ARCANUM — Arcanum-Butler’s Treasurer Matt Huffman a discussed the availability of the Ohio Checkbook Program, launched Dec. 2, 2014, at the recent monthly Arcanum-Butler Local School District Board of Education Meeting.
The program is maintained by the Ohio Treasurer’s Office. OhioCheckbook.com is a government website that puts the state government’s checkbook online to include all local governments, allowing residents to see the expenditures of communities and schools. Two schools in the county participate: Greenville and Franklin — Monroe.
“We currently don’t have that program,” Huffman said. “If you have any have any thoughts — it’s a free program.”
Board Member Beverly Delk said the check register is very generic.
“You can’t get much detail, the bar graph just shows the budget over the years,” she said. “I don’t see what the average citizen will get out of it.”
“The way I’ve always looked at it, if anyone wants information, they can come see me, and by law we have to give it anyway,” Huffman said.
“I’m not against doing it,” Delk said. “It doesn’t give a lot of information.”
“It’s kind of a political issue. I wanted to bring it to the board,” Huffman said.
In the principal’s reports, Arcanum Elementary School Principal Jason M. Clark, is very pleased with the progress students have made in cleaning up after themselves in the cafeteria. For about three weeks, the students receive rewards for keeping the table tops clean and clearing things from their general eating area.
“The students are doing great,” he said. “Ultimately, we will scale it back so we are not rewarding the students all of the time. We want it to become an everyday occurrence.”
Another initiative to nurture good behavior is the Trojans of the Month program. Each month 19 students are recognized. Teachers write narratives explaining reasons for the chosen students. A breakfast celebration takes place, during which the students are called up to the stage. Clark reads the narrative aloud, and hands them a certificate and a copy of the narrative. The narrative, along with their picture is displayed in the elementary hallway.
“My hope is that other students will see what these Trojans of the Month did to win recognition, and try to emulate that behavior,” Clark said.
Clark also gave a nod to Brooklyn Merriman, Elizabeth Parks and Aiden McCombs, for placing top three in the school spelling bee. Merriman won first place and will represent Arcanum-Butler at the county bee in January.
Butler Middle School Principal Marcus Bixler was very excited that the school received the state Board of Education’s Momentum Award. The award is given to schools exceeding expectations for student growth, earning straight A’s on all value added testing measures. Butler Middle was the only Darke County School to receive the award, and one school of less than 200 in the state.
“A big congratulations to our staff and our students,” Bixler said. “It is another way to verify all of the good things we are doing.”
Superintendent John Stephens commended Bixler on the achievement.
“Congratulations to you and the staff on a job well done,” Stephens said.
The following Butler Middle students placed top three in the school spelling bee: Aiden Psczulkoski, Charlie Rippee and Zeke Wright. The winner was Psczulkoski, who will represent Arcanum — Butler at the county bee in January.
Arcanum High School Principal Jason Stephan was pleased about the outcome of the Parent teacher conferences.
“The teachers did a great job,” he said. “We do a lot of communication prior to the event, we send thank you cards to our parents and our very proactive in calling them.”
A cyber safety event coincided with the conference. According to Stephan, the purpose was to work with parents and students and to remind students of the dangers of inappropriate on — line behavior.
In an effort to recognize and promote kindness and positive actions for everyday heroes, Arcanum High has The Friends of Rachel club, through which they grant the Everyday Hero Award. Roy and Myrtle Hutchinson were the November winners.
“Roy and Myrtle are active supporters of our school,” Stephan said. “Our students know that they will be in attendance at events supporting them. We wanted to thank Roy and Myrtle for the continuous support of our school!”
Supt. Stephens congratulated all three principals and their staffs in their participation at the fourth annual Senior Citizen Holiday Luncheon, Dec. 6.
“More than 100 people showed up and it was a fun time for all,” Stephens said.
Under financial considerations, the board approved an amended contract with Mays Consulting in the amount of $20,000 for additional services for the Arcanum — Butler K — 12 school roof and building envelope remediation project. According to Supt. Stephens, the project did not end in the allotted time, requiring four more weeks of work.
“They were out here longer than that,” Stephens said. “They put in good time.”
The board also approved repairs associated with the lighting control system in the cafetorium and stage by Parlights, Inc., for a cost not to exceed $24,782.84. According to Stephens, the original manufacturer who installed the system is out of business and the warranty has expired.
A payment of $20,444 was approved for payment to the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, for the 2017 premium.
Under the Superintendent’s Report, Stephens addressed several draft policies in a “first read”, requesting the board to review. The policies will be revisited at next month’s board meeting.
“Several of these need to be in place due to the admission of homeless students,” he said. “I am the district’s Title IX Coordinator. If there is a civil rights issue, I am the representative for the district.”
Some of the policies under consideration are the following: AC — Nondiscrimination; ACA, Re — coded as ACA/ACAA — Non — discrimination on the basis of sex/sexual harassment; ACA — R/ACAA — R — Non — discrimination on the basis of sex/sexual harassment grievance procedures; JEC — School admission;
JECAA and JECAA — R — Admission of homeless students; JFCF and JFCF — R — Hazing and bullying;
JFG and JFG — R — Interrogations and searches — schools can search unattended bags under the updated policy; and JHCB — Immunizations — homeless students without updated shot records can be enrolled.
According to Stephens, one of the changes in admitting homeless students to the school is immediate enrollment. This might mean they are enrolled without some of the necessary forms, such as a birth certificate and immunization records.
“We can enroll them now and track down the proper identification,” Stephens said.
Another consideration is transportation.
“We try to reach out to the family and offer support and give them resources throughout our county,” Stephens said. “For example, if a student who has been with us and enrolled in Arcanum, becomes homeless outside of the district, he/she is still our student. The parents can choose where they want the child to attend. Both schools are required to enroll that student. We are responsible to help with their transportation. Those things happen and are covered under the updated policies.”
Board member Mark Trask asked if the district had any homeless students in attendance.
“We have homeless students,” Stephens said.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.