WEST ALEXANDRIA — During the Twin Valley Community Local Board of Education meeting on Thursday, Jan. 9, Tim Beneke was elected president of the board for 2020.
Christine Bitner was elected as Vice-president of the board.
Jeff Tully, Maintenance and Transportation Director, reported on building, grounds, and busing. He reported:
•Staff deep-cleaned the facility over winter break, fixed the alarm system due to a wire going to ground, ordered filters for wood shop suction system, and shortened two doors so the emergency boot key would work better.
•The district received the permits on the new marquee sign and trenching was set the begin that same week for the marquee electric.
•The district purchased a skid of salt for the sidewalks and received price quotes for removing the underbrush in the woods near the softball field.
•Work is under way on the new bus to add cameras, seat numbers, and for the final inspection. Staff also removed the back tires to save them for steering tires and installed mud tires.
Board member Jason DeLong asked if the district could justify a signing bonus, after a driver has been employed for 12 months or more. He argued, it might be offset by overtime, but the board would have to see those numbers first.
“The signing bonus might be something [to] make Jeff [Tully’s] life easier,” he said.
Board member Bitner countered, “I think some of the seasoned drivers may not like that too much. The new drivers are making pretty close to what they are.”
DeLong said, “I don’t speak for the rest of the board and I’m not trying to diminish the other certified positions. Let’s say an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or a 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. job is a whole lot easier to fill and more glorious and more beneficial from an insurance standpoint than the bus driver’s get.”
Superintendent Scott Cottingim added, they also have issues getting custodial staff, not just bus drivers. That is due to salary, which is also why the district loses teachers. The board also discussed other ways of attracting new drivers.
Board member DeLong shared his beliefs the district and staff would be in better shape without the union.
“It doesn’t have to be there and we can eliminate a lot of these problems and the people here would be a lot better off,” he said.
Cottingim said, “I don’t necessarily think it’s a union issue.”
“We’re handcuffed when we want to do something, because everybody is handcuffed together in these classifications. It’s a challenge every negotiation. It’s unfortunate,” DeLong said. “Staff would be a whole lot better off without it — our district and kids would too.”
He asked again to see overtime numbers on drivers.
Derrick Myers, Director of Technology, reported on topics including POS keypads, camera software, Chromebooks, and other serviced technology needs. He shared the district:
•Started using Bark in conjunction with Securly to monitor student safety and risk factors. This added Google Document support as well as email.
•Fixed POS keypads for Elementary student lines in the Cafeteria.
•Updated Camera NVR software on server and at each administrative PC.
•Updated student free and reduced lunch numbers for E-Rate funding purposes. The federal E-Rate program partially funds schools and libraries internet costs. He applies for those funds each year.
•Replaced many broken Chromebook parts such as keyboards, screens, hinges, keys, etc.
•Replaced phone system battery backup UPS. He regularly checks these for faults and replace when needed. There is at least one large UPS in each of our five wiring closets throughout the building.
•Upgraded three circulation library PCs from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
•Deleted old Google Groups that were no longer in use.
•Looking into EdPuzzle school subscription at the request of Mrs. Ackerman. EdPuzzle allows teachers to create custom
video highlights, questions, and clips that students get to interact with while watching the video.
•Helped Mrs. Judd with HS Talent show lights and sound.
•Helped first grade with Christmas program lights and sound.
•Helped with Elementary Spelling Bee.
•Shared new Youtube channel with staff seeking to learn new tricks in Google apps such as Docs, Gmail, Sheets, etc.
•Uploaded past high school play productions to the Video Library and shared the link with all staff.
•Uploaded all Juniors and Seniors to NWEA website for MAP testing. Mr. Hamblin will now be using this assessment tool.
•Mr. Beneke and Mr. Flatter reported audibility issues in the high school gym. Myers adjusted sound system levels, frequencies, and tested microphones. It should now sound significantly better.
•Ordered Adobe Acrobat Pro for Tina in the district office. This will allow her to convert current Word formatted fill-able forms to PDF so that anyone can fill them out regardless of device.
•Myers setup three additional older laptops for Mr. Allen’s CAD courses. He wanted to integrate software into more of his industrial tech courses but did not have enough computers. This program will require replacement hardware soon so we will be reevaluating numbers before summer.
Josh Senters, Director of Pupil Services, shared updates on Ohio ACT Testing and an upcoming screener:
•Twin Valley South High School will be participating in the State of Ohio ACT Testing on Feb. 25. This will include about 70 students from Twin Valley South High School. The students that will be given the test will be students that have Twin Valley South High School as their home school district in EMIS.
•Twin Valley Community Schools will be giving the Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS) in the month of January. Twin Valley Community Schools have about 10 English Language Learners that will be given the screener. This will then determine the number of students that will be given the Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) in the Spring.
Elementary Principal Patti Holly reported on enrollment numbers, goals, discipline referrals, and different celebrations. She shared:
•There are currently 434 students enrolled in the elementary.
•By Spring of 2020, 80 percent of the students will meet one years or more growth on the MAP Test grades K-6.
•There were two referrals for major behavior problems from Nov. 22 through Dec. 20. One student removed from school until evaluated by a mental health professional, they were cleared and returned on Jan. 6. Another student was removed from school with the help of the School Resource Officer (SRO).
•Rhett Emig won first place in the spelling bee. Second place went to Tyler Wapler and Third place was awarded to Claire Whaton.
Middle and High School Principal Derek Flatter shared news on upcoming and past events.
In other business, the board:
•Re-elected board members James Pemberton and Tim Beneke were sworn in.
•Established the regular meeting schedule. The next regular board meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m. in the Media Center.
•Established rate of board member compensation at $80 per meting for each member for each meeting of calendar year for 2020, not to exceed 24 meetings in a calendar year. They also established rate of board member compensation at $100 per meeting for each board member re-elected after January of 2018 for each meeting of calendar year 2020, not to exceed 24 meetings in a year.
•Set the rate of reimbursement for mileage at the IRS rate of $0.575 per mile for school district business.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or Twitter @KKimbler_RH