Conneaut Area City Schools – State of the schools
Over the last 4 years we have diligently worked to balance the school budget. Back in 2008, after failing our 5th straight levy attempt, we were clearly told by the voters- “live within your means.” Over the course of these last few years numerous reductions in services plus cuts in staff were made. The hope was to get to fiscal year 2011 without the need to go back to the voters seeking additional local funding.” Well it is now 2012 and we have not asked for additional funding. The great news is that our district finances currently show us in the black for this fiscal year and the 2013 fiscal year. We have reached that goal and exceeded it by 2 years! However, it has not come without difficult budget reductions. In fact, despite all the reductions, we still remain in deficit spending. The taxpayers told the School District to live within its means and should be pleased with our fiscal responsibility.
Ohio Teacher Evaluation System
According to HB 153 school districts such as Conneaut who participate in Race to the Top will have to start using the new teacher evaluation guidelines next fall. So what can we expect from the new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System?
The State Board of Education has creating a framework that all districts have to abide by when they write their own teacher evaluation systems. That framework roughly looks like this:
- 50 percent of the evaluation will rely on student growth, i.e., test scores (mandated by Race to the Top).
- 50 percent will be made up of other assessments, such as teacher observations and communications with parents and students. Districts can decide how much weight to give these areas.
Delay in State Report Cards
The State Board of Education on Monday, August 20th, unanimously agreed to postpone the release of 2011-2012 Local Report Cards until questions are answered about the accuracy of attendance data reported by local school districts. The State Superintendent recommended delaying the report card release, due to an ongoing investigation by State Auditor Dave Yost into alleged irregularities in reporting student attendance. Yost launched the statewide probe after irregular enrollment and attendance practices were discovered in Columbus, Toledo and suburban Cincinnati districts. He's investigating whether low-performing students were improperly removed from rolls to improve school performance rankings. The U.S. Department of Education has signed off on the delay until September. Officials want to assure report card data is accurate. The reports give parents a snapshot of a school's performance.
Food Service – “NO INCREASE IN PRICES”
Breakfast and lunch will be available as usual in our school cafeterias. All prices will remain the same for the fourth straight year! Even with new rigorous federal standards (which involve increasing the amounts of fruits and vegetables that must be served), Pam Anderson, Director of Food Services, has the food service program in solid financial shape. The price of a student lunch at CHS and CMS - $2.75, at GES and LPS - $2.50. The cost of breakfast will be at CHS and CMS - $1.50 and at GES and LPS - $1.25.
CARE for Kids continues in their fundraising efforts. The money donated by this community group goes for the recreational and athletic needs of our school and community. The school system spends all of its general funding on educational programing. Without the donations from CARE, the school and community would be unable to have these facilities. This group has raised over 1.5 million dollars in private funds for the “SPARC complex.” The acronym SPARC stands for “A social place for athletics recreation and community.”
Get involved by purchasing “preferred seating” at the stadium or by donating. Call Jim Campbell, Conneaut Area City Schools Athletic Administrator at 440-593-7220
As of Monday August 20th we have mailed out post cards to your home address. These cards will show your students bus schedules, they will include their stop location, pickup and drop off times, and the bus number assigned. If you do not receive a post card in the mail on or after August 23rd, or have questions, please contact our office at 593.7205.
In addition we have posted all bus stops on the district web site at www.cacsk12.org. These stops will also be published in the paper during the week of the 20th.
Yours in Education, D. Kent Houston8/24/2012