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Edison cuts bus service

July 17, 2009
By JULIE GHRIST, staff writer

HAMMONDSVILLE - There are 172 preschool children scheduled to enter the Edison Local School District this year, but a $150,000 decrease in state funding will mean mid-day busing will be discontinued in the fall.

Board members on Thursday reluctantly accepted Superintendent David Quattrochi's recommendation to cut the preschool busing.

Busing will be available for pupils during the morning commute to school, however, parents will have to pick up their children once morning preschool has concluded.

Quattrochi also noted children attending preschool during the afternoon will be bused home. However, parents will have to transport their children to the school they will be attending.

Preschool is offered at John Gregg, Pleasant Hill and Stanton elementary schools.

Quattrochi, along with Transportation Director Joe DeBold, looked at alternative ways to deal with the decrease in funding, but they said they didn't want to cut a teaching position or eliminate a course.

"We looked hard," DeBold stated.

He noted there are 2,300 students enrolled at Edison and 1,950 of those students are transported by bus.

Quattrochi said officials were "left with no options." He explained Edison's general fund cannot make up the difference.

By eliminating the mid-day bus routes, the district will save $89,000. He added other cuts will have to be made within the preschool program, but he noted he's not sure where those cuts will be made.

"It really bothers me we have to do this, but we have no other choice," Quattrochi said.

DeBold said he will hold a meeting with the 25 bus drivers in the district on Tuesday and discuss other busing-related issues to get their ideas on what should be done to help with financial problems.

DeBold also told school board members that state funding cuts have eliminated the district's consolidation points, and students who attend schools outside their school attendance areas will no longer have a meeting point at which to be transferred by bus. One example given was a child who lives near Stanton, but chooses to attend John Gregg will no longer be transported. Only students taken to Edison High School, the district's only consolidation point being offered in the fall, will be transported, officials said.

Debold said the top priority is to transport students "safely and securely" and one consolidation point will make that possible.

Information regarding transportation changes will be made available following next week's meeting with bus drivers, DeBold said.

In other matters, Quattrochi announced three of Edison's schools were rated "excellent" and two "effective" by the Ohio Department of Education in its preliminary report card findings.

Pleasant Hill, John Gregg and Edison High were declared excellent, while Springfield and Stanton were effective.

Every August, the state issues a report card to all school districts, giving them a rating based on pupils' test scores from the Ohio Achievement Test and the Ohio Graduation Test taken the previous spring. Those ratings are excellent with distinction, excellent, efficient, continuous improvement, academic watch and academic emergency.

Third through eighth graders take the OAT, and sophomores are given the OGT. There are 30 indicators on the state report card - one for each grade level and each subject tested. Of those 30 indicators, Edison passed 25, according to reports.

While normally Edison would have received a high effective rating, the state declared the district to be at the level of continuous improvement because Adequate Yearly Progress is factored into the equation. Any district that has not met AYP for three consecutive years can be rated no higher than continuous improvement, according to the state.

The district did meet all 12 indicators at the high school, Quattrochi said.

In other matters, the board:

Approved considering a resolution declaring its intent to proceed with a renewal levy in the upcoming November election.

Quattrochi and the board members agreed they will not proceed with a second proposed levy in November because they are not comfortable doing that during "difficult economic times."

Accepted the resignation of Jean Brooks, guidance counselor, effective Aug. 10, and Megan Deichler, teacher, effective July 10.

Approved the employment of Pam Swickard, aide, two-year contract; Kelly Snider, teacher, one-year; Todd Smith, teacher, one-year; and Tiffany Snyder, guidance counselor for Springfield Middle and Stanton schools, one-year.

Approved the following certificated supplemental contracts for the 2009-10 school year: Rosann Groves, school newspaper, high school; Nate Kline, head cross country, high school; Nate Moses, football, Stanton; and Dan Hartman, football, Springfield.

Approved the following classified supplemental contracts for the upcoming school year: Cheryl Woodward, Katelyn DiPasquale and Ron Pugh, volunteer volleyball; Mario Sinicropi, volunteer weightlifting; Bryan Kosikowski and Dave Marshall, assistant football; Cain Noble, freshman football; Jennie Kovalesky, freshman volleyball; and Clint Chevalier, football.

Approved entering into an agreement with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center for the purpose of hiring a math teacher mentor for the school year, of which a county grant will pay up to $60,000.

Noted Mike McKenzie, assistant principal and head football coach at the high school, has received his proper administrative certification.

(Ghrist can be contacted at jstenger@heraldstaronline.com.)

 
 

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