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Licking School Board

Prior to the regularly scheduled board meeting Monday, August 9, the Licking R-VIII School District Public Tax Hearing took place. The Board continued the operating levy at $2.75/$100 assessed valuation.

Supt. Cristina Wright reviewed financials with the Board. Repairs included sealing, stripes and pothole repairs on parking lots. The Board approved the consent agenda.

Dr. Douglas Crase, TCMH Family Clinic, Licking, addressed the board regarding COVID-19. He encouraged a mask-wearing policy for the district, where masks are recommended but not required. Crase shared a report of a school in Arkansas that had been open one week, and already had 32 children hospitalized and 500 quarantined. He reported that the most recent information from the CDC says that if one is vaccinated and contacts someone who tests positive, they only have to mask but not quarantine. Crase volunteered to be a resource for the board if they have any questions.

The Annual Secretary of the Board Report review was tabled until next month.

Bus routes were approved, with ten bus routes and the following drivers: Red- Tom Rodman, Orange – Abram Moon, Yellow – Karen Miller, Green – Mark Eyman, Blue – Mickey Wilson, Purple – Tony Huff, White – Jeremiah Alkire, Silver – Jim Maddox, Gold – Hugh Kovachik, Black – Clay Brown.

Surplus bids for buses #10 and 13 were awarded to Skyler and Stirling Freeman.

Approval of the substitute bus driver, cook, and teacher lists was moved to closed session. Supt. Wright reports they were approved.

The Board reviewed tuition rates and voted to increase elementary and junior high tuition by $200. Elementary tuition will be $2,800, junior high $4,000, and high school $5,000, with $700/student transportation fee.

The Board and Administration reviewed their goals for this school year. Administration goals are 1) Build trust; 2) Establish Identity; 3) Strengthen Communication.

Board goals are: 1) Create a balanced budget that provides for educational resources and opportunities for achievement as well as preventative maintenance and ongoing facilities and technological improvements in all schools. The Board of Education will focus on responsible spending of grant funds and meet appropriate deadlines for expenditures. 2) Enhance communication and relationships with internal and external stakeholders including electronic communication wherever possible. 3) Continue to improve student achievement at all grade levels and decrease achievement gaps where they may exist. This includes continually increasing the percentage of students qualifying for A+ scholarships upon graduation.

The MSBA policy updates were tabled.

The Board did their annual review of Policy BBFA (Board Member Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure).

Supt. Wright offered an update on ARP/ESSER III funds, “The Compliance Plan and Budget Application have been submitted to DESE for ESSER III funds, and the district is waiting to hear back regarding approval.”

The Board moved to closed session.

Supt. Wright reported, “The Board discussed compliance with the federal order issued by the CDC – ‘Masks are required on public and private school buses and other forms of public transportation for both passengers and drivers.’ The district will disperse notification of the federal requirement through social media, the district website, the school app, The Licking News, parent newsletters, and at Open House and 7th Grade Orientation.”

“The Board of Education thanked Ashli Todaro and Kaylee Little for their service to the district. Donna Dunlap and Crystal Keller were also recognized for years of hard work. Each of these ladies received well-wishes by each Board member. The Board welcomes Mrs. Kim Moser, (HS English teacher), Ms. Bobbi Manion (paraprofessional), Mrs. Danelle Bonine (paraprofessional), and Mrs. Dana Lewis (paraprofessional) to our team! Demolition of the rental houses for future expansion of parking lots was discussed, and Board members were invited to lunch and the guest speaker on August 18 In-Service Day,” added Supt. Wright.

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