Academy board changes Jan. 4

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In accordance with new state guide-lines, London City Schools recently put a call out for people interested in serving on the board of the London Academy, a charter school for at-risk students sponsored by the district.

Four community members expressed interest; three seats are available. The interested parties are: Joan Scofield, a London resident who serves as Jefferson Local Schools’ curriculum coordinator; Donna Cooper, a London resident who also serves as an educator outside the com-munity; Pat Thomas, who works as a probate officer for the juvenile court system; and Fred Kolb, CEO of Madison County Hospital, a member of London City Schools’ Business Advisory Council, and a member of the district’s facilities planning committee.

Superintendent Steve Allen said a fifth person put his hat in the ring, but was disqualified because his wife works for the school district. The new state guidelines prohibit anyone with a direct connection to the sponsor district from serving on community or charter school boards; that includes persons whose spouses work for the district.

Allen presented the London Board of Education with the list of candidates on Dec. 17. The board asked Allen to contact each candidate and thoroughly explain the duties of the office they seek.

Cooper was the only candidate to supply background informa-tion and reasons for her interest in serving on the Academy board. On Dec. 18, Allen sent communication to the other three candidates asking for the same information, which he will forward to the district’s school board members for consideration. The candidates have until Dec. 31 to supply the information.

The school board will meet at 8:15 a.m. Jan. 4 in the board offices (behind the junior high building on Walnut Street) to decide which three candidates will be named to the board. The length of their terms has not yet been decided. Allen said they likely will rotate on and off at the same time, while the terms for the Academy’s other two board seats will be staggered. Rick Parsons and Sherry Baldwin hold the other two seats.

Allen said changes in London Academy’s governance are the result of changes in the oversight of all charter and community schools in Ohio. When such schools were first implemented several years ago, the state provided very little in the way of rules and regulations, Allen said. Problems among some of the charter schools prompted the state to implement rules for tighter control of all charter schools.

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