Lisbon students attest to program’s benefits

LISBON – Lisbon high school students participating in a program that allows them to earn college credits by taking college classes say it does more than save money.

The four students attending this week’s school board meeting to talk about the program said they also enjoyed the intellectual challenge of taking classes at the Salem or East Liverpool campuses of Kent State University under KSU’s Seniors to Sophomores program.

Senior Katy Crismon, who has been attending college classes since last year, said she enjoyed the challenge, adding the experience will have left her more prepared for college after she graduates from high school.

This sentiment was echoed by classmate Pam Pierce, who said during her time in the program she has written term papers 10 to 13 pages in length, something she has never done in high school. She also likes it that in college you are surrounded by students who are there because they want to learn, which is not always the case in high school.

Junior Ana Sanor said she liked the responsibility and freedom and confidence boost that comes with taking college classes, while Calen Otto found the classes more interesting, although she has been a bit overwhelmed by how much more reading is required.

Participants earn college credits, and junior/high school Principal Joe Siefke pointed out that Crismon will have earned 42 credits by the time she graduates from Lisbon, which is equivalent to more than one year of college.

Under the program, KSU offers reduced tuition costs, which are picked up by the participating school district. Siefke noted the cost of attending KSU as a full-time student staying on campus is about $20,000 a year.

“Again, you can do the math and see what they’re saving their parents,” Siefke said.

In other action at this week’s meeting, the board:

– Renewed membership in the Ohio School Board Association for 2013 at a cost of $3,920.

– Contracted with Schoolpoint/Index Blue for web hosting services for three years, at an annual cost of $5,203. The district is reimbursed up to 80 percent under E-Rate, a federal program that provides schools affordable access to the Internet and related services.

– Contracted with the Ohio Mid-Eastern Regional Education Service Agency to manage the district’s wireless network for four years for $83,255. The district is hoping the expense will qualify for the E-Rate discount.

– Accepted a donation $100 from the First National Community Bank for the National Honor Society program.

– Hired Lauren Glenn as a home instructor for $18 an hour.

– Named Kathy Randolph as head girls and boys track coach, Megan Deichler as assistant girls track coach, and David Rutecki as assistant baseball coach.

– Adopted the school calendar for the 2013-14 year, with school starting on Aug. 26 and ending May 30.

– Hired East Liverpool City Hospital to provide athletic training services for the spring sports season.

– Contracted with Cintas to provide rugs, mops and rags for the cleaning staff for the next three years at a cost of about $5,000 per year. This is the same rate as the previous contract.

Board President Jim Smith also asked for a moment of silence in memory of former Lisbon educator and school board member Jim Patsey, who died recently.

The board’s next meeting is 5 p.m. March 12.