District pleased with online school

LISBON – Lisbon school officials are still pleased with the online school created two years ago to compete with other cyber schools.

Online school coordinator Jim Watt reported at this week’s school board meeting that of the 27 students who started the year in the program, only four have withdrawn to date. This is down slightly from the previous school year, when 48 students signed up and 22 eventually withdrew, leaving 26 who successfully completed the course work.

School Superintendent Don Thompson reminded the board the online school was begun in the fall of 2012 to slow the loss of students to cyber schools, and with them the loss of state funding – $5,700 per student. At the time, Lisbon had 61 students attending other cyber schools.

According to Thompson, only 15 Lisbon students in grades six through 12 continued to attend other online schools this past year. “What we’ve found is we were able to stop” the loss, he said.

Thompson said they are now looking at adding an elementary school curriculum to the online school because they now have 14 elementary students enrolled as students in other cyber schools.

“We did not have anywhere near that number a year ago,” he said.

The board will decide later whether to renew the online for another year after receiving a completed year-end report.

In other action, the board:

– Accepted the resignations of bus drivers Jerry Cusick and Rhett Gable, and approved Joe Morenz as a volunteer junior high track coach.

-Accepted donations from Class of 2013 ($4,167) and Lisbon Baseball/Softball Association ($1,417), to be used to purchase scoreboards.

– Contracted with Gardiner-Trane of Solon to continue providing maintenance for the HVAC system at an annual cost of $21,788. The contract is for three years.

– Agreed to continue participating in the DARE program with the police department, with the district paying half the cost at $1,500.

– Agreed to accept the transfer of unused sick days of teachers Corey Rhodes (21 days) and Meredith Deichler (72 days). Rhodes and Deichler are Lisbon graduates who started their teaching careers in other states. Thompson said when they offering them teaching jobs several years ago it was with the understanding the board would eventually accept the transfer of their unused sick leave.

– Renewed the contract of special education coordinator Dave Brookes for $31,421.

Thompson also reported about entering into a working agreement with the county Board of Developmental Disabilities and the county Education Service Center to share the cost in hiring a bus dispatcher. The three already share bus services.

The board’s next meeting is 5 p.m. May 13.