Ferry schools focusing on technology

MARTINS FERRY The Martins Ferry School District will begin the new school year with a focus on technology and application.

Superintendent Dirk Fitch reported that the staff will be back in session Monday. He added that the academic staff will attend an all-county in-service at Bridgeport’s campus focusing on using technology in the classroom. Fitch said the in-service will also offer an opportunity to collaborate with colleges throughout the county.

“It’s going to be centered around technology in the classroom,” he said.

Tuesday will feature an annual workday in preparation for the students’ arrival Wednesday.

Congratulations went out to all of the current and recently-graduated students who took park in the OVAC All-Star game. The band staff was also commended for the halftime show.

Also, praise went to the student athletes recognized by OVAC as part of the All-Conference Academic Team. A total of 43 students were recognized and many will be back this year. Fitch noted that the district’s students have done their school proud through athletics and academics.

Drug testing procedures were initiated that morning.

In other matters, the treasurer reported gathering data with Schwendeman Agency Inc. to determine the district’s status when new health care legislation takes effect.

Also on the subject of health benefits, information is being sent to the employees to determine their coverage.

In addition, Board President Nick Stankovich reported that the professors from Ohio State are examining the budget bill, observing the shortfall between poor and wealth districts. They hope to begin work on changing the opinion of the legislature.

The board approved a resolution to purchase additional workbook materials for the Pearson reading series for K-2. Workbooks will be provided for every student and differentiated level readers for the series in each classroom. Fitch noted the extra material is available online, but staff members believe having the workbooks and level readers in the student’s hands will be a more effective strategy for learning. A minimum total of $18,000 was asked for to cover the costs.

Fitch will also work with the OSU education department in seeking a math coach to help raise math scores at the middle school. Fitch pointed out that OSU has trained math coaches available that could be hired for 60 days per year at a substitute rate with travel. Services may be available for $8,000. The coaches will work directly with the math staff and discuss lessons and delivery methods.

In matters of personnel, board accepted the resignation of Robert Dalton as an eighth grade football coach and Social Studies Department Chair at the high school effective immediately.

Board approved the employment of Derek Edwards as a high school Social Studies teacher effectively at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, and as an eighth-grade football coach effective immediately.

Board also approved Taylor Yoder as a ninth-grade football coach.

David Chambers Jr., Amanda Glasure, Kelly Chek, Amy Hammerquist, Carolyn Kyanko, Marlena Sell, and Karlie Hores were approved as substitute teachers for the 2013-14 school year.

Rhonda Yoder was approved as cafeteria supervisor, and Brandon Shane as a volunteer golf coach, both effective immediately. Susan Cecil was approved as a substitute cafeteria worker. Darlene Asbury was approved as a substitute cafeteria worker and custodian. Connie Volan and Erin Gray were approved as substitute cafeteria workers. Erin Cain was approved as a substitute cafeteria worker and substitute secretary.

Christine Doyle was approved as a substitute educational aide and secretary. Beth Brown was approved as a substitute aide and Martin Sansone as a substitute custodian. Benny Orzolek was approved as a substitute custodian and maintenance worker.

In new business, board approved the bus schedule for the 2013-14 school year.

Board also approved lunch prices for the 2013-14 school year. Ayers Elementary at $2.05, and the high school and middle school at $2.20. Adults eat for $2.85.

Board also approved a therapy services agreement with Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center for the 2013-14 school year.

Board approved new health care insurance rates.

Board approved maternity leave for Kelley Bandi.

Board approved maternity leave for Megan Mamone.

Board approved At Will employee contracts.

Alumni are asked to consider joining the alumni association.

Board approved the district’s membership in the Chamber of Commerce.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com