District faces 18 missed days, looks to state lawmakers
The weather, calamity days and blizzard bags a common topic of discussion at tonight's Rolling Hills School Board meeting.
Having missed 18 days of class this year, Rolling Hills officials are looking to Columbus for their decision on how many days will be needed to be made up, and what their options are in making up those days.
It was reported that the Ohio House has approved a measure giving schools 4 additional calamity days. The measure now goes to the Ohio Senate. According to Superintendent Ryan Caldwell, it's believed that the 4 days will be split. Two snow days and two teacher inservice days. Caldwell feels that this would give Rolling Hills staff members valuable time to work on additional training.
If the 4 days are approved by the legislature, added to the 5 snow days allowed, and 3 "blizzard bag" days, as of Thursday, Rolling Hills would then need to make up 6 days.
According to Superintendent Caldwell, state law makers are also considering allowing schools to add time to the school day in half hour increments. Caldwell says once approved by the state, the district will likely add 1 additional hour to the school day, as another way to make up missed days.
Principals of each building made a short report to the board tonight. They all report the "blizzard bag" program has been a big success and for the most, well received by parents and students. One grandparent was in the audience tonight, and voiced her concern over some of the lessons in the bag are on topics which have not yet been covered in class. School officials point out that with all the missed days, there may be incidents where the "blizzard bags" are ahead of classroom instruction. Parents and students are assured that they will "not be hung out to dry" on lessons in the bags. Parents are urged to contact your child's school principal or teacher with any concerns.
Also during the building reports, Meadowbrook High School Principal Keith Arnold reported that graduation for MHS seniors has not been changed. Arnold says that the only way it may change is if mandated by the state.
Another sure sign of spring, Athletic Director Jeff Wheeler reported that softball and baseball season gets underway on Monday, February 24, and track season begins on March 10.
Transportation and Maintenance Supervisor David Lashely reported that the district has received another shipment of salt. Thus far this year, maintenance and custodial staff members have spread aound 15 tons of salt district wide.
Food Service Supervisor Patty Tipton reported that school officials recently met with Broughton's food company on complaints about sour milk being distributed to the schools.
In other matters the board approved a lengthy list of both classified and certified personnel items. The list includes teachers for the district's After School Program, and volunteers for the Watch Dog program which is gaining popularity among the Watch Dog volunteers and students.
The board also approved field trips for the MHS DECA group, to Columbus (March 14-15), Florida (March 23-28) and Atlanta (May 3-7).
Approval was given to measure which bans practices, athletic or otherwise, when Guernsey Co roads are deemed a Level 2 Snow Emergency. Superintendent Ryan Caldwell says that this practice is already in place, and also extends to a Level 3 Snow Emergency as well.
The board approved a resolution to take part in interdistrict open enrollment, but not to take part in intradistrict open enrollment. Superintendent Caldwell points out that this measure was enacted last year. While new students are welcomed into the district through interdistrict enrollment, officials prohibit intradistrict enrollment to avoid overloading a school building or bus route. He adds that this ban may be lifted after the school years starts if the situation allows.