Taxpayers for Westerville Schools

Putting children and their education first and uniting the community…

Letter to the Editor

A local resident sent the following letter to the Editor of the SNP. We do hope they publish the letter; we most certainly will!

 


 

I wanted to alert the community, especially those with small children in the district that no longer receive bus transportation, to the choices our school district is making.

At the last BOE meeting, a 3-1 majority approved paying 88 teachers to formally mentor 91 less experienced teachers, while also moving a very experienced teacher out of the classroom. While establishing a formal mentor/mentee process was a state mandate, the decision to spend over $165,000 to implement was solely made by our district leadership team. The state, at least for the next year will reimburse $350 per mentor, while our generous district chose to pay over $1100 per mentor.

Additionally, the district will pay a substitute teacher to fill in the classroom for the teacher who is now running the program.

All in, the taxpayers will pick up $165,000 per year to implement this mandate. Some districts have a 1:15 mentor/mentee ratio. Why couldn’t we have a similar ratio? Why couldn’t we pay $350 to mentors, so excluding the cost of the substitute, the taxpayers wouldn’t have had to pick up very much at all out of the general fund? The state set neither a minimum pay for mentors, nor a maximum ratio.

Let me remind everyone that when the district made the choice to eliminate busing for children within 2 miles of their school, the estimated savings was just over $300K annually. Now, when given a choice to spend $165K, the district chose to pay generous supplemental contracts to nearly 100 seasoned teachers, instead of a partially reinstating busing for elementary children.

As a parent who watches many neighbor children walking, in at times dangerous weather, I am deeply disappointed that staff compensation trumps children’s safety in Westerville.

Erik J. Zwilling

Elementary School Redistricting

With the cuts that the Board of Education decided to make to the district, this has overburdened some of the elementary schools and the district is looking to redistrict the elementary school boundaries for the ’13-’14 school year.

The district will host 2 forums for the public to review the plan options. Please consider attending one of the sessions:

1. February 14th – 8:00 AM – Huber Ridge Elementary School
2. February 19th – 6:30 PM – Alcott Elementary School

The most recent school district presentation on this topic can be found here: http://www.boarddocs.com/oh/wcsd/board.nsf/files/94E43R099F6A/$file/Realignment%2C%20Elementary%20%28JL1-28-13%292.pdf

Superintendent’s Gold Appreciation Cards Available

Senior citizens who live in the Westerville City School District are invited to pick up their 2012-2013 Superintendent’s Gold Appreciation Card.

The free cards are available weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the receptionist’s desk at the Westerville City Schools Early Learning Center, which is located at 936 Eastwind Dr. They can also be obtained at the senior citizen centers for Westerville, 310 W. Main St.; and for Blendon Township, 6340 Hempstead Rd. The Gold Card, given to district residents over the age of 60 who hold a Golden Buckeye Card, provides free admission to sports events, concerts, musicals and plays (advanced reservation required).

The card is offered with appreciation to the senior community for their interest in, and support of, the students and programs in the Westerville City Schools. It is good for the entire school year.

Click here to see the announcement on the school web site.

Westerville School’s Superintendent Search

In case you have not heard, the search for our School’s Superintendent replacement has started. Below is a message from the school with options for you to provide feedback on the search.

The first section shows times and locations that you can come out for public comment/feedback. There is also an ONLINE SURVEY that you can take by going to the district’s web site – link listed below.

Please make sure that you provide feedback to the district by taking advantage of one of the options presented.

 


 

The Westerville City School District (WCSD) Board of Education today announced an additional opportunity for community members to participate in the search for WCSD’s next superintendent. The search, which began on November 1, 2012, is necessitated by the pending retirement of Dr. Dan Good on June 30, 2013. Persons interested in becoming involved in the process are invited to attend one of the following focus groups:

  • 7:30 a.m., November 26, 2012, Westerville Community Center (Buckeye C), 350 N. Cleveland Ave.
  • 7:00 p.m., November 28, 2012, Westerville Central High School (Media Center), 7118 Mt. Royal Ave.
  • 7:00 p.m., November 29, 2012, Westerville South High School (Media Center), 303 S. Otterbein Ave.
  • 12:00 p.m., November 30, 2012, Early Learning Center (Board Room), 936 Eastwind Dr.

Focus group participants will be asked to answer and discuss questions such as:

    1. What are the major issues that will be facing this school district during the next several years?
    2. What do you expect the next Superintendent to do about the issues listed above? In the first 100 days? First year? Long-term?
    3. Given your responses to questions #1 and #2, what specific personal and professional characteristics, skills and experiences will be absolutely critical for the next Superintendent to be a successful leader in Westerville?

Dr. Dick Caster, a senior school board services consultant with the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), is guiding the search process and will facilitate each one-hour focus group session. The search process will include profile development, distribution of marketing materials through print and electronic media, aggressive recruitment, a professional pre-screening, reference checking and interviews.

The Board of Education also announced and encouraged community members to complete a brief survey regarding the superintendent search. Surveys are available at every district school and office, as well as online at www.wcsoh.org. Responses will be accepted through the end of the day on November 30, 2012. The district’s website includes a Superintendent Search section for community members who would like to remain informed about the search status.

Media Trackers Reports on School Board

Media Trackers has reported on “Secret Coordination” and the spending of tax dollars to get the tax reduction issue removed from the ballot. They requested the e-mails from the Westerville School District on the matter and here is what they found:

On September 28th, Media Trackers published this article on spending tax dollars:
Westerville School District Spends Tax Dollars To Stem Tide of Taxpayer Advocacy Groups

On October 4th, Media Trackers published this article about “Secretly Coordinated Opposition” to the ballot issue:
Westerville City Schools Secretly Coordinated Opposition to Tax Cut Issue

 

Media Trackers Ohio is a conservative non-profit, non-partisan investigative watchdog dedicated to promoting accountability in the media and government across Ohio through cutting edge research and communications initiatives.