By JOHN BADEN
Record Herald Writer
Courtesy of the Record Herald; Printed 11.22.12
WEST MILTON – Even though the levy renewal of Milton-Union Schools failed at the polls two weeks ago, the board of education is holding out hope until the final official tally.
At a team management meeting last week, the board decided to have a recount with provisional votes added after a 14-vote difference between opposing and supporting voters on Election Day.
According to the Miami County Board of Elections, the final vote tally will not be revealed until next Monday. The election recount is a common procedure by the board of elections, due to the difference between the support and opposition votes being less than .5%.
If the levy still does not pass, Klein said that the board will place the same levy renewal back on the ballot for a vote in May 2013 after doing additional community outreach.
While nothing is set in stone, Klein said that ideas on outreach that were tossed around included using social media and having a couple board members available one evening for questions at a local restaurant.
If residents vote yes in 2013, the school will not miss any tax collections.
The five-year, 10.9 mill levy, which was first passed in 2003, is used for operating costs for teachers, gas and electric, and transportation and would not increase taxes on area residents.
“The levy raises about $1,700,000, and we will be in deep financial difficulty if it is not renewed,” Klein said.
Milton-Union faculty are getting a feel for the new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES), which came about as a result from the signing of Senate Bill 316 last June.
This observation system, set to be fully implemented by July 2013, will measure the rating of teachers and principals on their performance and on student achievement and growth inside the classroom.
Director of Student Services Scott Bloom has been observing and evaluating teachers this semester to a blended rubric of the old model and the new model, which is stricter than the previous one.
Bloom told the board at its Monday meeting that the observations have led to “very powerful” and “very good conversations” about teaching and the detailed structure of lesson plans with teachers.
“I’ve had a couple teachers who have realized that they need to do some things differently,” Bloom said.
While Bloom said that the evaluation system will be painful and rough at first for teachers and principals, the end result will be better teaching and learning.
“It will be a big change, but it will improve education and increase student achievement,” Superintendent Dr. Ginny Rammel said.
While abatement will not be done until the middle of January, fencing will be put up next month on Jefferson Street around the old high school building, which was being used as locker rooms during the football season.
The current goal in the demolition process at 112 Spring St. is removing the leftover rubble from the former elementary and middle school buildings.
This week, a two-hour dust inspection will be done on the property as construction workers crush the remaining concrete and bricks at the site.