Monroe Elementary receives enrichment grant


(Posted Aug. 13, 2015)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

As the 21st Century program at Plain City Elementary enters its second year, Monroe Elementary is receiving federal funds for a similar program.

The 21st Century initiative offers academic enrichment for children from economically disadvantaged families or students who are falling behind in math and reading. Monroe will receive $396,186 per year for the next three years to operate the program.

Misty Swanger, assistant superintendent of Jonathan Alder Schools, applied for funding for both elementaries last year, but only Plain City was chosen. She reapplied, and this year Monroe won the grant, administered by the Ohio Department of Education.

The program at Monroe will begin in mid-September and run through April. It will include special early childhood education, all-day kindergarten, improved access to technology, increased intervention and tutoring, as well as professional development for the staff and programs for parent involvement.

“It will not be identical to Plain City because the children are different, so they need a different program,” Swanger said.

Some of the program activities will take place after school hours. Instead of parents coming to the school to pick up their children as they do at Plain City, children will be taken home via a school bus. There will also be a summer program.

To help carry out the program at Monroe, the district will hire an additional kindergarten teacher, a part-time teacher to serve as site coordinator, a part-time paraprofessional and aides for the after-school program. Chromebooks and iPads will be used.

“The program and learning opportunities available to students at Plain City Elementary this past school year were outstanding and continue to grow,” Swanger said. “We are very excited to be able to extend these opportunities to our students at Monroe.”

At their Aug. 10 meeting, school board members voted to accept the $396,186 in federal funds for Monroe and the $357,526 in federal funds for the second year at Plain City Elementary.

Fees and meal prices 

Jonathan Alder students will no longer be charged a $10 technology fee. Superintendent Gary Chapman said the district’s finances have improved, so students no longer need to be burdened with the added fee. Fees for K-8 students are $40; fees for high school students depend on what classes they take.

Prices for breakfast and lunch remain the same as last year. Breakfast is $1.50 for students and adults. Lunch is $2.50 for pre-K through sixth grade, $3 for grades seven through 12, and $3.25 for adults.


A proposal to change the year-long credit to semester credit was put off until a later meeting.

High School Principal Michael Aurin said, “We want to do it right,” indicating discussions are still ongoing.

Instead of offering a full credit at the end of the year, this change would be able to allow the student to accrue a half credit after the first semester and a second half credit at the end of the year. Breaking it in half would allow for early intervention if the student is struggling, Aurin said.

“Teachers would be able to monitor students better and offer intervention during the school day,” he said.

The Alder “A” 

The district is moving ahead with trademarking the Alder “A” and the Pioneer head logo.

The district was notified several months ago that the “A” used for Alder athletic events, letterheads and other purposes too closely resembled the “A” used at the University of Arizona. The district was advised to change their “A.”

The new Alder “A,” approved by a licensing committee, is red and in a font that has a bar on top. It sits on a field of white and has an outside border of black. It is encircled with the words “responsibility, opportunity, accessibility and flexibility.” The letter can also stand alone.

The new “A” logos are the result of a collaborative effort of a team made up of board members, administrators, staff and coaches.

Trademarking the “A” and the Pioneer head logos will protect the district against use without permission.

The next school board meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 14 in the board meeting room at the high school.

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