By Jeff Gallatin
School officials expect to make a decision tomorrow about how the district will handle all-day kindergarten. Officials will also go over guidelines for new state requirements for formal reviews of school administrators.
School board President John Lasko said the issues to be discussed at the board work session are important to the district and the community, and noted the meeting is open to the public.
“Certainly the all-day kindergarten has been a point of discussion for several years,” he said. “It’s come up on the local level as well as under both the current administration in Columbus and the one before it.”
Lasko said he would expect the board to make implementation decisions about kindergarten at the meeting.
“We’re going to hear a presentation from (interim) Superintendent (Terry) Krivak about what he and the administrators believe would be the best way for the district to handle it,” Lasko said. “After that, we have to make some decisions about what we feel as a district is the best way to handle it.”
Lasko said the board would make decisions about matters such as whether to charge for all-day kindergarten and where and how to have it, as well as how it should be taught within the district.
“It’s an important issue, because, for many students and their families, that is the formal start of education for the child,” he said. “We want to find the best possible way to get that child the best kindergarten situation possible.”
Lasko said this issue does tie in with larger overall district issues on funding, as well as best use of all its facilities and staff.
“It touches on a lot of areas,” he said, “because we’re obviously going to be having some upcoming discussions about future plans for the district in terms of how we want to do things.”
Krivak has recently made several proposals pertaining to district facilities. The district has filed a request with the city of North Olmsted to demolish one middle school annex building and a nearby house where the district owns the property. If approved, the cleared property would be used to create additional room for bus and vehicle traffic when students are dropped off and picked up during the school day.
Krivak also proposed having the district move the middle school students and staff to the current high school structure. In turn, the district would remove the remaining nonessential middle school structures and build a new high school on the site. He also has suggested the district consider paring down, from seven to as few as four, the number of primary and intermediate schools in the district.
Referring to the administrative review process and the other part of tomorrow’s meeting, Lasko noted that because of new state of Ohio guidelines, the district has to implement a new administrative review process for teachers and district administrators.
“It’s a lot to undertake, but it’s something that we have to get done, so we’re going to be discussing how it is done,” he said.
He noted building principals will have a lot of work to do on the teacher evaluations, noting the district has groups studying how best to implement the new guidelines in the evaluations.
In addition, the district also has to undertake new state-mandated guidelines for district administrators, such as the building principals and main office administrators. Krivak has noted that change will make the district have more formal evaluations of the principals and district administrators than apparently was done the last several years under former Superintendent Cheryl Dubsky.
Lasko said he believes the reviews were done the last several years, but apparently not in a paper or more regulated form.
“Those reviews were part of the purview of the superintendent,” he said. “They weren’t up to the board to conduct.”
He said now that the reviews are being mandated by the state in a more formal form, the information on them will be more accessible.
“There’s no question that there will be a lot more involved in the process, but ultimately, we’ll be better off for it,” he said.
The board meeting is set to start at 7 p.m. at the administration building on Butternut Ridge Road.