Members approve middle school, tackle personnel issues

During the Oneonta board of education meeting on Monday, May 13, the board approved the creation of Oneonta Middle School which could lead to implementing technology into the classroom.

After the 5-mill tax increase referendum vote to expedite a technology plan for Oneonta schools failed by one vote in January, Supt. Scott Coefield and the board members declared that wouldn’t stop them from continuing to try to place more technology in the classrooms, even if they had to introduce a scaled-down version compared to their original plan.

Since the approval of the middle school, the board will begin considering taking money from the school’s reserve to fund laptops for grades 6 – 8, the middle school grades.

“The middle school would be the starting point for the one-to-one initiative,” Coefield said. “Our hope is that it would be successful, so if we try the referendum again, the public would understand it better.”

Before the board delves into the technology plan for the middle school they want the school itself to be successful, which means completing a school year before deciding if they want to explore the technology plan.

The introduction of the middle school also could provide additional funding for administration, and Coefield suggested hiring a middle school principal.

The position has been posted on the Oneonta City Schools website, and Coefield says he is in the process of looking into hiring someone and plans to name the principal during the June board meeting.

In personnel business, the board approved granting tenure to two staff members, Don Jacobs and Rhonda Ford. The board also approved rehiring first-year employees Hannah Cornelius, Vanna Killough, J.D. Whited, Jennifer Woods, Matthew Lambert, Michelle Patrick, Donna Avery, and Terri Hubauer.

The board re-employed two second year support staff, Adrianna Espinoza and Jared Samples, as well as three first-year support staff, Keith Hullett, Robert Smith, and Darrell Turley.

In other business, the board accepted the retirement resignation of teacher Renee Clemons, accepted the resignation of bus driver Brian Metzler, approved non-resident students for Oneonta High School, and approved eighthgrade algebra 1 as a course credit for students graduating in the class of 2013 – 2014. Students will choose from an advanced placement math course or approved math elective their senior year.

The board approved four summer contracted services – Mobility/ Braille instruction services to Ellen L. Bowman, speech therapy and special education services to Lori Fendley, clinical therapy and assessment services to Pitts and Associates, and psychometrist services to Janie Smith. Lastly, they approved a list of personnel to work summer school.

Present at the May 13 meeting were Coefield and board members Don Maples, Kitty Cheek, Ricky Hicks, Jimmy Stewart, and Geoff Smith.