LEES CREEK — The calendar for East Clinton preschool students will change somewhat for next school year, and a $50 cut in their monthly tuition is likely.
Presently, there are half-day preschool sessions in the morning and in the afternoon at both the Sabina and New Vienna elementary buildings, five days a week.
East Clinton educators have discussed the possibility of refashioning that to four days a week, which is the norm for preschools in the area, said East Clinton Local Schools Board of Education Superintendent Eric Magee.
“I wasn’t quite ready to do that,” Magee said at Tuesday’s meeting of the school board.
Instead, the change will involve taking those days within the district that have scheduled two-hour delays — basically occurring every other week — and making that day a day off for the preschool students.
The preschool teachers won’t have the day off however, as that will be a time for them to do the Step Up To Quality early childhood professional development program required through the state, the superintendent said.
“We’re trying to provide them some time to do that on those days,” added Magee.
Later in the meeting, the board approved the 2017-18 pre-school calendar.
The other proposal for change — reducing the cost or tuition as it’s called — is meant to make East Clinton preschool more accessible and attainable for families that reside in the school district.
The current monthly cost is $175 per month. District officials have received feedback to the effect that some families that would like to have their children participate cannot afford to.
Magee said he likely will ask for approval to lower the amount to $125 monthly at the June board of education meeting.
The East Clinton preschool program has a total of 64 spots for children.
In March 2016, Magee pointed to the district’s 2014-15 state report card results that indicated about 100 kindergarten through third grade students weren’t on track in their reading ability. He suggested at the time that one factor could be children coming to kindergarten at East Clinton were less ready for kindergarten than children in some of the surrounding areas.
Preschool was added to New Vienna Elementary School in the 2015-16 academic year.
In other action at the board meeting:
• The $20 general instructional school fee is being suspended for next school year. The $20 fee was paid by all students unless they were on free or reduced lunch. The fee was suspended for the current 2016-17 school year as well.
• A number of administrators and teachers were rehired. Among administrators, New Vienna Elementary Principal Jason Jones received a two-year contract, as did high school Principal Kerri Matheny and Technology Coordinator Jason Basford. The vote count for Matheny was 3-1 (one absent board member), with board member Shane Walterhouse voting against.
There were two other personnel employment votes that were not unanimous.
The vote was 3-1 to award a one-year contract to high school family consumer sciences teacher Cynthia Saylor. Walterhouse cast the “no” vote, and in explanation he alluded to Saylor’s address to the board in April. At that time she asked for consideration that the district financially assist students to attend subject-related conferences when the student-raised Student Activity Fund is not sufficient. And she also requested that career tech funds which the district receives from the state be used for her expenses on those trips.
The voting whether to award a supplemental contract to Jeffrey Craycraft to become the new head coach of the girls varsity basketball team was 3-1, with Walterhouse opposed.
• Magee announced he and East Clinton Treasurer John Stanley had sat down and talked about Saylor’s April address to the board, and came up with an addition to Administrative Guidelines regarding student activity funds. The inserted guideline is that two overnights per school year can come out of the district’s funds, and beyond that it is the responsibility of the student organization to take care of the expense.
• Matheny said a total of more than $1 million in scholarships was awarded to the 93 seniors in the Class of 2017. Commencement is Saturday evening, May 20.
• New Vienna Elementary third-grade student Zimri Mahanes earned an honorable mention in a statewide essay contest held by the Ohio Livestock Coalition.
• The “Outstanding Employees for 2016-17” were named in the agenda. For educators they are Kathryn Kasberg at the high school, Laura Sizemore at the middle school, Emily Pinkerton at New Vienna Elementary, and Jaysha Milburn at Sabina Elementary. For support staff, those selected are Paula Fauber in food service, Shanna Chambliss for secretary, Lynn Ackerman for educational aide, Kenneth Siders in transportation, and Mary Frump in maintenance.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.