Fredericktown School Board

Fredericktown school board members, administrators and community members gather in the board of education room, located at 117 Columbus Road.

FREDERICKTOWN -- School districts across the state will be impacted by Ohio’s adoption of the Fair School Funding Plan, Fredericktown Local Schools included. 

Some of the major changes to district funding in the five-year forecast shared during Tuesday’s school board meeting involved Fair School Funding Plan-related cost calculation changes. Under the plan, per-pupil costs are based on actual expenses, calculated on a district-by-district basis.

Previously, districts saw deductions for students who decided to attend school out of district, whereas now districts will be directly given a complete net amount based on enrollment. 

Fredericktown schools November board meeting

The board meeting ran for approximately 45 minutes before the board moved into executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel and matters required to be kept confidential by federal and/or state law. 

“We’re not at the lowest (enrollment), but we’re still not at the highest we’ve ever been,” treasurer Heather Darnold said.

In terms of specific types of funds, unrestricted, restricted, all other operating revenues and purchased services will see the largest changes throughout the next five years, according to the forecast. 

Restricted and unrestricted revenues are expected to grow, whereas all other operating revenues and purchased services are expected to decline. For example, actual restricted funds for 2021 come out to $63,868, whereas forecasted 2022 restricted funds are $337,950.

Restricted funds are expected to increase because the student success and wellness funds will now flow into that funding pool, as opposed to Fund 467 which had previously been created specifically for those funds. Other Knox County districts expect to see similar spikes in restricted funds for the same reason. 

Student success and wellness funds must be used for the same expenses they have been used for previously, which includes paying for the school resource officer, nurse, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, guidance counselors and social workers.

The district’s gifted funding will also be flowing into restricted funds, which could amount to approximately $90,000, Darnold said. 

As is expected with other districts in Knox County, Fredericktown Local Schools anticipates revenue will exceed expenses in the coming years. 

“The forecast is a moving piece, and it’s ever changing,” Darnold said. 

In terms of current finances, expenses exceeded revenue last month, which Darnold attributed to several large, one-time expenditures including bond payments, American Electric Power payments, Northern Buckeye educational services, META solutions, shelving units in the theater annex and the K Company for a chiller control system.

In other business: 

The board accepted upwards of $1,000 in donations, including $500 from Knox Public Health to Fredericktown High School for fifth quarter activities, $350 from Gorman-Rupp Company to Fredericktown High School (as seen fit for student needs) and $300 from the Nate Bellman Family to the junior class. 

Two district employees resigned. The board approved the resignation of elementary aide Vonda Gerbasi, who was with the district for four years (retroactive to Oct. 21) and the resignation of four-hour cook Jennifer McNeil, who was with the district for nine years (retroactive to Oct. 26).

During the previous October meeting, the board pulled one of the district’s NEOLA bylaws for further review — Policy 1617 Weapons. The board passed the policy during Tuesday’s meeting on a second reading. 

The board also approved several student teachers as well as students for classroom observation from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Ohio Wesleyan University, respectively. 

Regarding tutoring and mentorship, the board accepted a service agreement with Knox County Educational Service Center for tutoring services at St. Vincent, approved four people to serve as intervention tutors before and after school at $33 per hour, and approved the teacher mentor program, which pairs first-year teachers with a mentor. 

The board also approved the district's gifted program with the Knox County ESC for the 2021-2022 school year, as well as several supplemental on-year non-teaching contracts for coaches and advisors. The board offered such positions to licensed district employees first, according to the agenda, but no licensed employees accepted.  

There was no public participation during Tuesday’s meeting.

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Emma Davis is a 2021 graduate of the University of Richmond, from which she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and leadership studies. Emma reports for Knox Pages and Ashland Source through Report for America.

Emma Davis is a 2021 graduate of the University of Richmond, from which she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and leadership studies. Emma reports for Knox Pages and Ashland Source through Report for America.