Ferry school board talks winter woes

MARTINS FERRY The Martins Ferry Board of Education met Monday to continue district business and take stock after the recent cold spell.

The treasurer reported converting an advance to a transfer fund in the amount of $5,834. In addition, since eight of the 19 school days in January were missed as snow days, the cafeteria saw a decrease in revenue. The board also approved a tax advance of $433,100.

Superintendent Dirk Fitch added that as matters stand, the district has three make-up days. The board is considering April 17, flipping the April 16 waiver day, May 23, and May 27. The day after Easter may also be a possibility. Preparations for state testing continue despite loss of time and disruption of schedules.

Credit went to the staff, students and parents for their efforts in keeping to the district’s educational mission during the extreme winter. Thanks also went to the state, county, township and city road crews.

He also noted wear and tear on the school buildings due to the cold. This included two burst sprinkler heads.

Fitch also noted that the repayment of about $120,000 to OAPSE union members was completed within the last two pay periods. The funds covered a five-percent pay cut that had been challenged.

In other matters, board noted that House Bill 113 has been voted in the House and sent to the Senate. The bill would grant local school districts the authority to adopt policy to excuse high school physical education requirements to students who participate in a school-sponsored athletic club played as a team sport.

Open enrollment is currently seeing an increase in 44 compared to the increase of 28 last year.

Board accepted the employment of Holly McCormack as substitute teacher and Valerie Duck as a substitute nurse for the 2013-2014 year. Brianne Lucas was approved as a volunteer track coach.

The board approved Stacey Bliss’ attendance of the March 5 OMERESA Conference in Cambridge. Bruce Hotlosz, Carol Burda and Robert Dalton will attend the OMERESA Conference March 5-6 in Cambridge. Karen Blake and Mary Beth Brost will attend the OMERESA Conference March 6 at Cambridge.

The 2014-15 school calendar was approved. The board also approved filing application for federal programs including Title I, Title IIA, Title IDEA, the school lunch program, and non-public auxiliary services.

The district will donate $2,000 to the Martins Ferry Chamber of Commerce 30th annual academic banquet.

The board approved the workers’ compensation group respective rate of 1.1283.

Board members approved annual membership for OSBA.

Spelling bee award winners Marcus Clark and Jaimie Fogle were congratulation. Board also noted the excellent performance of the boys and girls 200-meter relay teams who will run in the Armory in March.

The board is considering voting locations for Election Day.

Board members approved a Science Club donation of $650 to be used toward the Florida trip.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com