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Manchester officials hopeful for levyís success

11/21/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Joyce Rainey Long

Manchester Local Schools officials are cautiously optimistic the district’s five-year, 5.99-mill operating levy on the Nov. 5 General Election ballot will pass once the election results are certified next week.


At the Nov. 19 Manchester Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Sam Reynolds said the current unofficial vote for the levy was 1,315 “yes” votes to 1,304 “no” votes. On election night, the levy was winning by just one vote. [See related story on Page 1.]


Now, absentee and provisional ballots have been counted, Reynolds said. A recount still may be needed, he added, and the votes will be certified Nov. 26.


The levy is for operating expenses, which include salaries, health insurance, textbooks, transportation, extracurricular activities, contract services, supplies and repairs, said Reynolds.


“We are relieved and grateful for the present unofficial vote,” said Reynolds, thanking the board members and volunteers who promoted the levy and the voters. “Times are difficult. People reviewed the issues and voted their conscience. Thank you to the community. You showed unity and wanted the kids to have the best education possible.”


He also congratulated current board members Kelly Dolan and Richard Sponseller, who retained their seats in the General Election, along with newcomer Randy Hoppe, who will start his term in January.


“These are not high-paying positions, but they are big-hearted positions,” Reynolds said.


In other business, James Robinson, Ph.D., director of curriculum and instruction, presented the first year of the Three-Year Plan, which is an educational guide for the district. The plan evaluates the performance of the district in many areas, and it was developed with input from teachers and administrators, Robinson said.


Highlights of the plan include the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, evaluations for teachers and administrators and reviewing the district’s report card. Robinson said 85 percent of Manchester’s graduates go on to post-secondary education.


“We’re always trying to improve on that,” said Robinson. “That’s what the plan is about, providing tools and opportunities.”


In other business, the board:


• approved one classified resignation and two supplemental resignations;


• approved two classified appointments and six supplemental appointments;


• accepted donations of $460 from the Manchester Middle School PTA for the sixth-grade field trip to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and $1,500 from Westfield Insurance to the Manchester High School Academic Challenge team;


• approved two overnight trips for the high school wrestling team Nov. 29-30 to Madison High School and Jan. 3-4 to Mansfield High School; and


• approved 38 classroom volunteers at Nolley Elementary School for liability insurance coverage.


A moment of silence was held at the beginning of the meeting for Treasurer David Osborne’s son, also named David Osborne, who died Nov. 15.


The next meeting will take place Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Administration Building, located at 6075 Manchester Road.


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