At the Nov. 25 meeting of the Poland Board of Education, the board gave approval for Superintendent David Janofa to enter into a contract with NEOLA Inc. to update and develop the Board of Education Bylaws and Policies, Administrative Guidelines, as well as for electronic publishing.
Janofa said that NEOLA would be updating format as well as developing content to ensure it adheres to state and federal guidelines.
It was after reviewing price quotes and proposals from both NEOLA and one other qualified organization, the board decided to go with NEOLA's proposal for around $20,000.
Janofa said that the goal is to have the project completed by the start of the 2014-2015 school year, at which point the entire set of bylaws, policies and guidelines will be available for public access both in hard copy and online in a user-friendly format.
The board also passed a resolution to place a renewal operating levy for a five-year period, on the May 2014 ballot. The tax would commence in calendar year 2014, with an estimated annual yield of $1,068,055 each year for a five-year period, depending on property valuations.
There was some brief discussion by the board about the amount of levies that regularly need to be renewed. It was mentioned that some in the community have asked why the board does not just make the levies permanent. The idea was also presented of extending them out to a 10-year period.
"It's almost like every May or every November, we're going to have some kind of renewal," Board member James Lavorini said.
Treasurer Don Stanovcak said that the dollar amount would always be the same whether a levy stayed permanent or came up for renewal every five years, the only difference being it would not have to be renewed every five years.
Board member Elinor Zedaker said that any time levies are discussed, it creates a conversation, emphasizing that there would need to be conversation between the board and the electorate about any changes.
"The word 'permanent' can be an alarming word to people," Zedaker said.
However, Zedaker added: "All things should be explored when it comes to financing our school district. I'm sure the electorate will let us know how they feel about the possibility."
In other business:
- The board authorized Janofa to delay or close schools on an emergency basis due to hazardous winter weather conditions and/or heating-utility failure. Within that authorization, the board also gave Janofa permission to close school for school activities like parent teacher conferences. In addition to an automated call system, the authorization statement said that delay and closing notifications should be made through the following: TV channels: 21, 27, 33, and 62; and radio stations: 570 AM-WKBN, 1390 AM -WNIO, 93.3 WNCD, 95.9 FM- WAKZ (KISS), 98.9 FM-WMXY, 106.1 FM-WBBG, 101 FM-HOT, and Y103 FM. Notification would also be made on www.poland.k12.oh.us, wkbn.com, wyfx.com, or Polandbulldogs.com
- During legislative report, Lavorini gave a report on the potential new legislation of House Bill 237. Lavorini said that the bill seeks to void Common Core curriculum as the state academic content standards for language arts and math. Lavorini said that a significant amount of money had already been spent [across Ohio] to implement Common Core after previous legislation and standards had made it a requirement.
"It seems like they giveth and then they taketh away," Lavorini said of the new bill.
- Among students honored for their unique accomplishments, the board honored the following for qualifying for AP Scholar achievements: AP Scholar with Distinction, James A. Ethridge; AP Scholar with Honor Award, Abby O. Begezda and Jessica A. Rutana; AP Scholar Award, Alek D. Ball, Jordan Burns, Derek R. Gomez, Gary Haddle, John W. Tomich, Ashlee Weaver and Marissa M. Gray.
- Approved for volunteer positions were Mary Kuntzman as varsity swim assistant coach; Matt Robich for varsity swim assistant coach; and Matt Misko for JV swim assistant coach.
- The board also honored Poland Seminary High School's boys soccer team for winning a Sportsmanship Award from Youngstown District Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association Boys Division 2 program.
- The board approved Korisa McCoy for Head Poland Middle School track coach as well as approved the split of a current PMS Leadership position between Pam Angelilli and Abby Aebischer for the 2013-2014 school year.