Jonathan Alder Local Schools will end the year on good financial footing, predicted district treasurer Aaron Johnson on Monday.
Johnson told board of education members during their regular May meeting that he expects to end the fiscal year in June with a $6.9 million balance. That is due to higher-than-expected revenues so far this year.
However, he warned of a potential operating deficit in 2020 and advised board members to start putting money aside. He also advised them to begin some capital projects now, including an upgrade to digital communications and a new cooling tower for the high school building.
As a result, board members later approved a $165,000 “e-rate” project for switches that control district connectivity to the Internet. About $109,000 of that will be reimbursed through the national e-rate program.
They also approved replacement of the high school cooling tower at a cost of $88,923.
Also on Monday, veteran board members Tom Bichsel and Steve Votaw were recognized by the Ohio School Boards Association for 15 years of service to the district. Kim Miller-Smith of the OSBA presented each with an award.
Curriculum director Misty Swanger announced the district has applied for a new 21st Century Grant for Monroe Elementary in Plumwood. If awarded, the grant will only fund before and after school programs.
Swanger also announced 87 teachers have signed up for two or more courses offered during the district’s staff development workshops slated for May 29 through June 7.
Parents Hilary Frambes and Megan Sloat spoke in support of part-time music teacher Jessica Lewis, who was recently denied a full-time position.
Frambes said band enrollment is soaring in grades sixth to eighth and a second band director is needed to handle the growing interest. She urged reconsideration of Lewis’ request.
Sloat said seven current Jonathan Alder seniors are interested in pursuing music education majors in college.
Superintendent Gary Chapman said the increase may force limited participation in band in the future.
In other routine meeting business on Monday, school board members:
• Increased pay for the junior high and high school cheerleading coaches. The junior high coach will receive $2,186 for fall sports and the same amount for winter sports. Previously, the coach was only paid for fall work. The assistant high school coach will receive $984 to $1,312. Previously, the position paid $437 to $549.
• Approved a five-year contract with Blue Technologies to service the district’s copiers and printers. The contract costs $3,029 monthly.
• Agreed to a partnership grant with the local high schools That Work program. The grant will pay the district $5,000 yearly.
• Recognized high school art teacher Jennifer Moore for being named as one of the top 25 teachers at the 2018 Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition.
• Recognized junior Erinn Jackson for receiving a $24,000 Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship to study in Brazil next year as a global ambassador.
Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.
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