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Green voters to see renewal levy in May

2/6/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

District also approves plan to use ‘blizzard bags’

GREEN — Green Local School District officials are asking voters to approve the renewal of a five-year, $4.1 million emergency levy.

The Green Board of Education voted unanimously Feb. 3 to place the issue on the May 6 Primary Election ballot. There was no discussion on the levy at the meeting.

The levy, first approved by voters in 2009, costs the owner of a $100,000 home $185 annually and raises $4.1 million annually for general operations, according to district Treasurer Eydie Snowberger. Snowberger stressed the renewal levy is not a new tax or an increase.

Also at the meeting, the board approved a resolution adopting a Calamity Day Alternative Make-up Plan.

According to the resolution, the “blizzard bag” plan involves an online learning plan allowing students to complete classroom lesson assignments on days when school is canceled due to inclement weather. The lessons would be posted on the district’s website for students, and those without computer access would receive hard copies of their assignments at school. All work would be due two weeks later.

The lessons would be developed by teachers to equal or exceed classroom instruction, and the work would be graded, according to Superintendent Jeffrey Miller. He added the Green Education Association has approved the plan.

Miller said the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has been communicating with school districts regarding this plan, which was established through the Ohio Revised Code to allow students to complete classroom work for up to three days of instruction in excess of the five days permitted off as calamity days instead of using make-up days.

District officials added that ODE permits the use of “blizzard bags” when school is closed due to disease epidemic, hazardous weather conditions, law enforcement emergencies, inoperability of schools buses or other equipment, damage to a school building or other temporary circumstances due to utility failure rendering the school building unfit for use.

Green Local Schools has used eight calamity days as of Feb. 5. The “blizzard bags” can be used for three of these calamity days, according to Julie McMahan, director of communication and community relations for the district.

“It is critical to the success of our students that we give them the ability to continue to receive information in instruction even when school is closed,” said Miller. “We feel this is the best plan to ensure the students have access to the coursework they need during the regular school calendar without having to add hours onto days or make up [missed] days in the summer.”

Miller said the district’s “blizzard bag” plan will be submitted to the ODE for approval.

According to Miller, Gov. John Kasich urged state legislators to approve a one-time increase in the number of calamity days allowed as a result of the severe winter weather. House Bill 416, which would allow districts to use an additional four calamity days this school year, is currently under consideration, according to the Ohio House of Representatives website.

In other business, the board approved:

  • hiring the following classified personnel: Nick Dechiara as custodian at Green Middle School, eight hours per day, effective Feb. 1; Jennifer Sanchez, cook helper, three hours per day, effective Jan. 8; Teri Caskey, cook helper, three hours per day, effective Jan. 8; Ahlam (Amy) Atallah, parent mentor, two-and-a-half hours per day, effective Jan. 9; and Penny Kurtz on an as-needed basis;
  • the resignation of Jon Wallace as head baseball coach to allow him to take over as head football coach, as well as a number of other supplemental contracts;
  • overnight trips for Green Middle School seventh-graders to Washington, D.C., March 5-7, and for Green Middle School eighth-graders to travel to Gettysburg/Philadelphia, Pa., May 14-16;
  • the district calendar for 2014-15, with a start date of Aug. 20; and
  • the Green High School curriculum guide and course descriptions for fall 2014.

Also, the board recognized the following Students of the Month: Kalie Watson, from Greenwood Early Learning Center; Mallory Oddo, of Green Primary School; Donovan O’Neil, of Green Intermediate School; Michaela Wilson, of Green Middle School; and Kasandra Hernandez and David Hartsook, of Green High School.

The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for March 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Central Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd.

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