeting with the introduction of a plan to potentially drug test student-athletes or anyone involved in various other extracurricular activities. She cited a “rash of problem’s (the school) has had this year,” including several members getting kicked off the football team.
“I really think we need to have something in place,” said Turpin, who feels a random drug testing policy will be a large deterrent for drug use within the school.
No decisions were made regarding the policy, as she was introducing the idea and acknowledged that several steps will need to be taken before a policy like that can be implemented.
The board also approved all the following:
• Renewal of legal services with Bricker & Eckler law firm.
• Establishment of a service fund for BOE members to begin on July 1 in the amount of $7,500 for the fiscal year 2017. The maximum contribution is $20,000.
• Authorization for the treasurer to use blanket purchase orders, provided no purchase exceeds $10,000 and no order shall extend beyond the end of the fiscal year.
• Authorization to the superintendent to serve as the purchasing agent for the 2016 calendar year.
• Appointment of the superintendent as the board’s designee for appeals of student suspensions.
• Approval of 54 cents per mile for mileage reimbursement for all business travel expenses.
• Renewal to the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) from January through December 2016 at a cost of $4,612.
• Approval for the annual membership to the OSBA legal assistance fund for $250.
• Approval of the BOE compensation of $125 per meeting for up to 24 meetings.
• The resignation of Brenda Hypes as student aide at Camden Primary effect Dec. 4, 2015.
• Approval of one-year contracts for two 1:1 Aides to high school students as well as a pre-school aide.
• Several school board polices including administration, program, professional staff, classified staff, property, and operations.