The passage of a resolution by the Greenfield Exempted Village School District Board of Education on Monday sets in stone the district’s leaving the South Central Ohio League it first joined in 1923.
What started within the last couple months with the SCOL announcing plans to expand has turned into five of the league’s eight school’s seceding from the league to band together with the Jackson City Schools, leaving the league’s three Clinton County schools – Clinton-Massie, East Clinton and Wilmington –out of the mix, although East Clinton was reportedly invited to come along but declined to do so.
The resolution was not discussed at Monday’s meeting, but was seemingly buried in the middle of 13 consent agenda items and unanimously approved as part of the whole consent agenda by one vote.
The resolution states that the board of education “is interested in terminating its membership with the SCOL and joining with five other area school districts” to form a new athletic conference or join an existing one no later than the 2017-18 school year.
Aside from Greenfield, the other five school districts are Hillsboro City Schools, Chillicothe City Schools, Jackson City School, Miami Trace Local Schools, and Washington Court House City Schools.
According to Greenfield superintendent Joe Wills, all the schools involved have already passed their own resolutions with Greenfield and Washington C.H. passing theirs at their respective board meetings on Monday.
The resolution calls for Greenfield’s withdraw from the SCOL at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. Over the next year, Wills said the high school principals of the six schools named in the resolution will be working on creating bylaws, and the district’s athletic directors will be working on scheduling.
As previously reported, the three Clinton County school districts have been invited to join the Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference for the 2017-18 school year. The Clinton County schools have until May 1 to decide.
In other business, drug screening is planned to be implemented in the high school beginning next school year, according to Wills. Board members heard from Kyle Prueter, owner of Great Lakes Biomedical out of Perrysburg. He said the company serves about 100 schools across Ohio and into southern Michigan, and while the company provides other sorts of testing, drug screening for schools is its specialty.
Prueter told board members that it is “not a gotcha program,” but is geared toward prevention. “Will it eradicate drug use?” he asked Wednesday. “No. It’s just one more tool in the toolbox” to help keep kids off drugs, he said.
He said when performing random screening, a list of extracurricular students is randomly selected and sent ahead to the district’s designated person, the company sets a date and time, comes to the school, the students are called to the designated area, provide their sample, and are back to class in a few minutes, Prueter said.
He said that a lot of the schools Great Lakes works with employ a “three strikes system,” but how Greenfield handled positive drug screens was up to the school’s administration.
The program, Prueter said, was “non-punitive” and grades could not be touched. He said the thing that has surprised him through his experience is the students’ positive support of drug screening programs.
Wills said the board anticipates adopting a policy for the drug screening at its next meeting in April and that it is planned to implement the screening in the next school year. High school students in grades 9-12 who participate in extracurricular activities are those eligible for drug screens.
More information on how the screenings will be conducted and the school’s policy on the matter will be addressed with students and teachers at upcoming parent meetings, Wills said.
Also meeting with the board to provide information on an ROTC program was John Wilson, a retired Air Force master sergeant. He is the director of the ROTC program at Paint Valley High School. Wilson spoke of the success of the Paint Valley program and said that if Greenfield decided to go forward, the idea would be for him to get the Greenfield program running and the two schools to collaborate.
He said the “overall mission” of the ROTC unit is not about getting students to sign up for the military. In fact, he said, a small percentage actually goes to the military while a large percentage of students involved go on to college.
“That speaks to what we are doing,” he said.
On another matter, Lindsay McNeal, a third-grade teacher at Greenfield Elementary as well as a member of the district’s MAP council, spoke to board members about MAP (Measures of Academic Progress), an educational assessment began in the district in 2012.
McNeal said the assessment “positively impacts” the district in that it provides a snapshot of where a student is allowing teachers to see areas where improvement, and perhaps intervention, are needed and to be able to address those needs.
Elementary and middle school students take the assessments three times a year and are involved in mapping their course to meet their individual educational goals.
She said it is more than a test and that it is also a means to give students a way to love education and be actively involved in their progress.
“We’re doing this for the kids,” McNeal said. “That is what MAP is about.”
Board members also accepted a $2,000 scholarship donation from the Greenfield Lions Club and a $1,156 scholarship donation from the class of 1955.
Recommendations for employment approved by the board were: Lisa Williams and Joe Wisecup, certified substitutes; Debbie Burgess, cafeteria; Brandi Sparks, aide/monitor, cafeteria; Kaitlyn Hacker, aide/monitor, cafeteria, clerical; Kirsti Hassman, aide/monitor, cafeteria, custodian; Marvin Joe Roberts, spring weight room supervisor.
The next meeting of the Greenfield Exempted Village School District Board of Education is scheduled for April 18 at 7 p.m. at Buckskin Elementary School. The meetings are open to the public.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.