Martins Ferry schools get good report card

MARTINS FERRY The Martins Ferry City School District heard some initial positive news from its preliminary report card during Monday’s board of education meeting.

Superintendent Dirk Fitch reported that the four-year graduation rate is 87.1 percent, the five-year graduation rate is 90.3 percent, as the district’s students met their adequate yearly progress for the year.

“A lot of those students are stepping up to the plate and doing a good job for us, so we’re excited about that,” Fitch said. “I’m very happy with the students and staff. They’re to be congratulated.

In particular, the district had met and gone above expectation in the value-added measure field for the first time.

The district has not yet received its final designation, but is looking forward to the results.

“I think we’re going to have some really good news when it finally does come out,” he said.

In other matters, Treasurer Karen Blake reported ongoing progress on the five-year forecast. She is in the process of gathering information. She noted that it remains difficult to make a forecast since the budget has not been released and casino revenue must be taken into account.

“It’s really hard to predict out when you don’t have a budget,” she said.

$30,000 is expected for Fiscal Year 2013 broken into January and August payments. The district has missed its initial August payment.

The treasurer reported $82,669,041 in the general fund. Open enrollment is currently 173 in and 134 out, $225,000 expected to be generated. The casino ADM is $21 per student, and it may go up to $71.

Health benefits will see an increase since five employees’ spouses have lost their jobs and recently came on the plan.

Supplemental appropriations included $2,450 through the American Cancer Society and $5,000 through a Belmont County MRDD grant.

Gas lease money totaling $290,000 is down to $147,000. Expenses include a bus, a boiler, a bus lease payment and work in the fields.

In other matters, Board Member Nick Stankovich reported on the legislature’s new cut scores for third grade reading. He noted that 400 is the scale score.

“Any student that gets 400 on the scale is proficient,” he said, noting that anything above is considered advanced an exceptional. Anyone who scores at least 390 would be classified as basic and not qualify for retention under the third grade guarantee.

He added there should be a small effect among students. He said the district will have to adopt the state’s retention policy by next year.

Middle School Principal Mike Delatore reported that three more students have enrolled, bringing numbers to 461. Also, teachers are utilizing the Star Reading and Math Assessment to measure the pupils’ progress. They were tested at the beginning of the year. Testing will occur again during the second week of the second nine weeks. Teacher intervention is being planned.

There have been 11 suspensions involving eight pupils.

Board approved the employment of Jeffrey Doneson, Leslie Bolock, Karley Yoder and Lawrence Carmalt as substitute teachers, School Psychologist Jodi Jackfert as a substitute tutor for a special needs child, and Jim Fogle and Sue Levi as volunteer swimming coaches. Jerry Magistro was hired as reserve basketball coach and Derek Edwards was approved as volunteer boys basketball coach.

Board approved numerous professional meetings. Sue Ferrelli will attend the OAASFED Fall Coordinators Conference Oct. 10-12, in Columbus. She will also attend the annual statewide education conference Nov. 1-2 in Columbus. Tiffany McFarland will attend a resident educator meeting Oct. 12 in Cambridge. Lana Jennette will attend All About Me Oct. 18 in Bridgeport. Alissa Cwalinski will attend Middle Grade Teachers SDE Nov. 26-27 in Columbus.

Jill Myers, Paige Williams, Sherry Kapolka-Smith, Kristen Steele, and Joyce Everson will attend the Integrating Curriculum and Technology Fair Oct. 12, at OUE Eastern Campus. Pam Cox will attend Math Toolkit for the Common Core Oct. 10, in Cambridge.

Board approved a freshman class field trip to the Carnegie Science Center Nov. 1, and an honors biology class field trip to the University of Pittsburgh Nov. 14.

Board approved auditory service with East Central Ohio ESC.

Board approved the bussing rate of $1 per mile for Bellaire St. Johns extra-curricular trips.

Board will continue disclosure certificate filing by Bricker and Eckler through 2014 for the annual disclosure report on 2005 bonds, $1,500 annually.

Board approved the revised food service director’s job description and evaluation.

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