Martins Ferry schools earn excellent rating

MARTINS FERRY The Martins Ferry City School District Board of Education met Monday to plan for ongoing issues, including open enrollment. The district has also received banners from the state, recognizing the district rating of “excellent” on the state report card.

Superintendent Dirk Fitch reported on open enrollment. The departing students have been surveyed for their reasons. Incoming students were also surveyed, and gave positive impressions of the district’s scores, courses and discipline.

Efforts to publicize the district continue. Fitch is meeting with Lamar Advertising regarding the possibility of placing a billboard on Ohio 7. Monthly cost would be $600.

Open enrollment begins the second week of May.

“We’re hoping to get our message across,” Fitch said. “We offer a great education. We’re proud of our excellent rating.”

In other matters, building principals began their linkage of teachers and students and teacher evaluations.

In the legislative report, Board Member Nick Stankovich noted current bills including House Bill 18 to assist school districts seeking financial assistance regarding acquisition of installation of metal detectors. It will go before the House Education Committee.

Senate Bill 35 would eliminate the ability of school districts to hold special elections February and August. It is in the Senate oversight stage.

In matters of personnel, board approved the resignation of Vicki Falcone as high school guidance counselor and student council advisor effective May 31, 2013.

“She’s done a fantastic job for us,” said Fitch.

Board also approved the resignation and retirement of Vonna Jean Simcox, educational aide, effective June 1, 2013. Darlene Kibby will also resign June 1, 2013.

Board approved the employment of Jared Andes as a substitute teacher for the remainder of the school year. Board also approved the employment of Jack Dagan, substitute custodian, and Joe Vavra, Jon Nagel, Rod Gentile, and Rick Douglas as volunteer baseball coaches effective immediately.

Board also approved contract renewals and non-renewals for teacher contracts, non-athletic renewals, and athletic renewals.

Board approved professional meetings including Stacey Bliss’ attendance of Ohio Assessments for Educators April 10-11, 2013 at Columbus, and Ohio Teacher Evaluation System evaluator training May 14-16, 2013 at Barnesville, and Jodi Jackfert to attend Spring School Psychologists’ Conference April 18-19, 2013, at Columbus.

In new business:

  • Board granted permission for the Chamber of Commerce to use school property for the 21st Annual Soap Box Derby.
  • Board also granted permission for the annual senior class trip to Kennywood Park Monday, May 20, 2013.
  • Board approved the high school math curriculum guide.
  • Board approved a contract with the H.E. Neumann Company.
  • Board approved teacher chaperones Dan Bolock, Barbie McKeegan, Chad Ware, Jacob Skulich, Mike Bandi, Alissa Cwalinski, and Sean Zeakes for the eighth grade Washington D.C. trip May 20-22, 2013.
  • Board approved a five-day unpaid leave of absence for Leiann Cline.

DeFrank can be reached at