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2013 04

QUESTIONS FROM THE APRIL 16, 2013 BOARD MEETING

Question:  How is calling of the subs done?  

Answer:  A clerk is designated as sub caller and works 2.5 hours per day in that capacity.

Question:  Why has the bonding company refused to pay repairs?  What did they give as a reason? 

Answer:  The bonding companies assert and challenge that the repairs proposed by Mays Consulting and Evaluation Services, Inc., hired by the Ohio Schools Facility Commission and Jefferson Area Local Schools to perform the extensive roof evaluations in 2011, are either unnecessary or are an upgrade to the original approved design. After many meetings, inspections by the bonding companies, and two separate mediations, with no viable offers or solutions by any of the bonding companies, a decision was made to pursue the remediation proposed by Mays Consulting and Evaluation Services, Inc. The OSFC, as partner in the building project, will begin legal action through the Ohio Attorney General against the designer, construction companies, or their surety companies to recover the cost of repairs.


Letter read at 4-16-13 Board Meeting by Kim Richmond

Hello my name is Kimberly Richmond. I would like to talk about how the budget cuts have affected my son and what I have noticed while volunteering at the Jefferson Elementary School.

My son lost Diane as a bus driver because of the budget cuts, he was so upset. He asked me why Diane lost her job. I tried to explain it to him, but how do I make an eleven year old understand budget cuts,
bumping and system seniority when I am not entirely sure what all of it means myself. Alii know is that he is upset because she is not there.

I had the honor and pleasure of volunteering for our Librarian, Kathy Dalsky last year. She did wonderful things with the students. It breaks my heart to walk by the library and not see her bright smiling face,
she is gone. There are no more stories being read, no more laughter from the reading theater. On most days I see the library sitting dark and empty. The computer lab is used by the students with the
teachers, doing their best to introduce computer and typing skills but not in the manner they need with a regular computer teacher. The world we live in today has so much technology and these kids need
every advantage available to make it, another opportunity lost.

I hang pictures for Mr. Grout and he always tells me "I know that it only takes you a small amount of time, but you don't know how much it helps me." I do know how much it helps him. From the time he
starts his day, it is class after class until he is done.

My son has ADD. He struggles every day to stay on task without being distracted. The ERIC room is gone, however there are still students that are disruptive and misbehave. Teachers have little choice but
to keep them in the classroom or put them in the hall. He complained a lot at the beginning or the year about the disruptions. The class is larger, more students, more distractions. When he can't focus he
goes in the hall, where the students that were being disruptive are.

Class sizes are larger, so the students get less time with the teachers when they are struggling and need it most. Last year the average class size was 22 students. This year the average class size is 30 students.

I don't think that everyone fully understands the impact that this has on the teachers and the students. There are more students but less time to spend with each of them. The State of Ohio mandates that
certain subject matter is covered thru the year. When the students don't understand an area of the subject they are working in, the teachers have little choice but to move on or risk falling even further
behind.

The school day is also shorter as they start at 9:30 instead of 9:15. That does not sound like a lot of time and it seems like it would not make much of a difference but when added up, this is one hour and 15
minutes that is lost in the classroom every week. The bar is being raised with implementing the RACE to the Top and the new Common Core Curriculum. That is great in theory, but if the levy fails, how will this
be achieved? The teachers are already limited with the budget cuts that have already been
implemented.

We are stripping away their resources. For example the ERIC room is gone. This was helpful in many ways such as, discipline, a quiet place for students to make up work and tests, a quiet place for children
with attention disorders to go to focus and some students just to decompress. The Title One has been significantly reduced. Specials have been trimmed back or eliminated. In each class there are children
who learn at different paces with no support, how are the teachers going to bring all of the students up to the bar?

When we discuss the effects of last year's cuts it may seem like small things individually, but when you add them all up it has had a huge effect on our children and educators. We have limited what they can
achieve in the classrooms. If we do not fix this now it is only going to get worse.
Every person who is with my son during the school day isjust as important as the other, from the time he steps foot on the bus with Stacy, to being in class with Mrs. Sandella. People are talking about
privatizing and outsourcing. This scares me. I know these people they live in my community. Who will they send to drive my son's bus, who will look after him during lunch, who will be cleaning while he is in
school, if privatizing is done? Will anyone have any control or say in who they send?

Many past decisions and past actions have gotten us into this mess. It will take all of us working
together to fix this. We need fiscal responsibility from the people in charge. We need to demand that our Governor give back the money necessary to provide our children a quality education. We need to
pay our fair share. Our parents did it for us and we need to for our children.

Everyone talks about sacrifice, most families and departments in the school district have. The people that have lost the most in this mess are the children. This makes me deeply sad. I am disappointed in
our leaders and our community members. We are too busy talking about "me and mine" we are letting our children's future slip away.

Thank you for your time.