London High School earns accreditation again

(Posted April 20, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

London High School will once again receive accreditation through AdvancED, an accreditation agency dedicated to helping schools improve.

AdvancED spent March 28-30 observing the high school’s operations, spending time with students and staff. The non-profit’s assessment focused on impact of teaching and learning, leadership capacity, and resources used.

The high school’s scores insured another five years of accreditation, said Principal Chad Eisler. AdvancED provided the district with suggestions for improvement, which must be acted on with the next two years to maintain accreditation. Eisler shared the information at the April 18 London school board meeting.

Also at the meeting, Treasurer Kristine Blind outlined the district’s five-year financial forecast, information she is required to submit to the state each spring and fall. At this point, the forecast shows the district will be in deficit spending by about $500,000 by fiscal year 2018. The district’s overall annual budget is about $20 million.

Blind reported that the district’s revenues for 2017 are up $189,000 (0.95 percent) over 2016. She attributes the slight increase, in part, to increased first-half real estate tax collections, more open enrollment students, and a larger Medicaid reimbursement. Expenses are down $281,828 (1.38 percent) over last year, due in part to a delayed vehicle purchase, reduced open enrollment costs, lower textbook costs, and lower county auditor charges, Blind said.

Among the capital investments the district plans to make in the near future are: new English curriculum, $300,000; technology, $400,000; new buses, $250,000; more LED lighting, $100,000; more core curriculum, $450,000; and work on the middle school athletic field, $75,000.

In other action, the board voted to bypass the state mandate that the school district provide career-technical education for grades 7-8. The waiver applies to next school year.

Board member Marv Homan cast the lone “no” vote, saying, “I think it’s a mistake not to offer this program.”

Earlier this year, the administration recommended that London City Schools partner with Tolles Career and Technical Center to offer an environmental science program at the middle school. The plan was that Tolles would provide the course and the instructor as a satellite program.

The course was not approved, due to lack of a motion and vote at the March 14 London school board meeting. At that meeting, Todd Boyd, president of the London Education Association (the teachers’ union), said the proposal presented a violation of the union’s contract. He said London teachers should get first crack at teaching positions and that administrators did not bring the environmental science course to the union for negotiation.

The board approved donation of unused school cafeteria food to A Friend’s House and Community Action at the discretion of the district’s food service supervisor. The board also approved solicitation and donation of clothing to benefit “The Raider Rack,” a new free store for students.

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