The new year will see a new president and vice president for the Stow-Munroe Falls School Board, as well as a new meeting schedule.
Karen Wright was elected as School Board president by a 4-1 vote, with Rod Armstrong dissenting. Dick Spangler was unanimously chosen for vice president. Wright served as vice president in 2012.
The Board members also voted unanimously to change the meeting schedule from two meetings a month -- a community meeting and a business meeting -- to just one meeting a month, following a recommendation from member Fred Bonacci.
Last year, the Board had its community meeting at a different school the second Monday of each month and its business meeting on the fourth Monday at the high school library.
Under the new schedule for 2013, the Board will continue having two meetings a month through June, one meeting in July and August and then one meeting a month September through December at a different school site.
As part of the new schedule, it was noted any special meetings that are called will take place at the high school.
Armstrong said he was fine with the new schedule and added he may offer a monthly meeting for parents and community members to meet with him, similar to the Open Office Hours offered by some Stow City Councilmembers.
Spangler voiced concerns over that plan, saying there should be two people at any meeting with the community, not a single individual.
Armstrong responded that other Board members could come and that he felt it was important to get citizen feedback.
Treasurer/CFO Catherine Bulgrin cautioned Armstrong that a special meeting notice would have to be given if there was a quorum.
Superintendent assures parents about security
In a phone call the night before school resumed after winter break, Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools Superintendent Dr. Russ Jones assured parents the district is "doing everything we can" to ensure the safety of students, staff and faculty members.
No discussion on security issues took place at the Jan. 7 Board of Education meeting.
Jones said in the phone call that administrators had met with police chiefs from both Stow and Munroe Falls over the winter break to discuss safety in light of the Connecticut school shooting that took 26 lives in December.
"Be assured you will see a continued police presence" in all school building, said Jones in the phone call.
He also noted the district is providing both police departments with a calendar of schools' evening events so they are aware of when events "are populated with lots of people."
Each building will have one main entrance that will utilize a buzzer system, which Jones acknowledged may be "a little bit inconvenient." Persons wishing to enter a building may be asked for identification.
Jones said staff members will be sure to have all exterior doors "locked and secure."
A safety task force is being formed to do a walk-through of each building to check safety procedures, Jones added, and all staff members will complete ALICE training by Jan. 18.
Jones asked that any parent or community member who sees a security concern to contact the district.
Board of Education 2013 Meeting Schedule
Jan. 28 at SMFHS at 7 p.m.
Feb. 11 at Indian Trail at 7 p.m.
Feb. 25 at SMFHS at 7 p.m.
March 11 at Highland at 7 p.m.
April 8 at Lakeview at 7 p.m.
April 22 at SMFHS at 7 p.m.
May 6 at Riverview at 7 p.m.
May 20 at SMFHS at 7 p.m.
June 10 at SMFHS at 7 p.m.
June 27 at Central Office at 7 p.m.
July 15 at SMFHS at 7 p.m.
Aug. 26 at SMFHS at 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Echo Hills at 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 at Woodland at 7 p.m.
Nov. 25 at Fishcreek at 7 p.m.
Dec. 9 at Kimpton at 7 p.m.