NEW WATERFORD - Crestview School District open enrollment has reportedly not been harmed by increasing standards for those choosing to come to the district.
At a board meeting last week, Superintendent John Dilling noted changes in the school policy requiring open enrollment students to abide by attendance, grades and behavior guidelines to continue attending Crestview Schools has not harmed the number of students attending Crestview.
Even though some students have been denied or rejected, Dilling said the enrollment numbers overall for next year look very similar to the past year. In kindergarten, elementary Principal Mariane Dangerfield said she has 86 students enrolled so far and expects at least 90 by the time school begins.
Of the kindergarten students attending Crestview, one-third are now open enrollment students, those choosing to attend Crestview from other districts.
Crestview board members also spoke of their concerns about funding issues, including a current plan being looked at by the state legislatures to force schools to pay for services by taking funding away from the Education Service Centers.
Superintendent John Dilling pointed out eliminating the ESC funding will create a hit for local districts, who in turn will have to pay the ESC for the services. Local schools utilize the ESC for services such as a school psychologist and speech therapists as well as training for their teachers. These are services each district may not be able to afford hiring for themselves full-time so the services are shared.
Additionally, if approved the new legislation will change the makeup of the school board at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center. Crestview board member John Garwood, who just took that board's position on the CTC board, said he may serve the shortest board appointment ever.
"It's just another chip out of the whole block they are trying to take away from public education," Garwood said about the possible changes. "If something is not broke, you don't try to fix it."
In other matters before the board:
- The Rebel Pride Award was given to sheriff's Deputy Willie Coleman, who began coming to the school district after the shootings in Newtown, Conn. and quickly made friends with students and staff. Superintendent John Dilling said he is looking at ways to bring Coleman back next year or other options to provide some school security for students.
- The board named Jon Preston Straney as the next student representative of the board for the upcoming school year.
- In compliance with new health insurance laws, effective July 1, the board changed the wording on how employee contributions are being picked up by the school district, listing them as mandatory salary reductions.
- The board hired Ron Milliron as the new supervisor of transportation/mechanical starting July 1. The 260 work day contract will pay $45,863.
- The board employed three new employees, granting them one-year contracts - Matthew Bradley, high school integrated language arts; Kara Headland, high school special education; Matthew Evans, middle school special education.
- Several teachers and one administrator were reassigned for the upcoming school year. Karen Sapp went from elementary school assistant principal to the same position at the middle school. She will remain in her athletic director position. Darren Miller changed from middle school guidance counselor to the same position at the high school.
Teachers changing positions were Thomas Watson from fourth grade to fifth grade; Joanna Ippolito from fifth grade to sixth grade; Scott Mealy from high school special education to middle school special education; Michael Fay from high school music to elementary music teacher; Carl Snyder from middle school music to high school music and Kathy Bennett from high school librarian/technology to district technology resource.
- Middle school students will have longer class periods this year, where they will focus on the core classes. Principal Jeff Richardson announced at the board meeting his plans to increase class periods to 70 minutes in order to give students more time to work on important areas.
"I feel with a little more focus, we will get to where we need to be," Richardson said.
- A special board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. June 26 to discuss possible new employees to fill vacant positions and bidding for parking lot work.