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2012 Questions

Question:  How did the Board decide on the substitute employee pay rates? Have they been compared to other districts?

Answer: Over the years the Board has tried to remain competitive with other county school districts for substitute employee pay rates. The administrative team researches other district pay rates and then recommends rates for Jefferson Area Local Schools. The increase approved by the Board on December 17, 2012 was to align with the new Ohio minimum wage. A chart of county school district substitute employee rates is available by clicking the Sub Cost Comparison Chart file located at the bottom of this page.

Question: The Board agenda states teachers attend meetings for 1) RttT and 2) IAT. What is this?

Answer: 1) RttT is the acronym for Race to the Top.  

The Race to the Top initiative began at the Federal Department of Education as a competitive grant program intended to provide significant financial support to States that are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform.

Ohio was awarded $400,000,000  for its  Race to the Top (RttT) strategy which aligns with the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE's) vision and mission to implement a world-class education system in which all students will graduate with a sense of purpose and be well prepared for college, work and life.

Ohio then created a grant opportunity open to all of Ohio's public and charter school districts. More than half of Ohio school districts and two-thirds of public community/charter schools voluntarily agreed to participate in this statewide reform effort. Collectively, they are Ohio’s 478 RttT participating Local Education Agencies (LEAs).

The Jefferson Area Local School District has been awarded $181,462.00 over four years to support its initiatives including staff training, communications, embracing technology as an educational tool, implementing Ohio’s new state standards for language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, implementing a program of rigorous formative and summative assessments, preparing students for Ohio's next generation of state assessments, using data to make sound educational decisions for every student and preparing students to graduate with a sense of purpose and well prepared for college, work and life.

On our Web site we have a Race to the Top page that fully explains our RttT process and provides links to the work being done including:

1)The Jefferson Area Local Schools Narrative description of how Race to the Top will be used to improve our school district. This document explores how our district reform efforts will impact our district's operation and outcomes. This narrative also appears as a web page

2) RttT Scope of Work YEAR Three Submission to ODE: This is our Scope of Work Proposal for year two that we  submitted to the Ohio Department of Education.

3) In order for the district to begin working through local issues related to the Final Scope of Work, ODE  created a document entitled Building Capacity to Implement RttT to help us inform the conversation among our local RttT team members. While this document will not be returned to ODE, it is intended to assist us in strengthening capacity at the local level. (see link below)

4) Supplemental Memorandum of understanding: This is the agreement to participate in the RttT initiative between the JALSD Board of Education and the Jefferson Area Teachers' Association

5) Our Progress Monitoring Tool: This monthly update provides a detailed overview of the work being done in the Jefferson Schools as a part of the Rttt initiative. It is submitted each month to the Ohio Department of Education.

6) The Jefferson Area Local Schools Professional Development Plan for 2012-13.

7) Job Descriptions for Members of our RttT District Leadership Team (DLT) and major subcommittees.

8) Our Building improvement plans

2) IAT: Intervention Assistance Team

The IAT is a team of educators from a school that meet to design various forms of assistance for children who are experiencing difficulty. Parents may be invited to participate in an IAT meeting about their child. IAT teams meet to create appropriate plans such as: a Behavior Intervention Plan which is a plan to address a behavior of your child that is not appropriate in school or anAcademic intervention Plan which is a plan to address the academic or learning problems faced by a student. If after implementing  and measuring the effect of  variety of interventions for a student the IAT Team finds that the student has not made progress they may recommend special education testing or other interventions.

Question: How many teachers accompany the Junior High students on the Washington D.C. field trip?

Answer:  Usually 6-7 teachers serve as chaperones and guides for the annual Junior High field trip.


Question: Why were checks written to pay the following vendors:
  - Thornes Bi-Lo Foods, Jefferson, Ohio
  - Richmond Limousine and Transportation Service, Ashtabula, Ohio
  - Jeff’s Flowers, Jefferson, Ohio

Answer:   Many checks from the Food Service Fund have been used to pay Thornes Bi-Lo for purchases of food for the cafeteria. The Principal Fund 018 has paid for student and staff incentives of food items. The Principal Fund 018 receives revenue from soft drink and snack vending machines, student pictures, and fund raising contributions. Other checks to pay Thornes Bi-Lo were for maintenance department costs for carpet cleaner equipment rentals during summer cleaning.         

Richmond Limousine and Transportation Service is a contracted service for a legally required district transportation expense to meet the Individual Education Plan (IEP) needs for special education students who attend classes at a facility other than our Jefferson Area Local Schools buildings.

Flowers were purchased for Homecoming activities from the Principal Fund 018.


Question: Can we get a copy of the Board policy explaining public participation at Board meetings?

Answer: Yes. The information can be provided by making a public records request. The cost is $.05 per page. District Policies and Bylaws are available by visiting the JALS website at http://www.jalsd.org and can be found under the “District” tab. District Bylaw 0160 explains the Board process for conducting meetings. Specifically, Policy 0169.1 addresses Public Participation and reads as follows:

0169.1 Public Participation at Board Meetings

The Board of Education recognizes the value to school governance of public comment on educational issues and the importance of allowing members of the public to express themselves on school matters of community interest.
The Board is also committed to conducting its meetings in a productive and efficient manner that assures that the regular agenda of the Board is completed in a reasonable period of time, honors the voluntary nature of the Board's time and using that time efficiently, and allows for a fair and adequate opportunity for input to be considered. Consequently, public participation at Board meetings will be governed by the following principles: 
A. Any person or group wishing to place an item on the agenda shall register their intent with the Superintendent no later than seven (7) days prior to the meeting and include:

name and address of the participant;
    2. group affiliation, if and when appropriate; 
    3. topic to be addressed.
    Such requests shall be subject to the approval of the Superintendent and the Board President.
B. In order to permit the fair and orderly expression of such comment, the Board shall provide a period for public participation at every regular meeting of the Board and publish rules to govern such participation in Board meetings.
The presiding officer of each Board meeting at which public participation is permitted shall administer the rules of the Board for its conduct.
The presiding officer shall be guided by the following rules:
A. Public participation shall be permitted as indicated on the order of business.
B. Anyone having a legitimate interest in the actions of the Board may participate during the public portion of a meeting.
C. Attendees must register their intention to participate in the public portion of the meeting upon their arrival at the meeting.

D. Participants must be recognized by the presiding officer and will be requested to preface their comments by an announcement of their name, address, and group affiliation, if and when appropriate.

E. Each statement made by a participant shall be limited to five (5) minutes duration, unless extended by the presiding officer.

F. No participant may speak more than once on the same topic unless all others who wish to speak on that topic have been heard.
G. All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer; no person may address or question Board members individually.
H. Tape or video recordings are permitted. The person operating the recorder should contact the Superintendent prior to the Board meeting to review possible placement of the equipment, and must agree to abide by the following conditions:
    1. No obstructions are created between the Board and the audience.
    2. No interviews are conducted in the meeting room while the Board is in session.
    3. No commentary, adjustment of equipment, or positioning of operators is made that would distract either the Board or members of the audience while the Board is in session and not disrupt the meeting.
I. The presiding officer may:
    1. prohibit public comments that are frivolous, repetitive, and/or harassing;
    2. interrupt, warn, or terminate a participant's statement when the statement is too lengthy, personally directed, abusive, off-topic, antagonistic, obscene, or irrelevant;
    3. request any individual to leave the meeting when that person does not observe reasonable decorum;
    4. request the assistance of law enforcement officers in the removal of a disorderly person when that person's conduct interferes with the orderly progress of the meeting;
    5. call for a recess or an adjournment to another time when the lack of public decorum so interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting as to warrant such action;
    6. waive these rules with the approval of the Board when necessary for the protection of privacy or the administration of the Board's business.
J. The portion of the meeting during which the participation of the public is invited shall be limited to thirty (30) minutes, unless extended by a vote of the Board.
R.C. 3313.20
Revised 9/15/04
Revised 12/17/10

Question: Is the village purchase the old Jefferson Elementary School?

Answer: Yes. The deal has been approved by Jefferson Village voters to purchase the old elementary school for $150,000 cash and $150,000 of in-kind service work. One of the first jobs on the list is to clean out the drainage ditch on the west border of the school property and to build a gravel access road between the detention ponds to connect the parking lots of the Jr/Sr High School and Jefferson Elementary School. The project will provide a secondary drive for emergency access.

Question: Why are exhibits not provided with the Board agenda at the public meeting? How can we ask questions if we don't have the exhibits?

Answer: It has never been a practice to provide exhibits at Board meetings because of the unpredictable number of visitors at each meeting and the varying amount of exhibits for each agenda. Exhibits are available by making a public records request to the Superintendent or Treasurer by calling the Board of Education office at 440-576-9180.
Mark Pickard,
Apr 28, 2014, 5:04 PM