CENTERBURG — The Centerburg school board on Monday passed a formal resolution requesting a moratorium on the publication and use of 2014-15 test data, which Centerburg says in inaccurate.
The board said schools like Centerburg which used online tests, as requested by the Ohio Department of Education, were nine times more likely to get F’s on the report card and pencil paper tests were five times more likely to result in A’s. Also, a large number of Centerburg students did not take the tests due to “political maneuvering and encouragement by various state representatives” and their refusals to take tests were counted as failing grades.
The resolution says the inaccurate data is damaging to the school district and community reputation and further asks the general assembly to “conduct a thorough evaluation of all state testing to ensure it is valid and accurate.” The board also asks for legislation that either mandates students take state tests or not hold schools and communities responsible for the students’ choice not to take the mandated tests.
The resolution will be submitted to State Senator Kris Jordan and State Representative Margaret Ann Ruhl.
Superintendent Mike Hebenthal reported the state spent $300 million on the tests and really needs to admit there were (software) problems with the test. He said he and several other superintendents and school officials in the Mansfield area met with members of the state Board of Education to express concerns about last year’s tests and the board members were “very open to what we had to say.”
The board recognized and extended commendations to the Centerburg varsity basketball team and coaches for winning the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Blue Division Championship and for being Central District runners-up.
Elementary principal John Morgan praised the district’s inaugural Battle of the Books team. He said fifth-graders Emilee Fletcher, Allyson Fields, Grace Barton, Madigan Kennedy, Ethan Boggs, Kadin Sukow and Owen Merriman won more rounds than they lost and had a great experience.
Ryan Gallwitz, high school principal, congratulated the following students of the month for March: Lilly Henney, grade six; John Sheasby, grade seven; Trey Figgins, grade eight; Hunter Derrick, grade nine; Brooklyn Elkins, grade 10; Luke Keeling, grade 11; and Danielle Nininger, grade 12.
The board accepted the donation of Fitbit from Swisher Concepts and National United Brokers; $25 from Robert and Janet Boyd and $50 from Beth Detlie in memory of Esther Mapes; $868.59 from Amvets Post 59 to the Amvets fund; $1,414.40 from Centerburg Athletic Booster Club and $1,414.40 from CABC Diamond Club to the athletic fund; $250 from Christopher Cordle to FFA; and $2,000 from Christopher and Susan Cordle to the Harold and Jacque Cordle Family fund.
Kevin Rindock, director of operations for The Nutrition Group, said the food service account is running in the black. Part of the reason is due to the “Snack Shack” which opened the last part of January. All of the items offered meet federal nutrition guidelines, and include goodies such as mozzarella sticks and churros.
Food service director Autumn Pauley said a la cart sales have doubled.
“I have seen kids come to the snack cart that have not been in the cafeteria for three years,” she reported. “To me, that is very exciting.”
Rindock reviewed Ohio Department of Education/USDA pricing guidelines and said the district will need to raise lunch prices next year. The board is expected to take action on that in the next couple of months.
The board accepted a letter of resignation from assistant elementary principal/special education coordinator Ann Gardner, effective at the end of this school year, and subsequently employed Connie Hatley to fill the position, beginning Aug. 1. A letter of resignation was also accepted from longterm substitute Pam Funk.
The board approved a three-year contract for elementary principal John Morgan and a two-year contract for Sarah Adkins as school nurse, pending proper certification. The board also approved a number of certified and classified contracts beginning with the 2016-17 school year, and issued continuing classified contracts to custodian Robert Waldnig and to bus drivers Dawn Meier and Jessica Thompson.
With board member Tracey Myers abstaining, supplementary contracts for the 2016-17 school year were approved for Angie Myers, middle school volleyball; Jeff Reynolds, middle school boys golf; Shelly Byrley, head girls golf coach; and Mike Eblin, head cross country coach.
Other items approved by the board
• Jaime Donaldson as a volunteer for the track program for the 2015-16 school year; • Griffin Insurance for voluntary student accident insurance for the 2016-17 school year, at no cost to the board;
•Voluntary summer science camp for students entering grades 7-12. Potential sessions include forensic science and exploring science in general. Students will have to pay for the sessions; and
•Overnight trip for two FFA students to the Washington, D.C., leadership conference in July.
No further action was taken.