West Jeff Schools on ballot in fall


(Posted April 19, 2015)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

On the Nov. 3 ballot, the Jefferson Local school board plans to ask voters to renew a five-year operating levy.

Board members passed a resolution of necessity at their April 13 meeting following the recommendation of Superintendent William Mullet.

“It will be 30 years that the district has depended on this for our operations,” Mullet said of the levy. “That’s a long, long time. It does not require any new money.”

Previous requests included renewals with an increase, but the board elected to maintain the status quo for the fall ballot.

Although the current levy language states it is 9.5 mills, with a state rollback property owners are paying taxes on 8.9 mills, said Treasurer Jill Williams. Mullett said the district is forgoing a potential $150,000 increase in order to benefit taxpayers by not bumping up the request to cover the millage rollback.

According to Williams, the levy, which expires at the end of 2016, produces $1.4 million in revenue for the district.

“By doing this, our homeowners will still benefit from the state rollback,” continued Mullet. “Our community continues to show us great support. Barring future cuts from the state, our two levies and the income tax will continue to fund our schools for the foreseeable future.”

School staff volunteer to take CPR training

Also at the April 13 meeting, the school board praised Norwood Elementary principal Lin Humph-ries, teachers Rachel Stanley and Charlie Morris, and other staff members for their actions in helping to save the life of student Colby Mast. The first-grader, who has a heart condition, went into cardiac arrest at the school on March 10.

Stanley and Morris grabbed a portable defibrillator. Students were moved into another room and the teachers began CPR protocols while they waited for emergency personnel to arrive.

“Our CPR trained staff responded and they got the kids removed from the situation,” said Principal Sue Barte.

The school was told by doctors were it not for the staff’s speedy response, Colby might have had brain damage from the lack of oxygen or even lost his life.

Board member Ed Schneider said, “As a parent in the district, it is very comforting to know we have staff members who are there (during a medical emergency) if needed.”

Board president David Harper said, after the emergency, the district reviewed the response and felt CPR training can be expanded. Barte said the situation also pointed out a problem with dialing 911 that has since been addressed.

District nurse Melissa Ferguson said 84 teachers have since volunteered to take CPR training, which, she said, is nearly 100 percent of the district’s staff. In addition, Ferguson said Cargill Corp. donated over $2,000 for CPR training in honor of Colby.

“It’s well worth the money we’re spending,” said Ferguson. “A matter of minutes affects the outcome in so many ways. Emergency planning is so important with a child with a health condition.”

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