Cadet/Major Alexander M. Woosley and Cadet/Captain Sydney R. Pauley Tecumseh High School AFJROTC presented the Tecusmeh Board of Education (BOE) with a list of goals Tecumseh’s AFJROTC Unit made for the 2016-2017 school year at the BOE’s monthly meeting on Sept. 27 at Tecumseh High School’s Arrow Conference room.

All BOE members were present. Superintendent Norm Glissman, Assistant Superintendent Paula Crew, and District Treasurer Debra Schock were also in attendance.

Some of the AFJROTC goals Woosley and Pauley shared included requiring all cadets to maintain an average GPA of 2.71%, increasing the number of community service hours to 35 hours per cadet (for a total of 3,745 hours in the corps), increasing funding for the unit’s annual needy family program up to $2,100 (with at least $1,500 being raised by the unit’s cadets). One goal the unit has already met was increasing corps membership; this year there are 107 cadets in Tecumseh’s AFJROTC unit, up from 76 members in the last school year.

“We want to be better, do better, and make the corps aspire to be better,” explained Woosley.

Gary Cochran of the Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center reported that the CTC Auto-Tech instructor met with the Sears Automotive regional manager to review the CTC program, the manager was impressed and a partnership was forged with Sears; and 2 students will be hired at Sears Automotive as a result.

Cochran also reported that on Aug. 25 the CTC found out it won an “iCar Makeover” grant which will provide over $5,000 worth of curriculum and equipment for students learning collision repair.

The Springfield CTC will be celebrating its Fiftieth Anniversary on Sept. 5, 2017, Cochran said plans are in the works for the celebration. He also said that 703 students are currently enrolled at CTC, the third-highest enrollment level in the past five years.

Glissman reported that he spoke with five district principals individually about the idea “of having firearms in the buildings.” According to Glissman, “Of the five principals, four were a definitive ‘no.’ Of the staffs, there was one definitive ‘no,’ two were ‘maybe,’ and two were ‘question marks.’” Glissman also said that while the staff of one of the buildings was interested in having firearms, the consensus was they didn’t want to be the ones carrying them. “Just from the building levels of Principals and staff, that’s kind of an unscientific vote if you will...of not much interest.”

Glissman was referring to an “Armed Defense Team” program similar to the one used by Sidney City Schools, an idea that was presented to the BOE in June by resident Sam George and Sidney City School BOE President, Bill Ankney. Discussion about the concept has been minimal since the June meeting.

Dan Studebaker asked if the staffs were given adequate information about the program. Glissman said he shared information with the administrators about how the program worked, but wasn’t present when the concept was presented to the staffs.

Corrine Scott recommended taking a more scientific vote regarding the Armed Defense Team idea at the middle and end of the current school year. BOE President, Kurt Lewis, agreed that perhaps an end-of-year online survey may be a good idea, but also BOE members that his concern was “Sheriff Kelly was adamant against it and wouldn’t support it.” Lewis also expressed concern that there may be too many roadblocks to actually starting such a program and recommended moving the Armed Defense Team topic to a reference item in the future, unless the BOE heard otherwise.

Later in the meeting, Tecumseh High School Government teacher, Brooke Tuttle, asked if the school staff would be able to get “a refresher” on what the Armed Defense Team concept was because she and some other staff members were largely unaware of exactly what the program would entail.

Studebaker asked a questions about expenditures for technology and why and for whom the purchases were made. Glissman explained that P.O.’s for big expenditures don’t always show which building the purchase is for, so he doesn’t always know exactly which buildings that technology purchases are going to. He also explained some of the reasons the district uses certain technology. For example, iPads are generally easier for younger kids to use, so iPads are purchased for the lower grades. Older students get Chromebooks to use, partly because Chromebooks are cheaper.

BOE members gave its approval for 15 members of the Tecumseh FFA chapter to travel to the FFA National Convention in Indiana. Tecumseh will be sharing busses to the convention with Northwestern’s FFA chapter.

Glissman shared an enrollment information with BOE members. According to the Superintendent, the district currently has a total of 3,101 students enrolled.

Glissman also reported that only 2 districts in Ohio received an “A” rating and 526 of the 608 Ohio school districts received an “F” rating after the last round of state-mandated tests, which means is 87% of schools failed in state. “The whole system is out of whack,” said Glissman.

Glissman also told the BOE that a large contingency of school superintendents will be descending on the statehouse on Nov 15 to complain to lawmakers about the current testing regimen. One of their main concerns being that issues with the state’s new point system means nearly half of Ohio’s Juniors are not on track to graduate on time.

Paula Crew walked BOE members through a list of tests Tecumseh students may take during their time in school. In her report, Crew mentioned that taking an ACT or SAT test is now mandatory and that the district opted to offer the ACT because it is accepted at more places. This means the students can stay at their own school to take the test instead of traveling as was previously necessary. Crew also said the district opted to offer the test on paper because the district “know it works.” The testing is paid for by state.

Mert Christmann made a fervent recommendation that the district honor long-time Tecumseh supporters, Carl Roller and his family, by naming something in this district for them, especially since Carl wasn’t doing well. The BOE agreed to the idea and said it would make some inquiries. Sadly, Mr. Roller passed away a few days after the BOE meeting.

Kerry Cassell, the representative of the Teacher’s Association asked the BOE if a final decision had ever been made about making its teachers pay for non-district-mandated professional development opportunities, stating that she believed the topic had never been officially decided by the BOE, even though it came down to teachers that it was now policy. Glissman said that the BOE had “supported the recommendation,” so the recommendation became a policy, even though it had not been officially voted on at a BOE meeting.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, Tuttle raised concerns about Chromebooks being beneficial to the district because Chromebooks can only be used online, which she feels can be a problem for some students.

A concerned resident recommended that the district be more communicative with the community and reminding them that the upcoming levy issue is a renewal and not seeking new money, “I want people to start working together again and not be so negative (about the district).”

The next regular Tecumseh BOE meeting is at 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 25 in the Arrow Conference Room at Tecumseh High School

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