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Kindergarten now full day for all in Green

6/5/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Amanda Hetler

GREEN — The Green Local Schools Board of Education unanimously agreed May 29 to implement all-day kindergarten effective with the 2014-15 school year.

This decision makes all-day kindergarten mandatory and tuition-free for all students, according to district officials. Green has been offering both full-day and half-day options. Parents paid approximately $2,340 annually per pupil for tuition when choosing the all-day option, according to the district’s website.

“Kindergarten becomes critical to building a strong foundation to our newest bulldogs,” said Greenwood Early Learning Center Principal Scott Aten.

In his presentation, Aten said federal and state requirements have changed for kindergartners, and they are expected to begin learning to write and read earlier rather than waiting for first grade. He emphasized time is important and half-day kindergarten had time constraints because of the short day. He also encouraged parents to send their children to preschool to be more prepared for kindergarten.

Aten said it is too early to know how many full-time kindergartners will be enrolled this fall. The district might need to hire another teacher or two, but no jobs should be eliminated. However, bus runs will be reduced from three to two runs a day, which does affect bus drivers’ hours, he said.

“I’m excited,” said board member Katie Stoynoff. “This is the right thing to do.”

She said there is no replacement for the one-on-one time students will receive with the longer day.

In other business, District Treasurer Eydie Snowberger presented a five-year financial forecast, which the board approved, showing the bottom line with no deficit through 2018. She said everyone has worked hard to stay within budget, and expenses have been reduced accordingly.

Green Local Schools Superintendent Jeff Miller congratulated his staff for their hard work and working together for this turnaround.

Also, Green High School (GHS) Assistant Principal Erich Muzi was named the new athletic director, effective Aug. 1, with a two-year contract. Current Athletic Director Bruce Johnson’s resignation is effective July 31, after two years in the position.

The board also approved the following:

  • the hiring of Eric Brock as health and physical education teacher for Green Middle School (GMS) and GHS, effective Aug. 18;
  • the hiring of Julie Buckler as teacher for Green Primary School, effective Aug. 18;
  • supplemental contracts for 2013-14 school year;
  • the retirements of Brenda Cook as a special education aide, effective July 30, and Ginni Tuggle as bus driver, effective Aug. 1;
  • the resignation of Julie Buckler as a technology aide, effective at the end of the 2013-14 school year;
  • a donation from Traveling Classrooms in the amount of $1,000 to GMS for seventh- and eighth-grade class trips;
  • the transfer of $336 to the GMS Musical Theatre Department from the General Fund for the reimbursement of staff and senior citizen admissions to the spring musical;
  • a contract with Finding Leaders to assist with technology consultants;
  • a bid of $191,780 from Design Build Solutions Inc. for removal and replacement of the GMS gymnasium roof;
  • to solicit bids to replace the upper section of bleachers and basketball goal at GMS;
  • a contract for services between the Summit County Educational Service Center and Green Local Schools to provide salary and benefits for school psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and administration;
  • a contract for CCG Energy Solutions to participate in the school energy conservation financing program, as presented in the April board meeting;
  • a resolution authorizing annual membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the 2014-15 school year; and
  • an overnight field trip request for the AFJROTC to travel to Youngstown to visit the Youngstown Air Reserve Station June 26-29.

Also during the meeting, students were recognized for various achievements:

√ Students of the Month: Adisen Lindsey, Greenwood Early Learning Center; Jackson Schenk, Green Primary School; Tiffany Kramer, Green Intermediate School; Matthew Hippich, GMS; and Maria Pappano and Weston Jarvis, both from GHS;

√ Developing Leaders of Tomorrow — 2014 Class Leaders: DarShawn Armstrong, Cassie Bivens, Dustin Brumbaugh, Gabrielle Carlson, Kelsey Casenhiser, David Kelly, Dylan Raess, Jaime Six, Nina Vaccaro and Josh Wherley;

√ Green High School Outstanding Student Achievement Award winner: Eric Watson;

√ YMCA Volunteer of the Year: Andrew Gesquiere, of GHS;

√ Green Primary School students were recognized by House of Hope ministries for raising $3,093 to buy a generator for a Ghana orphanage. Over the past six years, Green Local Schools has raised about $11,464 for this orphanage and helped 41 children, according to district officials.

The school board will host a Records Commission hearing and special board meeting June 9 at 8:45 a.m. in Council Chambers in the City Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd. The commission consists of the board president and the district superintendent and treasurer. The board then will convene to vote on the sale of bonds to FirstMerit Bank to finalize the Ohio House Bill 264 project. The next regular board meeting will be June 30 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.

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