ESC gears up for fine arts changes

LISBON – With standards changing for schools in the fine arts, the Columbiana County Education Service Center is gearing up with some new programs.

Teachers in the arts across the county are being invited to a workshop to learn about the new standards in Ohio, which will include students being required to meet goals. Students will need to show they have an enduring understanding of the arts, while showing a creative process, performing and showing progress.

Director Judy Herron told the ESC board Monday the standards are new and the training event is geared toward helping teachers for to learn about the standards and understand them before they go into effect. The programs is for visual arts teachers, music teachers, drama and theater teachers and dance teachers.

The program is open to teachers of the arts in all grade levels and will be held all on April 10. The workshop’s leader will be Ohio Department of Education representative Nancy Pistone.

Besides the program for teachers, Kim Mayer, an ESC gifted and talented coordinator, said a program is being planned for students this summer at the new Crestview Performing Arts Center.

For a week in June, students in grades 5-8 will be able to participate in various classes or workshops, which will include both beginning and upper level band, vocal, arts, dance and theater. Mayer said some dedicated teachers are working with them through the Ohio Arts Council. There is hope music performers will be able to come from Cleveland.

Superintendent Ann Marie Vaughn said when surveys are done, local students in grades 7-9 say the area needs more cultural or artistic activities for them.

The week will culminate with performances by students. Mayer said they are hoping to get some grant money to support the program, but students will probably be required to pay $20 or $25 for the week.

In other matters Monday, the board:

– Passed a resolution asking state lawmakers to reconsider House Bill 59, the budgeting bill which will reduce funding for ESCs across the state by $15.3 million. President Richard Stoudt urged board members to have their friends and families continue to call lawmakers and “keep the pressure up.” The board was also presented copies of other resolutions of support passed by other school boards or written by superintendents across the county.

– Approved a lawn care contract with Hayes Lawn Care for $45 per cut during the summer.

– Approved the retirement of Joan Schomer.

– Approved the hiring of Susan Drewette, an orientation mobility specialist, $50; Molly Davis, Nicole Elliott, Shelli Hopkins and Karyn Locke as paraeducators/classroom assistants; and Heather Torhan as an occupational therapy assistant intern.

– Heard the accounting department is in the process of looking at paperless options for timesheets, W2’s and payroll stubs. Treasurer Penny Kale said it will save both time and money, leaving accounting to deal with a lot less paperwork to enter.