Despite changes, school year at South Side MS going smoothly

COLUMBIANA – South Side Middle School Principal David Buzzard said the new school year is going smoothly despite students attending classes in different locations.

Classes have been in session three weeks and students are adjusting to the change.

“We are off to a good start considering we closed down two hallways and relocated at the high school,” he said.

Fifth grade students are attending classes at Joshua Dixon Elementary and sixth graders were moved to the seventh and eighth grade wing of the building while the district works to patch a portion of the aging and leaky roof.

Students at the middle school are being served lunch in the high school commons. The two buildings on Columbiana Waterford Road are connected.

The district opted to close the 1962 section of the building after the $4 million bond issue failed at the last election.

Administrators, board members and some staff hoped the bond would pay for a new roof on the 50-year-old building.

Although the issue failed, officials have not given up it will pass eventually and voters are being asked to vote again at the Nov. 5 election.

The short-term fix of patching the roof has also resulted in staff reorganization and Buzzard thanked everyone involved for making the transition a smooth one. He also said the new bus entrances and exit routes have “gone off without hitches.”

In other business at its recent meeting, the board approved:

– The August financial reports, the student fee schedule and an amended appropriation resolution totaling $11,417,947.21.

– An amended certificate of estimated resources totaling $15,884,967.20.

– The resignations of Andrew Whitmer and Jodi Taylor, who both taught at the high school. Treasurer Lori Posey said they accepted positions in other districts and Taylor’s position has been filled from within while a long-term substitute has replaced Whitmer for the time being. The district also accepted the resignation of Neely Jack, elementary school cook. All resignations took effect last month.

– A parental leave of absence for Allison Moran, high school social studies teacher, Nov. 8 through March 23, and Sara Ogrodnik, middle school intervention specialist, Oct. 21 through Jan. 20.

– Mark Casey as South Side Middle School tutor at $24.25 per hour and Jennifer Sloan as elementary school tutor at the same rate.

– Five people as substitute teachers and one as support staff.

– Doug Covert as first grade teacher for the school year and Melissa Hopfenziz as elementary school cashier at 2.5 hours per day, 186 days a year.

– Brook Hitchcock as L.P.N. for the school year at five years per day, 186 days a year.

– A one-year contract for Josh Boone, technology assistant, effective Aug. 28 to July 31, 2014.

– Megan McCallister and Katie Maloney as home instruction tutors at $24.25 per hour.

– David Russel, Bonnie Steeb, Michael Murphy, Bruce Wiggins and Jared Hill as volunteers for pupil activity programs.

– Supplemental contracts for Kristi Ebeen, Janet Prindle, Trisha Nord, Colleen McNeal and Jessica Daley as mentors, Susan Cappuzzello as LPDC chairwoman, Julie McClish and Lisa Malcomson as LPDC committee members and Erin Heasley as outdoor facilities manager.

– Angela Rosen, Pam Pesa and Deanna Pesa at speech and debate assistant coach (shared contract).

– A $500 stipend for Leslie Costal, R.N. for management coordination, dissemination and oversight of school district wellness and health activities.

– A contract with Homecare With Heart to provide nursing services for special needs students as required by I.E.P., effective Aug. 1 through July 31, 2014.

– A Contract with the Mahoning County Educational Service Center for special education services at a cost of $178,634.

– A second reading of a student policy regarding positive behavior intervention and supports and limited use of restraint and seclusion.

– Seven people to provide services that fall within the guidelines of auxiliary service programs to the students of Heartland Christian School.

The next meeting was set for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in the high school media center.