ADAMS TOWNSHIP — A change to Clinton-Massie’s open enrollment policy will allow 13 elementary-grade students, who under the old policy could not have joined the rolls, to attend CM Elementary this fall.
The policy was changed to allow the school district to accept additional students and thus gain the additional revenue that accompanies them.
And though there will be the expense of hiring a new elementary teacher to cover class sizes in kindergarten and first grade, the overall effect of the policy change will be to lower class sizes this fall in kindergarten and first grade, and moreover to gain about $28,000 per year for the next five years or so, said Superintendent Matt Baker.
The new policy gives the superintendent the discretion to annually change open enrollment targets, rather than upon review by the school board as was the case.
“So as the influx of potential open-enrollment students may go up, then I have the discretion to meet with my building administrators to see what capacities we can incur,” Baker said after the Monday special board meeting.
The 13 students impacted by the new policy will either be in kindergarten, first grade or fifth grade, with only two in fifth grade.
Baker estimates the 13 students, if they stay with Massie through their senior years, will yield $667,080 in net revenue throughout the span of their K through 12 school years.
By hiring a new elementary teacher for kindergarten and first grade, the student-teacher ratio in those grades and second grade will be about 20:1, rather than 24:1 without the 13 added students and the extra teacher, according to Baker.
The school board approved the new policy 5-0, with board member Mike Goodall calling it a “no-brainer” decision.
A key reason for the new policy is the revenue it generates. The superintendent and district treasurer also have been looking into the rental cost the school charges the YMCA which reportedly has not gone up in a decade.
Baker expects to ask for an increase in the YMCA’s rental cost.
A list of proposed cuts was recited during May’s regular board meeting so that voters can better understand what is at risk if Clinton-Massie schools do not obtain additional funds from district taxpayers within the next couple elections, school officials have said.
Teaching positions and high school busing are two of the areas at risk. The list also includes the elimination of field trips beginning July 1 (the start of a new fiscal year), but the board Monday discussed the possibility of having three exceptions — one field trip from each building.
No board vote was taken, but it sounds as if the costs of the possible exceptions will have to be covered by something other than Clinton-Massie funds, be it a PTO, the student’s family or so forth.
Baker said advocates for the annual fifth-grade trip to Camp Joy and the annual seventh-grade Project Trust experience have met with him since hearing about the planned no-field trip rule. Then there also is the annual sophomores’ trip to Laurel Oaks to learn more about what Oaks offers for high school juniors and seniors in career and technical preparation.
In another budget-related matter, the board approved a training program so that certain school personnel can be permitted to dispense medications. The program will train building administrative assistants (secretaries), building principals, and an administrative staffer as a substitute.
This action was taken as a result of losing a health aide and passing one of the aide’s responsibilities onto others on-site at the Clinton-Massie campus, said Clinton-Massie Board of Education President Jeremy Lamb.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.
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