District on solid track to make 5-year levy last
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Over the past four years, as the economy crashed, burned, and tried to recover it seemed each time Big Walnut Local School District Treasurer Felicia Drummey reported revenue to board of education members it was either going down, or staying flat.
But the economy may be turning around; at least as it impacts school district revenue. In her financial report to members of the board Monday evening Drummey said income tax for the last quarter, received in October, came in $143,000 higher than projected.
“This payment represents a three percent increase over last year, and that’s a positive indicator,” Drummey said. “Other Revenue also exceeded projections by $99,000 in the form of tuition payments to the school district for foster care children living in the district that we educate.”
Drummey did note that capital outlay for October was $168,000, more than the projected $25,000, because the district paid for its two new school buses.
Board president Pam Lillie asked Drummey how the district was doing with its levy dollars. She wanted to know if the district would be able to keep its five-year levy promise of no new money until the current levy expires.
“We’re on a solid track to make the levy last five years,” Drummey said. “In 2015 we will either have to look at cuts or go on the ballot with a levy in 2014. A lot of that is driven by enrollment, and if the economy is sluggish and doesn’t recover rapidly that would have an impact.”
Drummey also explained that the school district made several insurance carrier changes that will save one half million dollars in the first year, and cap insurance cost increases at 14 percent during the second year.
With board approval, the district is moving from Medical Mutual to Ohio Healthcare, moving from Vision Plus to EyeMed, and terminating Medical Mutual/Flex Save as a third-party administrator of the district’s flexible savings account and moving to Discovery Benefits as a third-party administrator.
Ralph Johnson, from the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio (ESC), attended the meeting to give an Ohio Treasurers Evaluation System presentation.
Currently the school district is part of a pilot program implementing the Ohio Teachers Evaluation System (OTES), and is also implementing an Ohio Superintendents Evaluation System (OSES).
If board members adopt a treasurer’s evaluation system with ESC serving as an evaluation consultant it would cost the district $1,500 to $4,000 for the one-year evaluation program.
Johnson said the job of a school district treasurer has drastically changed in the last five years because of funding changes, the economy, and the political landscape; that what has been used in the past for evaluating a treasurer’s performance was typically a subjective checklist — not an adequate tool for tracking performance.
He said ESC assembled a team that standardized treasurer’s evaluations and came up with five basic standards to track performance: leadership; financial management; facilities, properties, and capital asset management; communications and collaboration; and professionalism.
To implement the ESC recommended treasurer’s evaluation system is a five-step process, Johnson said. Step one is to develop and revisit a standards-based job description. The second step is to identify the district’s annual fiscal objectives. Third, develop work plans to meet those objectives. Fourth, conduct a midyear formative assessment of the treasurer’s performance. The fifth step is to conduct an end of year summative assessment of the treasurer’s performance.
“This is just a template,” Johnson said. “In school districts with 2,000 to 5,000 students a treasurer is generally a jack of all trades.”
Johnson also noted one of life’s realities. A school district’s treasurer will probably make hundreds of decisions every week and mess up only one, but that one mistake is the decision that will be noticed and skew a subjective checklist evaluation.
“Gone are the days of the checklist, one, two, three,” Johnson said. “What’s a three to you might not be a three to me. A narrative evaluation is the best way to go.”
Johnson said an objective treasurer’s evaluation process is really about good leadership, the board of education being transparent, and staying in focus; and that an objective evaluation system is not a one-way process — it has to be give-and-take between the board and the treasurer.
Lillie said if board of education members decide to implement a treasurer’s evaluation system with ESC serving as a consultant the issue would be on the December board agenda so the process could begin in January.
Four Big Walnut High School Student Council members attended the meeting to give a presentation on students partnering with the school district to address cyber bullying
The four students — Nicole Meyer, Avery Kerns, Lindsey Adams, and Caeilen Lozano – said student council members and other students are working on a high school and middle school presentation outlining the Jessica Logan act, a new Ohio law designed to help prevent cyber bullying using social media.
The students said most students today to keep up with the world use texting, twitter, and Facebook, but at times social media can do more harm than good. Under the Jessica Logan Act if cyber bullying is brought to the attention of school district administrators and staff they now have the jurisdiction to act.
Adams said what Student Council members really want their peers to know is that every student has someone they can go to if they are being bullied.
• Board members accepted the following resolution: Resolution Declaring Transportation to be Impractical for Certain Identified Schools (R.C. Section 3327.02).
• Board members approved the SpyGlass Snapshot Audit Agreement for analysis and recommendation of cost recovery, service elimination savings and cost reduction savings for telecommunications services, excluding wireless.
• Board members approved the 2012–13 Sports Medicine Athletic Training Services Agreement with Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
• Board members approved the termination of the group medical insurance carrier Medical Mutual, as of December 31, 2012.
• Board members approved United Health Care as the group medical insurance carrier, as of January 1, 2013.
• Board members approved the termination of the group vision insurance carrier Vision Plus, as of December 31, 2012.
• Board members approved EyeMed as the group vision insurance carrier, as of January 1, 2013.
• Board members approved the termination of Medical Mutual/Flex Save as the third party administrator of the District’s Flexible Savings Account, as of December 31, 2012.
• Board members approved Discovery Benefits as the third party administrator of the District’s Flexible Savings Account and COBRA as of January 1, 2013.
• Board members accepted the resignation of Pam Ott, Big Walnut High School Fiscal Secretary, due to retirement, effective January 1, 2013.
• Board members approved a 90-day probationary contract for the following classified staff: Kimberly Schenz, 2 hour Food Service Worker, Big Walnut Middle School, step 1, effective October 15, 2012; Matthew Bell, Custodian, 2nd/3rd shift split, Big Walnut Intermediate Building & Big Walnut High School, step 0, effective November 5, 2012; Jeff Aisel, Special Needs Assistant, Transportation & General Rosecrans Elementary, step 0, effective November 5, 2012.
• Board members approved an increase in hours for Dale Wolfe, Mail Carrier, from 1.5 hours/day to 2 hours/day, effective November 1, 2012.
• Board members approved a certified one year limited contract for Dorothy Branham, .5 Intervention Specialist, Hylen Souders Elementary, BA step 1, effective November 5, 2012.
• Board members approved a $150 stipend for Carol Burchett for non-scheduled Credit Flex hours.
• Board members approved the following supplementals for the 2012–13 school year, step 0:
Eagles First Flight – Group 5, Christina McDonough.
LPDC Chair – Group 6, Nancy McCracken Bennett.
LPDC Committee – Group 7, Carol Burchett, Georgia Craig, Tuition Reimbursement, Barb George, Dawn Norris, Jennifer Restucci, Maria Tarney, Laura Wood.
Race to the Top – Group 6, Erin Barr, Julie Beeker, Georgia Craig, Nicole Leinweber, Sarah Sandrock, Mike Stone, Angie Stooksbury, Mary Wolf.
Principal’s Advisory Committee (PAC) – Group 7, BWE, Mark Adams, Sarah Badger, Deb Connell, Susan Monfort, Shelly Olson, Karen Snyder, Beth Zirillo; GRE, Kim Castiglione, Trisha Hilton, Christine McWilliams, Kori Rigo, Lisa Shaw, Jamie Sohovich, Susan Stein, Mary Wolf; SOU, Mandy Bailey, Sandy Chiampo, Amy Kessler, Margaret McNaughton, Lindsey Simmons, Maria Tarney, Matt Wilson; BWIS, Rhonda Corven, Laurel Fitch, Barb George, Susan Missman, Amy Read, Jessica Shelton, Paula Sieradzki; BWMS (members not department chairs), Corry Schull, Kim White; BWHS (members not department chairs), Sarah Wytzka.
• Board members approved the following winter athletic supplementals for the 2012–13:
Boys Basketball: Eric Myers, Head Coach, step 11; Mike Adams, Varsity Assistant, step 8; Ric Cavicchia, Assistant, step 11; Rich Smith, Assistant, step 11; Charlie Rowley, ¾ MS Assistant, step 6; Chris Holly, ¾ MS Assistant, step 5; Anthony Zarcone, Volunteer; Evan Jackson, Volunteer.
Girls Basketball: Bob Scott, Head Coach, step 11; Gary Miller, ¾ Varsity Assistant, step 11; Frank Turner, ¾ Assistant, step 11; Mike Tutorow, MS Assistant, step 11; Leigh Ann Baker, MS Assistant, step 2; Jason Manns, MS Volunteer; Chris White, MS Volunteer; Katie Fox, Volunteer.
Wrestling: Luke Moore, Head Coach, step 9; Aaron Morris, ½ Varsity Assistant, step 6; Tony Eisnnicher, ½ Assistant, step 11; Josh Pace, MS Assistant, step 2; Luke Worley, MS Assistant, step 1; Doug Worley, Volunteer; Tim Halbakken, Volunteer.
Bowling: Pat McClelland, Volunteer; Jayme McClelland, Volunteer.
Gymnastics: Misty Matthews, Head Coach, step 11; Kirsten Varner, Volunteer.
Swimming: Andy Chatterton, Volunteer; Sarah Cline, Volunteer; Jim Peterfish, Volunteer; Jen White, Volunteer; Kate Sweeney-Bendure, Volunteer.
• Board members approved to rescind motion 12–147: Linda Borchers for 1-hour/day extra work at the bus garage, current hourly driver rate, effective September 12, 2012.
• Board members approved Cathy Damron for 1-hour/day extra work at the bus garage, current hourly driver rate, effective November 1, 2012.
• Board members approved Linda Borchers, bus driver, for a 1.5 mid-day route, current hourly rate, effective November 1, 2012.
• Board members accepted the resignation of Ron McClure, Transportation Supervisor, submitted for purposes of initiating earned retirement benefits, effective as of the end of the workday on October 31, 2012.
• Board members approved to employ Ron McClure as Transportation Supervisor beginning December 1, 2012 and continuing through July 31, 2013. Such employment to be at the same salary set forth in his current contract and subject to such other terms and conditions as are set forth in the written contract document presented to this Board.
The next regularly scheduled Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education meeting will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, December 10, at the Big Walnut Middle School Library.