H-L future dire without levy

BASCOM – Hopewell-Loudon School Treasurer Veronica Reinhart presented her calculations for the five-year forecast during a board of education meeting Wednesday evening. Although there is talk in Columbus about eliminating or changing the current open enrollment policy, that revenue has been included in this forecast. One-third of the student body and one-third of the district’s operating budget comes from open enrollment.

Reinhart predicted income from farm land to increase with the 2015 re-evaluation. She also anticipates increases in health care costs. The district is seeing increases in electricity and gas costs with the new building and sewer rates are to increase once the system is up and running.

The half-percent income tax revenues flow through the General Fund to the debt retirement fund that is required by law.

Without renewal of the existing levy, the district would be out of money in 2017.

Dual enrollment courses allow students to receive high school and college credit for post-secondary option classes. In the past, the student split the cost with the district. The district is no longer allowed to charge students. This will add $5,000 to the district’s costs. The board was anxious to continue offering the courses.

Elementary Principal Jennifer Losey reported 461 students conferences were conducted. Teachers are willing to meet with parents who were unable to attend.

Grades K through 3 are to begin the Fundamentals reading skill program that is based on phonics. The new program was funded through a grant.

Superintendent Nicole Jiran presented a proposed policy for advertising at athletic venues. The proposal included scoreboards and surrounding fencing. The board asked Jiran to do more research as to square footage of available space and possible charges for five-year contracts.

Jiran said the district is seeking community members to join advisory committees. The committees are Business Advisory, Superintendent’s Advisory and the Five-year Academic Plan

To assist in cleaning the new school, student cleaners have been employed at minimum wage.

In personnel matters Kirsten Lindhurst was hired as the traveling ensemble choreographer. The board approved the resignation of Paul Kline and the termination of Tyson Boone. Elaine DiCesare was assigned junior high girls basketball coach and other unpaid volunteers were hired.

Boone, who was the junior high girls basketball coach, was terminated due to conduct, according to information from Jiran.

The board accepted donations from Hopewell-Loudon Athletic Boosters, the class of 1968 and Kuhn Sales and Service.

The board rejected bids received for a new bus. The plan is to issue more detailed specifications and rebid the project in December.

Demolition of the old building is to be completed by the end of next week. The final grading and grass seeding is to be completed in the spring, reported Jiran.

This year’s senior class trip to New York is so popular that a second bus is required. The increased transportation cost requires additional planning and fundraising.

A service auction as a fundraiser is scheduled. Groups of students are to offer their talents for 4 hours of service. Silent bids starting at $20 are to be taken online and at home basketball games.

Board member Mary Ruth Crandall said no student should miss the trip due to financial constraints.

Last summer, the board adopted a policy that senior class trips are to include only class members and chaperones.

The board discussed 26 new and revised bylaws and policy proposals. Action is to be taken at the next board meeting after a second reading.

The board is to meet at 6:30 p.m. Dec 11.

Staff Writer Nicole Walby contributed to this article.