By KATHRYNE RUBRIGHT
Liberty-Benton school board on Monday approved The Nest, a before and after school child care program replacing a program run by Findlay City Schools.
Interim Liberty-Benton Superintendent Larry Cook said he wasn’t sure why the Findlay After and Before School Sessions was discontinuing the program’s Liberty-Benton location.
The FABSS program operates in the Findlay school district at Lincoln Elementary, Bigelow Hill Intermediate and Wilson Vance Intermediate.
Board member Mark Badertscher asked about the cost of the program. Cook said he did not have a number, but the fee charged to parents would be set so that the program would be “self-funded.”
“That’s the way it was run by Findlay too,” Cook said.
The district is just providing a facility for the program, Board President A.J. Granger said.
The board approved job descriptions for a program site director and a program aide.
Separately, the board approved three-year contract extensions for Elementary Principal Brian Burkett, Elementary Dean of Students Ken Horstman and Middle School Principal Bruce Otley. The extensions cover Aug. 1, 2018 to July 31, 2021.
Badertscher said he had previously asked about “taking a look at the number of principals” and how the number compares to similar districts.
“And the other thing would be, do we have our principals in the position that best meets their skills?” Badertscher added.
Granger asked whether it was the board’s role to tell Cook how to structure the principals.
“I would think the superintendent would make a recommendation,” Badertscher said.
Granger said the inclusion of the contract extensions in the consent agenda seemed to be that recommendation.
Cook said he looked at research that had been done previously comparing Liberty-Benton’s administration to other districts and “didn’t see anything that was out of line.”
A new superintendent will be coming, board member Vern Strong pointed out, and he will likely evaluate whether the number and placement of principals is correct.
Incoming superintendent Mark Kowalski will begin a three-year contract on Aug. 1.
“He may or may not conclude that he needs to make some changes,” Strong said.
Strong also said that finances dictate an efficient use of resources.
“I don’t think anyone would say, ‘Wow, we’ve got more money than we know what to do with,'” he said.
Additional administrators include High School Principal Brenda Frankart, Assistant High School Principal Ben Gerken and Middle School Dean of Students Heidi Irwin. Gerken and Irwin are also teachers.
Separately, the board heard presentations on manufacturing and personal finance classes.
The manufacturing class is funded by a Straight A Fund grant from the state and uses curriculum developed by Rhodes State College, said Susan Allen, a coordinator with the West Central Ohio Career Network.
“We’re preparing students for potential employment right after graduation,” Allen said.
All 11 students in the class have taken and passed the WorkKeys assessment, which tests reading, applied mathematics and locating information.
The one-semester class includes paid internships, job shadowing and tours of manufacturing facilities.
Teacher Scott Arnold reported to the board on his one-semester personal finance class, which seniors take after a semester of government. Topics include credit and debit cards, saving and investing, stocks and bonds, taxes, mortgages, buying or leasing cars and various types of insurance.