UTICA — Due to a substantial amount of time spent in executive session on Monday, the North Fork Local Schools Board of Education officially concluded its June meeting on Thursday. The extended executive session dealt with matters required by law to be kept confidential, and the board took no formal action concerning the matter.
During regular session, the board formally recognized Ramona Buena. A volunteer at Utica High School, Buena was commended by the State Farm companies Foundation Good Neighbor Grant program. The board also commended spring sports athletes for their outstanding achievements this season.
Regarding personnel, the board granted the retirement request of guidance secretary Mary Jo Grant. She has served North Fork for 20 years.
Treasurer Jack McDonald said the board also worked on staff assignments for the 2010-11 school year. Utica Elementary kindergarten teacher Hannah Broseus, middle school guidance counselor Stephanie Kimpel and instructional aide Beth Haines were recalled from the Reduction in Force, and elementary physical education teacher Connie Basista and Utica fifth-grade teacher Lori Fender were laid off. Paraprofessional aides Kathy Preston and Jessie Roberts accepted a volunteer layoff offered for the 2010-11 school year.
The board issued a number of extra service/supplemental contracts, granted special stipends for additional duties, established classified and certified substitute pay rates and employed a number of classified staff. Chris Trost was retroactively hired to provide a summer intervention program at Utica Junior High School from June 14 through July 2, and Beverly Keener was approved to provide clerical services in the treasurer’s office, effective July 1, not to exceed three days per week. Joann Little was offered a financial consulting contract for as-needed accounting services while McDonald is on medical leave.
Besides approving routine fiscal actions, the board took the first step toward placing an emergency operating levy on the November ballot. McDonald said the Licking County auditor will determine the millage amount, and the resolution to place the issue on the ballot will be heard at the board’s July meeting.
Exploring ways to save money, the board authorized the treasurer to advertise for bids to provide frozen, pre-plated meals for the lunchroom and breakfast programs beginning with the 2010-11 school year. McDonald said the board expects to realize a cost-savings with regard to cafeteria labor costs; the amount of the savings depends on the bid amounts.
Reluctant to cut the extracurricular budget by 10 percent, the board, McDonald said, had to find another way to raise additional revenue. He said the board instituted emergency participation fees for the 2010-11 school year which are in addition to the pay-to-play fees currently collected. The new fees are as follows: Activity fee for all students grades one through 12, $5 per students; junior high, $25 per participant, per sport; and senior high, $30 per participant, per sport
The board also renewed membership with Instructional Technology Services of Central Ohio Inc., and approved liability, fleet, property and boiler insurance with a rate decrease of $814. It also apporved health and dental insurance rates, entered into listing agreements with Anderson Layman for real estate consulting services for the sale of the Mill Street and Spring Street properties, and apporved student handbooks for the 2010-11 school year.
The next regular meeting of the North Fork school board will be 7 p.m. July 19 in the high school. The June 28 meeting has been canceled.