(Posted Oct. 15, 2015)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
Jonathan Alder Local Schools is taking steps now to put a renewal levy on the May 2016 ballot.
On Oct. 12, the school board approved a resolution to notify the Ohio tax commissioner of the intent to put the question on the ballot.
The five-year 0.75 percent income tax approved in May 2011 will expire at the end of 2016. Instead of seeking a five-year renewal, the board will seek a 10-year renewal.
The tax brings in $2.1 million a year for operating expenses. Treasurer Aaron Johnson said the district’s financial picture is stable and will stay that way if the income tax is renewed.
The resolution requesting certification of alternative tax rates is one of two steps the board must complete to prepare the issue for the ballot. The next step will be taken at the Nov. 9 meeting.
Misty Swanger, curriculum director, reported that programming linked to 21st Century grants started on Oct. 12 at Plain City and Monroe elementaries. Plain City is in its second year of the three-year program; Monroe is in the first year. Each school received a grant for over $1 million.
Swanger also praised Monroe Elementary Principal Leah Ann Childers for receiving a $13,200 grant for large foam building blocks for the playground. The school will soon receive the lightweight blocks that can be used indoors or outdoors. The blocks come in various shapes, from squares, rectangles and triangles to cylinders and noodles. Children can move, shuffle, build and rebuild with them.
“We are thrilled to be a recipient of the Let’s Play Grant,” Childers said. “This opportunity allows the children of our community access to a wonderful resource for creative, purposeful play.”
Melissa Pollom, vice president of the athletic boosters, said the club raised $56,000 in the past year, most of it from the Boosters Bash and concession sales, and spent most of it on athletic equipment, in the weight room, and on three $500 scholarships.
The next Boosters Bash is set for March 11, and talks are beginning about the future of the fundraiser.
“It takes a lot of time and effort,” said Pollom, an officer for seven years. “Kids grow up and move on and parents move out.”
She made a plea for younger parents to become actively involved in their children’s activities so that the Booster Bash and other programs can continue.
A similar plea for participation came from Todd Haynes, president of the music boosters. He reported that the band placed first in a recent competition and took home a monetary prize.
Haynes said that 46 percent of the students in grades five through 12 partici-pate in choir and/or band. Participation figures this year show an increase from last year, he added.
Haynes said the music boosters raised and spent $10,000 last year. Funds came mainly from concession sales and were used to purchase uniforms and instruments.