My name is Vicki Wheatley and I am the new Tiffin City Schools superintendent. It has been an extreme honor to serve Tiffin City Schools for the past month. The community has been welcoming and supportive.
I have met so many people who agree that this is, by far, the best place to live, and I would agree. My greatest challenge since my arrival has been the weather and keeping our students in school on a consistent basis. Most concerning is the instructional time lost and how our students will fare on the mandated state assessments.
I will continue to get out and meet more of the community members; however, some meet and greet events are scheduled.
I will be available to meet and answer questions at Bailiwick's, 62 S. Washington St., 5:30-7 p.m. Feb. 17 and then again 10:30-11:30 a.m. Feb. 18. I also will be at the Allen Eiry Center, 28 Hopewell Ave., 1-2 p.m. March 12.
The two topics on most minds are calamity days and our upcoming renewal emergency levy.
Boards of education are required to have a contingency plan for make-up days in the event more than five calamity days are used during a school year. When our 2013-14 calendar was approved, the make-up dates for excess calamity days were June 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10.
Teachers and administrators felt the urgency to include make-up days earlier when numerous calamity days were called. Specifically, valuable instructional time must be made up prior to our mandated state assessments.
It was agreed and approved by our board of education to use Feb. 14 and 17 as instructional days. Previously, the days were scheduled as non-instructional days.
We have called 12 calamity days as of Friday. They were Dec. 9; Jan. 6, 7, 9, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28 and 29; and Feb. 5 and 7. The state permits five calamity days without make-up.
Legislators have introduced HB 416, which would add four calamity days to the five for the 2013-14 school year. In addition, the legislation was amended to allow schools to add to scheduled school days in 30-minute increments to make up the lost time. The legislation was voted out of committee and is expected to be voted on before the full House Wednesday. It then would go to the Senate for consideration.
Tiffin City Schools has an emergency levy renewal on the ballot May 6.
This levy was first approved in 2004 for 5 mills in order to generate $1,640,000 annually for five years to pay for operating expenses.
Julie Adkins, Seneca County auditor, estimates the rate needed this year to be 4.67, which is the number that will appear on the ballot. It should be noted this is a renewal and homeowners are currently being assessed for this. We are not asking for additional money.
If we pass this renewal in 2014, the cost for a $100,000 home is $143.43. Since 1971, Ohio's landowners have enjoyed a 10-percent reduction in total real property tax on non-business property (with the exception of farming, which is considered non-business use for this reduction) and a 2,5-percent reduction in the tax due on the value of an owner occupied home. If we renew the emergency this calendar year before it expires, we continue to receive $67,929 from the state.
However, HB 59 that covers this biennial budget - 2014 and 2015 - the law created the elimination of the 10-percent and 2.5-percent real property tax rollbacks. So if this renewal expires, future mills would be at 4.87 mills and the future cost for a $100,000 home would be $170.45.
Please feel free to join me at one or more of the meet and greets scheduled above or I would be more than happy to meet with you here at our administration building.
Vicki Wheatley, superintendent
Tiffin City Schools