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Akron school district getting new logo

6/27/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Becky Tompkins

Graphic courtesy of the Akron Public School District
What’s three-sided, multi-colored, simple yet distinctive?

It’s the new logo for the Akron Public Schools (APS) that was approved by the Board of Education at its June 24 meeting.

Communications Coordinator Mark Williamson presented the proposed new look for the district, which, he said, has no distinct brand. Just like any other competitive business, he said, the schools need an updated and identifiable brand to help them recruit good teachers and new students.

The triangle shape resembles a pyramid with sides of red, yellow and blue for diversity, he said. There is a chink out of the bottom side representing an open door. The new design will be used on all publications for the district, Williamson said.

In other business, Board President Jason Haas presented a veteran’s honorary high school diploma to James Hunt Sr., who enlisted in the Marine Corps before he was able to graduate from North High School.

The district recognized the life experience of his serving in the military from 1973 to 1976 in awarding him the diploma, said Haas. Hunt went to trade school and has worked as a machinist since his military service.

In personnel matters, the board approved a one-year contract for LaVonne Humphrey, who will serve a second year as interim principal at Firestone High School next year.

Board members also settled a court case involving a former coach. Two years ago, the board did not renew the annual supplemental contract of Firestone basketball coach Joe Wojcik. He requested arbitration for the matter, and the arbitrator sided with the coach, according to APS legal counsel Rhonda Porter.

The board voted nevertheless not to renew the contract. Wojcik has been teaching for the past two years and recently filed suit to get his coaching job back.

The two sides met with a magistrate last week, Porter said, and the APS offered Wojcik a chance to apply for another open basketball coaching position. He agreed and dropped his suit, and the board approved a contract for him as varsity basketball coach at East Community Learning Center for 2013-14.

Also approved by the board was a resolution proposed by Superintendent David James to freeze salaries for administrative and nonunion staff members. They will receive no raises this coming school year. Their pay has been frozen for the past three years, said Haas.

Following the APS’ recent termination of its sponsorship of the Akron Digital Academy (ADA), the board voted to suspend the contracts of APS employees “on loan” to the ADA. This affects only three people, said James, one nonteaching and two administrative staff members.

In policy matters, board members approved a new third-grade reading guarantee policy to be in compliance with the new Ohio Department of Education requirement.

Starting in 2013-14, students will need to reach a “proficient” score on the Ohio Achievement Test reading section at the end of third grade to be promoted to fourth grade.

There are a few situations in which a child might be promoted without the necessary score, said Assistant Superintendent Ellen McWilliams. If a child is behind in reading any year from kindergarten through third grade, the district is required to provide intervention help, she said.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for July 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sylvester Small Administration Building, 70 N. Broadway St. in Downtown Akron.

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