PREBLE SHAWNEE — Preble Shawnee Board of Education welcomed three new board members during an organizational meeting on Thursday, Jan. 4.
The oath of office was administered to Charlie Biggs, Julie Singleton, and Bill Crawford.
The January meeting was the first one for Crawford, who had previously served as West Elkton’s mayor, to attend as an active board member. While newly elected, Singleton had been required to serve during the previous board meeting due to Candi Fyffe’s resignation and Biggs has served for many years prior, and was re-elected for a new term.
Still, all three were welcomed, followed by the nomination and election of 2018 board president and board vice-president.
Jeff Wood was sworn in as board president, with Julie Singleton serving as his Vice-President. Both took the oath of office, swearing to be loyal and respectful to the Constitution, the State of Ohio, and the district as a whole.
Following the approval of all organizational resolutions and actions, the board entered into its regular meeting, where they held a public hearing on the 2018-2019 school calendar.
According to Superintendent Matt Bishop, this calendar is similar to past calenders, but he included the following highlights into his report:
•The calendar includes two teacher work days to begin the school year, on a Monday and Tuesday. School for students will begin on Wednesday.
•There will be a fall break in early October, as well a a professional development day.
•The calendar includes three days off for Thanksgiving and eight days off for Christmas.
•There will be a four-day weekend around Presidents’ Day in February.
•Spring break will fall at the end of March and there will be a four-day weekend around Good Friday and Easter in April.
•School will end prior to Memorial Day and graduation will be held on Friday, May 24, which also serves as the teachers’ last day.
•Finally, the district intends to continue the one hour early dismissal for continued professional development/meetings.
The board approved a donation of $1,190.85 from Miami University Community Federal Credit Union to the Student Care Fund. Board member Gary Rader asked what the funds go toward and Treasurer Mollie Hansel answered, the fund was started three years ago for students in need.
“The Credit Union collects donations from their members for the area schools that they serve,” she explained. “It is for needy students — students, for example, who can’t afford sport fees, which doesn’t apply here. It is really open ended on our part, but it is for students in need. This is the Credit Union donating to us for our students who have need.
“There are a lot of those students in need here, so we use this. We got, maybe, $600 a couple years ago and we used it all. People in the buildings see need and that is how it is identified. One year somebody had a fire and we used the money for that.”
The board also approved the renewal of the annual membership in the Ohio School Boards Association from January through December of 2018 at a cost of $4,815. Then, the board approved the OSBA 2018 Legal Assistance Fund Membership in the amount of $250.
Board President Wood noted, “For current and new board members, the OSBA is a great resource. I recommend all board members take advantage of them. I have called them numerous times, just to learn things so I didn’t come in here looking like a dummy. They are easy to get a hold of and they get back with you. Also, they have classes and seminars — I’ve taken a couple. It is just a really great resource.”
In other news, the board approved:
•The IRS standard mileage rate of 54.5 cents per mile for travel, beginning Jan. 1, 2018.
•The policy and plan for the identification and service of children who are gifted. This is a requirement from the Ohio Department of Education, to have the plan approved by the board and uploaded to the department. There is no fundamental changes in this plan from previous years.
The next Preble County Board of Education meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 16. This will be a special meeting, intended to approve the re-hiring of an employee and to revisit the resolution to close West Elkton Intermediate School. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Board of Education office.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH