New Riegel to investigate safety training

NEW RIEGEL – Following the shooting of students and teachers in Newtown, Conn., New Riegel School District is participating in Ohio’s training to identify behaviors of “active shooters.”

In a statement, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said, “The goal of these courses is to give our teachers and school staff ideas on what to look for and how to respond if the unthinkable happens. We hope our educators never have to apply this training, but we want them to be prepared.”

The course does not include firearm training, therefore the administration is investigating Buckeye Firearms Foundation’s offer of an armed teacher training program. The pilot program is to include 24 teachers for a three-day class where they will learn many of the same skills and tactics as first responders.

With more than 1,000 applications, those wishing to participate must complete a survey and have a concealed handgun license.

Superintendent Elaine Nye said there also is training for the school’s reaction to emergency situations titled ALICE, which stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate.

As more information is obtained, she will keep board members informed.

Preceding the regular session, board members chose Jennifer Theis as their new president while Jeff Hohman was elected vice president. Both were sworn in by Treasurer Jane Schalk. Meeting times remain at 7 p.m. the second Monday of the month.

In other action taken during the organizational meeting, the board:

Established a service fund for board business at the minimum statutory requirement of $2,000.

Named Scott, Scriven, Wahoff LLP of Columbus as legal counsel for 2013.

Authorized the treasurer to request advances from the county auditor as funds become available and to invest all interim funds at the highest available rate of interest.

Declared the superintendent as chief purchasing agent for all goods and services, and authorizing payment by the treasurer.

Authorized the superintendent and treasurer to enter into and/or accept/participate in federal, state or local grants and authorize the treasurer to appropriate funds for the grant awarded.

Authorized the treasurer to file requests for amendments of certificate of estimated resources with the Seneca County auditor as information becomes available.

Appointed Schalk as the public records designee and Nye as alternate.

Appointed Jennifer Theis to the Athletic Board of Control and as Records Commission member.

Appointed Stephanie Reinhart as OSBA legislative liaison and financial audit committee member.

Appointed Mary Reinhart as student achievement liaison.

Principal Dave Rombach presented the course description book for 2013-14 that included a new college course on “How Business Works.” When it came time for approval, the issue of students leaving the school premises for post-secondary educational option courses was revisited. The book had pages offering each option and Hohman moved to have the book declare students not leave the facility for class.

“What if other schools have students transferring to New Riegel for PSEO classes if students stay at school?” Mary Reinhart said during a discussion amongst members. “Why would we treat them like high school students when they are taking college courses?”

“We have the possibility of students sitting around various places in town instead of in classrooms,” Hohman said.

The motion failed 4-1 with Hohman being the only in favor of students not leaving the facility.

Nye submitted three possible calendars for the 2013-14 school year for the board to consider for approval next month.

Nye reported on a meeting of schools interested in forming a new sports league. Proposals were made but no final decisions have been made. She said the league probably would have a new name replacing the MAL.

Schalk said Ohio’s budget may come out Feb. 4 with the new funding formula. She said the district benefits from casino money. A total of $7,745.60 should arrive in January and is to be used for improvements.

Theis reported the athletic boosters has a reverse raffle May 4.

In other matters, the board:

Approved the July 1-June 30, 2014, alternative tax budget and forward same to the Seneca County Budget Commission. Schalk said the bond retirement was being reduced from 2 mills to .7 mills on the school.

Approved volunteers Mary Ann Nye and Shannon Williams as 2013 senior class trip chaperones.

Approved a contract with the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center for preschool occupational therapy services for the 2012-13 school year at a rate of $67.20 per hour.

Approved the district liability, fleet and property insurance for Feb.1-Jan. 31, 2014, from Phelan Insurance Agency for $26,397.

Thanked members for School Board Recognition Month.

The board of education is to meet at 7 p.m. Feb. 11.