Ambassador program to help students switch to middle school

Board Appreciation Month was marked with Tiffin City Schools Board of Education meeting Tuesday.

Patty Smith, Tiffin Education Association representative, thanked board members for the hours and services they have provided Tiffin City School District.

Recognition was given to Becky Burkett and Linda King for their retirement.

The board heard a presentation from guidance counselor Melissa Mellott about the new ambassador program at Tiffin Middle School. The program is an addition to the already implemented character program. Students are to be ambassadors and mentors to students transitioning from fifth grade to the middle school or for students struggling in a certain areas such as academics.

“We are continuing to move forward and building stronger and more caring relationships,” Mellott said.

Thirty students are to be the primary ambassadors while 15 are to be assigned students who are moving in the transition.

A parent, Larry Nye, addressed the board about two incidents involving his 5-year-old son. The boy was dropped off at home instead of attending a Weekday Religious Education class offered at Washington K-1 elementary school. The board advised an investigation and discussion are to take place.

In the December board meeting, Columbian High School bowling coach David Jones asked the board to recognize bowling as a sport in the athletic program. The board did not cast a formal vote. For now, bowling will remain a club sport.

Superintendent Donald Coletta presented the first reading of the proposed 2013-14 school calendar, to be approved at the February meeting.

A presentation was made by Transportation Supervisor Randy Conger dealing with proposed transportation savings for 2013-14 school year. The anticipated additional cost for the year 2012-13 was $118,000; the projected additional cost was $169,000. The recommendation to the board is for the grades of 6-8 to change the half-mile walkout back to the state minimum of a two-mile walkout. The proposed two-mile walkout would transport 220 fewer students, bring the cost and savings to about $40,000 less for 2013-14, leaving a projected additional cost of $128,922.

Coletta said community members with questions, concerns or further recommendations can contact him or any board member, and the report would be given at the next regular board meeting.

Also, Tiffin Middle School received an $11,000 grant for CPR training. Each student in grades 7-8 is to receive a kit and 20-minute training they can take home and share with their families. The students are being offered training and not certification.

Scott Urban, director of instruction and personnel, said the first semester bullying and hazing report included 14 cases.

The board approved of architectural and engineering services with MKC Associates Inc. for a stadium and track maintenance project. The stadium project is to refurbish the concrete, structure of the press box and repairs of the track to make it usable for the next 5-7 years. The cost is to be paid with permanent improvement funds.

In other business, the board:

* Heard committee reports.

* Heard superintendent reports.

* Heard director of instruction and personnel reports.

* Heard director of operations reports.

* Accepted donations.

* Approved a delayed start schedule for Ohio Graduation Tests this spring.

* Approved a portrait agreement for grades K-8 with Lifetouch National School Studios for the 2013-14 school year.

*Approved a revised Tiffin City Schools bus rider’s handbook.

* Entered into an executive session to discuss the employment of public employees.

*Approved auctioneer services for the sale of Clinton Elementary School and the sale of loose furnishings with Ned. F Gregg Realty Inc. The cost of this service will be paid with permanent improvement funds.

The next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 26 in Tiffin Middle School Cafetorium.