Crestview sees big number of transfers

COLUMBIANA -The number of students transferring to Crestview through open enrollment is nearly overwhelming, Superintendent John Dilling said this week.

He also said the district may need to stop accepting new students in the future since the buildings are reaching capacity.

The matter was discussed at the regular board meeting in which Treasurer Tina Bennett said 13 more students were added only a few days ago, and more are coming.

The district draws students from neighboring districts, including Columbiana and East Palestine, and Dilling said that number is now at more than 450 students for all buildings.

Bennett said the most recent yearly average in revenue through open enrollment is $2.3 million, and as more students come to the district, that number is increasing.

Middle School Principal Jeff Richardson said his building is “maxed out” of lockers available to new students, and he admitted he is nervous about the increasing open enrollment’s effect on facility capacity.

“With regards to open enrollment we are being overwhelmed -and it’s a good problem- but it’s capacity, not just with classrooms, but with lockers, transportation, computers, books … it’s those types of things we’ve got to start worrying about,” Dilling said.

He also said that most classes in kindergarten through 12th grade are already at 100 students, and adding to that amount is “pushing class size.”

“As much as we welcome people to our district, we may not be able to continue doing that,” Dilling said.

Maintenance Supervisor Jay Radman said the locker problem is being addressed, and students will not be sharing lockers.

Richardson also mentioned to the board he is hoping a new schedule at the middle school will keep students from being in the hallways and result in fewer disciplinary referrals.

He said the new schedule extends classes from 50 minutes to more than two hours and is based on the needs of the students.

The flexible instruction blocks are for language arts and social studies and math and science.

The schedule will give teachers the opportunity to develop project-based learning concepts through the use of technology and will become a tool teachers can use to address the learning needs of students and to provide enrichment and interventions, he said.

Another result of the extended class time is cooperative planning and teacher-based teams, he added.

He believes the schedule will improve the overall school climate and allow students more time to participating in co-curricular activities.

Students will also have recess before lunch this year.

“Recess before lunch research has shown that students eat more food and nutrients, are better behaved, and more ready to learn when they return to the classroom,” he said.

In other business, Randy Hart spoke on behalf of the music boosters, requesting approval for the district to pick up the cost of busing students to two local band night events. The cost has formerly been covered by the booster club. Hart also requested the district allow band members’ parents to provide their own transportation to Firestone Park during the Columbiana Street Fair. Hart said it isn’t logical for the district to continue busing them to the event given that many live nearby and earn permission slips to be driven home by their parents that night anyway.

The board approved the first request and Dilling said the second request would rely on the decision of the bus drivers, who would have to waiver that event from their contract.