School Board Meeting (remote option)

Akron Board of Education
Education

Monday, May 6, 2024
5:30 p.m. — 7:30 p.m. EDT

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10 N Main St, Akron, Ohio 44308 Akron, OH 44308 (Directions)

Sylvester Small Administration Building, 102, Board Room

Regular meeting.

Check the source website for additional information

Reporting

Edited and summarized by the Akron - OH Documenters Team

Note-taking by Jackie Jantzi

North High senior tells board about 'terrible smell' and structural issues with building

Live reporting by Wittman Sullivan

North High School, mental health and budget deficits featured during public comment and discussions

Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan
Hey everybody. I will be documenting this evening's Akron School Board Regular meeting at the APS administration building with #AKRDocumenters and @SignalAkron

08:23 PM May 6, 2024 CDT

Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 2/25
The meeting started at 5:36 PM
All members were present except Carla Jackson.
Superintendent Michael Robinson announced the top 8 student in the Superintendent Book Club. He also said that Betty Jane CLC has the most books read with the book club.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 3/25
Frozen Animi, a student school board member from North High School said that North needs a new building due toissues including falling ceilings and a bad smell. She highlighted the diversity of the school and read a report from a Garfield student board member about mental health.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 4/25
Multiple board members said that there is a need to address student mental health and provide services therein.
Members said that they've attended community events including Litchfield's Cedar Point Trip, traffic signal box artwork contest, and a state leadership conference
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 5/25
Barbara Sykes said she is concerned about student gun violence
A staffer said that they've launched the middle school Changemaker challenge where students learn about and take action for modern issues. A student presented their idea they made to aid foster kids.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 6/25
An APS van driver said van drivers need pay raises and for costs like gas to be covered due to cost increases
A community member said that there are problems with building contracts because projects are running over budget and are not being distributed equitably district-wide
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 7/25
Diana Autry moved to pass the minutes from the previous meeting on April 22nd
The board approved the minutes unanimously.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 8/25
Robinson recognized staff including teachers, administrators, nurses, bus drivers and interpreters for previous and upcoming appreciation holidays.
He also recognized students who have won scholarships including a student who won the Soujourner Truth scholarship.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 9/25
Barbara Sykes requested a report on Van and Bus Driver conditions
She also said that there will be only one levy for the public vote this November. This levy will include both the general operating and North High School construction.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 10/25
Robinson requested approval of personnel recommendations
Molenaur said that she does not know about MTSS and does not feel comfortable with voting on a new position for it
Robinson said there is a need for MTSS which is highlighted in the blueprint for success.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 11/25
Personnel recommendations were passed unanimously except Molenaur voting against 7.4 (MTSS staff) and Sykes abstaining from 14.7
Business Affairs Recommendations approved unanimously, Molenaur abstaining from item 24.15
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 12/25
Autry gave the president's report and highlighted that during the May 13th finance committee the 5-year forecast will be presented (this meeting will be at the administration building at 4PM
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 13/25
Thompson explained different forms of tax that APS gains funding from such as property taxes and Mills. He also explained 80% of current operating funds go toward staff and that bonds are taxes which are meant to fund permanent improvements such as school buildings.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 14/25
Thompson explained different financial forecasts depending on different budgetary choices such as cuts and levies. Thompson explained that the proposed levy would generate roughly $30 million per year and would cost a home with a $100k value $300 in new property taxes.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 15/25
Robinson explained that necessary cuts will be made this coming school year.
He warned that if a levy is not passed then cuts will need to be made to student programming. He expressed that he doesn't want to cut student services and that any cuts will be difficult.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 16/25
Robinson said that they will have to pass another levy in 5-6 years to maintain operating expenses
Hall asked if the district has requested funds from the state to build North
Robinson responded that they will reach out to see if there are any programs to fund rebuilding North
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 17/25
Robinson also said that state funds may not be available because funds are awarded based on district wide enrollment and not just the North cluster. The state might find that current enrollment does not warrant a new high school for APS.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 18/25
Molenaur proposed a language change for public comment rules to clarify that public comment is available to any school board meetings (including special and committee meetings).
The item passed unanimously.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 19/25
Hall said that new textbooks for health and science were vetted by teachers and a student voice. She said that the options have been narrowed down for approval
She also said that there is a pilot polymer science course coming to Butchel CLC
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 20/25
Alexander said that the equity committee was updated on facility spending in APS. Hall said that there is inequity within facilities and sports in schools.
Molenaur suggested that teams can practice together but compete on different teams for sports like golf and tennis.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 21/25
Autry said that local funding initiatives (extra building facilities like pools and theaters) are not equitably distributed and give too many resources to Ellet and Firestone. She requested that future projects touch all APS clusters and are accessible to all APS students.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 22/25
Autree said that she is concerned that sports facilities are only funded at Firestone and Ellet CLC's while Butchel facilities are lacking district investment and that when those sports facilities are used by other schools the schools playing cannot profit from concessions.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 23/25
Molenaur questioned the plan for college and career academies in elementary schools. She said that she does not feel comfortable supporting the new programs (also including MTSS and PBIS) due to a lack of information.
The motion passed 5-0 with Molenaur abstaining.
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 24/25
The meeting ended at 8:15 PM . The next regular meeting will be May 20th at 6:30 at the APS Administration Building. For more coverage check out
akron.documenter.org
Wittman Sullivan @WittmanSullivan 25/25
Have a question, think we got something wrong. Send any questions on the meeting or these tweets to documenters@signalakron.org

Agency Information

Akron Board of Education

See meeting notes for details

www.akronschools.com

(330) 761-1661

See Documenters reporting

The Akron Public Schools Board of Education is the official body representing the citizens of Akron on all matters of public education. The board is non-partisan and non-sectarian. Its members are elected at-large for four-year terms.

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