A literacy initiative at Mansfield Middle School and new windows at Malabar Intermediate School were key topics at Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the Mansfield City Schools Board of Education.
Amy Walker, middle school language arts teacher, explained the school’s participation this year in Literacy Collaborative, an Ohio State University-based framework for teaching reading and writing. The approach already is used in the district’s elementary and intermediate schools.
“We hope to improve achievement in reading and writing and foster a positive climate and culture in our school,” Walker said. “Without a positive climate and culture, we can’t have success.” A 17-year veteran of Mansfield City Schools, Walker is in her first year as the school’s OSU-trained literacy coach.
An element of that positive culture are motivational T-shirts provided to all students and staff through donations by four local businesses. Premier sponsor KeyBank contributed $1,000, while Richland Bank, Mechanics Bank and MT Businesss Technologies each gave $500. “We thank our businesses for their support and, more importantly, for their confidence in us,” Walker said.
The front of the shirts, which depicts a tiger wearing glasses curled up with a book, proclaims “Mansfield Middle School – Reading is Thinking.” “The shirts have two purposes,” Walker said. “One is to remind students to think, to retain what they are reading. The second is to promote a sense of unity by asking all students to wear the shirts on state testing day.”
In other action, the Board:
- Approved Superintendent Brian Garverick’s recommendation for a contract to replace windows at Malabar Intermediate School. The winning bid of $169,634 by BC&G Weithman Construction Co. of Bucyrus was the lowest of three submitted and well under the project’s budget estimate of $200,000. The windows to be replaced are all those seen when facing the front of the building – the cafeteria, administrative offices and the south side of the classroom wing. The work will begin after the school year ends and be completed during the summer.
- Heard Treasurer Robert Kuehnle announce that the district has received a clean report from the state on its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. There were no citations, warnings or issues. Kuehnle described the CAFR as the “gold standard,” the most rigorous of several levels of audits.
- Heard Garverick report that the district has activated a Facebook page, Mansfield City School District, and a Twitter account @MCSTygers.
- Discussed an upcoming survey of district residents by the Ohio School Boards Association. The online survey is designed to assess what the community feels is important and what residents believe should be district priorities. The survey will be heavily publicized before its release early in February.
- Heard a presentation by Nicole Donovsky of the Columbus law firm Bricker and Eckler. Donovsky touched on the role of the board and its individual members in several areas, including interaction with administrators, public records, meeting agendas and potential conflicts of interest.
- Decided that the February 21 board meeting will be at 5:30 PM at Malabar Intermediate School where the library will be named in honor of Maxine Johnson. A 33-year district employee and most recently the Malabar librarian, she passed away last month.
Present for Tuesday’s meeting were board members Renda Cline, Chris Elswick, Cheryl Weber and Gary Feagin. Monica Hubbard was absent.
Mansfield City Schools