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Pettisville School Board Discusses Funding Plan

At its regular meeting, Monday April 8, the Pettisville School Board looked at a proposed state budget and its effect on the district.

Steve Switzer, superintendent, presented information about the proposed Fair School Funding Plan, which is being proposed by state representatives Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson).

Switzer said the bipartisan plan would be a positive one for districts like Pettisville.

Funding would be based on actual number of students educated in a district, rather than the residential enrollment.

Since Pettisville has a large number of open enrollment students, the plan would increase state funding for the district.

“I think it is a great school funding plan,” Switzer said.

“We need to do all that we can to promote its approval by the legislature and governor.”

In addition to discussing the proposed funding plan, Switzer invited board members to join him and Brian Leppelmeier, district athletic director, tomorrow, Thursday, to visit area schools to look at outdoor facilities such as concession stands, restrooms, storage buildings, and bus garages.

The visit will help the district plan for facilities needed in the future.

Switzer also reported that on March 25, the district Emergency Operations Plan was approved for 2019, 2020, and 2021.

On a related safety matter, a special safety film was installed on selected windows, doors, and door lights over spring break.

The film makes it more difficult for any intruder to see into the rooms and identify if there are people in them during an emergency situation.

Summer Projects

Planned summer projects include drainage improvement along the front of the school.

The problem is that along the north side of the school, there are rooms that are below grade, or partially underground, Switzer said.

Moisture seeps into the building along the earth-covered walls.

The area from the atrium entrance to the main entrance will be excavated five to six feet deep along the wall.

The concrete block wall will be recoated with a waterproofing material, and additional drainage will be installed.

Concrete and landscaping will be removed and replaced once work is complete.

Another summer project that is being considered is playground improvements. Mulch in the playground area may be replaced with pea gravel, and the other playground surface may be recoated and re-lined.

The district is also looking at upgrading the wireless Internet network. The project would be funded on a 50/50 basis using grant money designated for telecommunications and Internet service for Ohio schools.

The board authorized the district to join the Northwest Ohio Research Council for an annual cost of $200. The council provides in-service training sessions and a major conference each year.

Principal Report

In his report, Mike Lane, high school principal, outlined recent and upcoming activities for students.

High school students are undergoing end-of course testing for the next two weeks, with a third week designated for make-up tests.

Students recently participated in the Ohio Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at Bowling Green State University, performed the musical “Godspell,” participated in a music trip to New York City, hosted FFA Animal Day, and made and sold enchiladas as a fundraiser for the Spanish Club trip.

Upcoming events include Senior Volunteer Day at Sauder Village, juniors traveling to Sauder Woodworking for Industry Day, FCCLA State Leadership Conference, prom, Jazz Band and Noteworthy Spring Concert, FFA State Convention, the high school quiz team trip to national competition in Chicago, a Cinco De Mayo celebration, State Science Day, and the spring concert and art show.

All board members were present.

All votes were unanimous with the exception of the vote on a contract for Paula King. Brent King abstained on that vote.

The next meeting is Monday, May 13, 7 pm, in the school conference room.–D.J. Neuenschwander