BYESVILLE, Ohio--The Rolling Hills Local School District Board of Education on Thursday night approved an "encouraging" five-year forecast.
The document, predicting the financial future of the District through Fiscal Year 2018, showed some gains in taxes but a loss of $330,000 in state funding from last year. Treasurer Kandi Fuller noted that the District's cash balance is predicted to stay in the black into FY 2017.
Other highlights of the forecast, shows that the District has saved over $400,000 through reDistricting, and along with other factors, leads to a predicted savings of around $4M by FY17 compaired to last year's forecast.
Superintendent Ryan Caldwell adds that this forecast, while "promising", does not mean the District "is flush with money". He notes that there is deficit spending in the forecast, and officials must continuously watch over the budget.
The District continues to actively pursue Straight A grant funding. Rolling Hills is a part of a group of school districts looking to get funding for various educational programs, including those that offer college credit to high school students. Currently, in cooperation with Zane State, a Meadowbrook student can obtain an Associate Degree in Gas & Oil Technology, while still attending high school. The program if offered at no cost to the student, and little if any cost, to the District.
Transportation and Maintenance Supervisor David Lashley reports that the parking lot paving project at Secrest and Byesville Elementary buildings should be getting underway on November 1. Also, officials are looking into the purchase of a new school bus, likely before the year is out.
During the Race to the Top and TIF update, it was noted that the November TIF teacher payouts have been delayed at the state level. Also $8,000 of RTTT funds will be used to replace some of the District's laptops. Also $37,000 is available for infrastructure and equipment upgrades, preparing for on line testing in the 2014-15 school year.
Superintendent Caldwell pointed out that by being able to use Race to the Top funds, saving the District's limited general fund money.
In other matters, the board approved a lengthy list of classified and certified personnel items. The list includes volunteers, substitutes, home tutors, and Paraprofessionals.
Superintendent Ryan Caldwell reported that the District hosted an active school shooter program today. It was attended by several local agencies as well as school officials.
And along the same line, Rolling Hills has been awarded a school safety grant which will be used to purchase MARCS radios. The special frequency radios will allow direct contact with responding law enforcement officers in the time of an emergency.
It was announced that Brook Elementary is going to the dogs...Watchdogs, that is. The popular program, which stresses the importance of a positive male role model, by bringing male volunteers into the classrooms, is expected to start at Brook Elementary in January. The kick off begins at 9 am on November 1, with the school's "Donuts with Dad" event. Following the donut breakfast, fathers, grandfathers and others are invited to stay for an information meeting about the Watchdog program.