Whitehall school board faces decision on bond issue

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At the March 6 meeting of the Whitehall school board, Superitendent Judyth Dobbert-Meloy presented an update on the "community coffees" where school representatives have been meeting with interested parties to discuss possibilities for new construction utilizing funds from the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC).

The coffees will conclude this month, and "After that point in time the board is going to need to make a decision," Dobbert-Meloy said.

Board member Blythe Wood thanked Dobbert-Meloy and Treasurer Tim Penton for their efforts, and noted they are out almost every evening sharing information and answering questions.

"Thank you for your dedication to the community and for helping to get the word out," she said.

Howard said she too has heard positive remarks from the community regarding the presentation.  "They are saying it’s very easy to follow and two hours just flies by."

The board agreed to hold a special community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, at a location to be announced, to hold small group discussions regarding the district’s plans for new construction.

"It will be an organized way of gathering their feedback," Dobbert-Meloy described, noting that the OSFC needs to know by June 1 whether the district intends to head to the ballot in an effort to secure funding.

The board also scheduled a special meeting to further discuss the matter at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 22 at the board office.

Altering dress code

When the Whitehall board agreed to require its older students to wear uniforms, they knew they would have to work out some particulars prior to the start of the 2008-09 school year.

"There was a question in regard to our career center students," Dobbert-Meloy told the board. "What if they have to wear a uniform such as scrubs and come back for band or another activity at the end of the day? Were we going to require them to put on our uniform?"

Board member Carolyn McIntosh was quick to point out, "They’re already in a uniform. It is not as if they are inappropriately dressed … I don’t want them to be tardy because they had to change."

But Ronda Howard, also a board member, had a differing view.

"Part of the reason we went to this dress code was to be able to identify our students," she said. "If you do start making those exceptions, it’s going to get out of hand really quick."

The board decided the students can wear their vocational uniform as long as it meets the school’s standard of dress.

In other news, the board adopted the Poth Road Community Reinvestment Area tax abatement agreement between the city of Whitehall and Scannel Properties and FedEx Ground Package System.

"Obviously that is a big benefit to the city and the school district usually cooperates in order to bring new business to the city," Dobbert-Meloy said.

Howard added, "I think that’s an excellent opportunity. It’s going to bring a lot of jobs to our community. It’s a welcome addition."

The next regular meeting of the board of education will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 10 at Kae Avenue Elementary School.

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