I've officially completed 4 Board of Education meetings, and it's been a very eye-opening experience - in the best way! Our large, diverse School District is doing fantastic things, and many of our programs are the envy of other districts around the state and country. Several highlights from the past month...
-I attended 2 conferences by the Ohio School Boards Association, including New Board Members 101 and School Finance 101. These were great opportunities for me to interact with other school board members and administrators from across the state. Although it was a ton of information, I found them to be extremely valuable. There are a lot of resources available if you just know where to look!
-My role on the agenda in school board meetings this year is to share the Community/Students/Schools items. These agenda items include partnerships our district has in the community, as well as opportunities for students to participate in programs outside the school, including field trips, athletic conferences, and more. Each of these items receives formal board approval.
-I have been keeping up with Take Part Thursdays every week - I am glad to keep connected to our residents this way, and hear your concerns.
-I've started to attend PTSA (Parent-Teacher-Student Association) meetings on a nearly weekly basis. At those meetings, I am more or less just there to listen, and let parents know at each school that I am there as a resource.
-In mid-February, there was a vote to renew "pay to participate" fees for the 2018-19 school year. I was afforded an opportunity to state my opposition to this policy, but the fees were renewed without any increases. Although I was in the minority on this position, I am one of 5 board members, and we operate as any board would - following majority rules. We have the opportunity to state our opinions on any issue, whether we agree or not, but we stand by the Board's decisions when votes occur. I understand that these fees generate almost half a million dollars in revenue that the District needs to operate, and until we can find a suitable replacement for those monies, it will be very hard to make that much of a cut to our budget. I understand why the Board made the decision it did.
-Finally, I want to share from last night's meeting 2 very interesting links discussing the broad range of services, and some very large statistics, provided by our District's Food Services and Transportation Departments. It's clear why we are the 5th largest District in Ohio! I think you'll find these numbers interesting:
Food Service Update:
I'm very much looking to our board retreat this Saturday, where we'll hear from a lot of other departments and discuss more issues for the coming year! Thank you for all of your support so far.