Eastern School Board members prepare for new year

The Eastern Local School District Board of Education met Aug. 15 in regular session. Following the approval of the minutes and the financial reports the meeting moved on the ‘Hearing of the Public’ session of the meeting.
Four members of the community/district spoke briefly about a variety of issues according to district treasurer Kevin Kendall.
Joan Garrett, FCCLA advisor at Eastern asked to have the newly organized group T.R.I.B.E. (Together  Residents  Improve and Benefit Education) be added to the monthly agenda for update reports. The board allowed Garrett to discuss her issue, but did not respond, until the board has the opportunity to talk about the request.
Garrett also had questions about the schools policy on unrequested leave of absences.
According to Mr. Kendall, T.R.I.B.E was organized in May this year by a small group of 8 or 9 concerned residents who want to encourage public awareness, board accountability and community engagement.
Resident Tracy Mullins had questions about current policy on hiring a sub for the PE/Health position instead of hiring a teacher. Again the board did not discuss, but listened to what Mullins’ had to say.
Gayla Mullins and Chris Harness, members of T.R.I.B.E. spoke briefly about the schools open record’s policy and concerns over topics that were not permitted in executive session, such as policy and student handbook issues.
In other business at the meeting, Superintendent Michelle Filon updated the board on legislative events happening that may effect Eastern School District including the “Graduation Pathways for Class of 2018” which adds two additional pathways including Academic Pathway and Career-Tech Pathway.
Superintendent Filon stated in her report that Ohio is already losing $2.5 million per month to make up for past overpayments to ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow). An additional 12 percent of its state funding will be put in escrow until the issue is settled.
“Senator Joe Schiavono has introduced legislation ensuring all money recovered from overpayments to charter and online schools would go to local school districts,” Filon said. “Senate Bill 175, was just introduced on Monday, that would establish that all money recovered from overpayments to charter schools would be returned to the district from which it was deducted, regardless of the type of audit or review.”
Filon also acknowledged Eastern teacher Teresa Perkins for achieving her Master Teacher recognition as well as teacher Rachel Hauck who was acknowledged for being named the 2017 “Brown County Teacher of the Year.”
Board member Lowell Richey was appointed delegate to the Ohio State Board Association Conference and Martin Yockey was appointed alternate.
The board received a letter of retirement from Kevin Hamilton who has been a bus driver fro 32 years. His retirement began June 1, 2017.
Other decisions approved by the board included:
• approved updating the student handbook
• Approved student absences and excuses policy according to HB 410
• Approved the FY 18-20 Master Contract with the ELEA
• approved salary increase of 1 1/2 percent for teacher union, classified and administrative personnel.