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April 26, 2013

INFORMATION ITEMS FROM MR. JIM KANABLE, SUPERINTENDENT
As an update to the discussions on our new K-8 building:
1.  The location to build would be on the same site as the current high school.
2.  No decision has been made on what would occur with the current K-8 buildings and land.
3.  Another community meeting will take place in May at the HIGH SCHOOL CAFETORIUM.

    The key discussion taking place with the Board of Education is how to finance the bond with the community.  The total amount needed based on current pricing is $19,704,000.  There are two options that the Board is exploring for funding the project amount, a traditional property tax issue and a combined income tax and property tax.  Under the traditional property tax issue the district would be requesting 6.43 total mills or $196.92 per $100,000. of current property valuations.
From our first community meeting we were asked to investigate the possible combination of income tax with property tax as opposed to a straight property tax issue.  The smallest increment by law is a ¼% we could ask for in the form of an income tax.  If that is used, the current breakdown of this request is very close to a 60/40 split.  Current estimates indicate that a ¼% income tax would lower the mileage to 3.6 mils needed to meet the bond obligation.  ($110.25 for a $100,000. home at current value.)  This number however, remains fluid.  Income tax is not constant and has shown a pattern of growth in our district over the years.  The commitment would be to only collect in property tax what is needed from year-to-year to cover what the income tax did not collect.  If history is correct, then the property tax mils will decrease over the 35 years of the Bond.
Thank you for your interest and support in providing us with your thought on the combination of income tax with property tax versus property tax only.
Please take just a moment to answer one survey question at the link above:



Click Here for Survey Information!
April 16, 2013



As we began the 2012-13 school year, many "new" items were placed upon the schools across Ohio. These included a new 3rd grade reading guarantee, a new process for teacher and principal evaluations, and an A to F report card. During this year so far many other items have either surfaced or resurfaced. I wanted to use this format to inform our community on two items that we have "chosen" to look towards.
                       First, we are in the process of surveying our community on the possibility of a new K-8 building. I want to be clear that no decision has been made at this point. We are conducting a survey to receive feedback on this topic. From that survey we will make a decision. Please take the time to give us your input.
                     Some have asked me then why an architecture firm has been hired. This is a recommendation of the Ohio School Facilities Commission for schools in our situation. We do plan to use OSFC money available to the district, now a 45% share, if any construction is done. I feel this issue is an important one to look at now based on the availability of funds from OSFC and the issues we face with security and maintaining the current structure.
                        Second, we are embarking on a move to have every student with their own technology device. This will include an IPad for students in grades K-8 and a laptop for grades 9-12. This move is paid for mostly with Permanent Improvement money, which is derived from our income tax collection. It will be a three year process to pay for this program. Some may ask why make this move.
                        Integrating technology into classroom instruction means more than teaching basic computer skills and software programs in a separate computer class. Effective tech integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process. In particular, it must support four key components of learning:active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts. Effective technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent and when technology supports curricular goals.
                       
                        -From Edutopia Article

VALUES
EXCELLENCE
COMMUNITY
LEARNING
LEADERSHIP
MOTIVATION
PEOPLE





Liberty-Benton Rankings

The Ohio Department of Education will soon be releasing rankings of all Ohio schools based on multiple indexes(the first of which will be Performance Index, a measure of how well our students did on state testing and most specifically how well they did in achieving beyond the proficient category). This initial list is not official, but in the following school year it will become an official measure of all Ohio Schools (per HB 153 requirements). Based on the results from previous year’s data here are our rankings: 
 Our district is ranked 102/610 for all traditional districts in the state.
 Our district is ranked 112/989 for all districts in the state. (Including Non-traditional charters.)
 
Other county school rankings were:


Van Buren    80
Arlington   180
Arcadia   188
McComb   223
Cory-Rawson   273
Findlay  323
Vanlue   337



Our High School is ranked             125/743 
Our Middle School is ranked         87/643
Our elementary School is ranked      599/1745
 


The ODE will eventually use these results to mandate and/or enforce reforms in the lowest ranking schools.
(Currently they are stating those in the bottom 5%).
Also, on this report is the expenditure per student for last year. The results are as follows:

Liberty-Benton     $ 8,780
Arcadia    $ 9,456
McComb   $ 9,984
Van Buren    $ 10,039
Arlington    $ 10,271
Cory-Rawson    $ 10,367
Findlay   $ 10,376
Vanlue   $ 11,152