Board of Education approves BASE fees with no increase

By Darrell Wacker -

VANDALIA — The Vandalia-Butler Board of Education approved the district’s before and after school (BASE) fees for the upcoming 2015-16 school year at its regular business meeting on Tuesday evening. Those fees are unchanged from last school year.

The Board also approved a new program called Aviator Connections which is designed to keep non-traditional students, and the tax dollars that follow them, in the district versus attending charter and/or online schools. Darren “DJ” Wyrick was hired as the program’s facilitator and hopes to bring back 25 or more students who have been attending charter schools.

“Most students want to graduate with their class, but we haven’t always had the non-traditional options available,” said Board of Education President Bruce Sucher. “I want to publicly commend those who have worked so hard on this.”

Related story: Aviator Connections aims to keep students, tax dollars in district

During the Superintendent’s Report, Bradley Neavin gave updates on state testing changes and bus transportation for the upcoming year.

“PARCC assessments have gone away due to recent legislation, and the state is still working on a new plan on what to test, who to test, and when,” said Neavin. “School is starting soon and we would like to know what to do with our students.”

Neavin said that he and Sucher have recently met with A. J. Wagner, the District 3 member of the Ohio State Board of Education, to share the district’s concerns about testing, funding, and other issues.

“We found that conversation to be very productive and believe he shares many of our concerns,” said Neavin. “He is hearing many of the same concerns from other districts as well. We will be trying to get other school superintendents, treasurers, and board presidents to contact their representatives.”

Neavin also announced that the Board of Education will forego its normal workshop format on August 10 and instead host a community forum. Neavin said that parents and community members will have an opportunity to share their concerns, ask questions, and get a “State of the Schools” report prior to the start of classes.

That forum will be held at 6 p.m. in the Butler High School lecture room.

Neavin said that Community Bus Services is in the process of moving into the bus garage and a “Meet the Driver” night will be announced soon.

In other items, the Board approved:

  • A motion to host a joint meeting of the Vandalia-Butler Board of Education, the Vandalia City Council, and the Butler Township Trustees on Monday, August 31 at 7 p.m. A location of the meeting, which is open to the public, will be announced.

  • A resolution for payment in lieu of transportation for students attending private schools whose parents transport their children to school. That payment was $250 last school year and will be set by the state in the spring of 2016 for the new school year.
  • A policy on free and reduced lunch program. Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines will be used to determine eligibility for the program. Rebecca Bush, Food Services Supervisor, will review applications and determine eligibility. A full copy of the policy is available for review at each school office, the central office, or by clicking here.
  • A contract with Samaritan Behavioral Health, Inc. for counseling services to support classroom units for students with emotional disabilities for $154,309 and for therapy services not to exceed $5,460 for psychiatric/pharmacological management services.
  • An agreement with Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County using auxiliary funds for school nursing services on behalf of St. Christopher School in the estimated amount of $8,600.
  • A one-year contract renewal with Blackboard, Inc. for student licenses and software maintenance of the district’s Blackboard Learning Management System in the amount of $30,900.
  • An out-of-state trip to Washington, D.C. for the Butler Class of 2017 (not MVCTC) in November, 2016. MVCTC students are unable to take the trip because they would miss too many lab hours in their programs at MVCTC according to Director of Pupil Personnel Rob O’Leary. “I am very pleased to see this on the agenda and am glad we can recapture this for the students who did not get to go in their eighth grade year,” said Board Member Mary Kilsheimer.

By Darrell Wacker

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.