EAST LIVERPOOL - A proposal by the city school board's athletic committee to establish a more independent athletic board was discussed at length Monday night, with approval given to at least develop a constitution for such a group.
Athletic committee Chairman Scott Dieringer told the board that, during a meeting earlier in the day, discussion centered around bringing back the athletic board that once was in existence.
He said the idea is to have the board composed of the high school principal, assistant principals, two school board members and the athletic director and assistant athletic director.
According to Dieringer, such a board could resolve problems with "some things coming to the board that shouldn't have," saying, the athletic committee composed of himself, board member Richard Wolf and Principal Randy Taylor "thinks it's a good idea."
The newly formed athletic board would be permitted to take action without approval by the school board, Dieringer pointed out.
Wolf indicated such issues as ticket prices and scheduling could be addressed by the athletic board, which could also handle complaints before they ever reached the superintendent.
"It eliminates a lot of unnecessary things coming to the administration," Wolf said, saying, "We now bring issues to the (board of education) for approval. This would free (the athletic board) to make those kinds of decisions."
Board President Janice Martin, however, asked, "Wouldn't the superintendent want to know these things without being bypassed?"
Wolf said some of the topics may not have to come before the superintendent, but he would be apprised, saying, "It worked well in the past."
Martin balked at approving implementation of an athletic board without first seeing all it entails, such as by-laws, leading to board Vice President Bob Estell moving to authorize the athletic committee to develop a constitution for the athletic board to be reviewed by the board.
The board did not take action on a proposal to contract with Mahoning County ESC for Vocational Rehabilitation Public & Private Partnerships (VRP3) services following a presentation by Melanie Carfolo, director of special education.
The program provides a variety of secondary transition services for students 14 and older with disabilities, such as guidance and counseling, diagnostic assessments, comprehensive vocational evaluations, transition work training programs, summer work programs, job placement and post secondary education.
About 213 East Liverpool students currently qualify for the services, and Carfolo said for every $1 the district pledges, VRP3 provides $3.69 in federal dollars.
The cost project is $35 per student, or $7,500 from the district to gain $27,675 in federal matching money for a total of $35,175 for the program.
Carfolo said most districts are getting involved in the "relatively new" program, including nearby Wellsville and Beaver Local.
The board agreed to delay action until Treasurer Todd Puster could be present, since he is in Boston at a school conference, indicating the issue will be addressed at the next meeting.
The board did authorize Puster to join the OME-RESA electric procurement program administered through Titan Energy with the hope of saving on electric service.
Estell pointed out the district has joined similar programs for diesel fuel and insurance for a cost savings.
A number of substitute employees were approved by the board, with Dieringer voting against all of them, offering no reason, and Wolf voting against substitute crossing guards and cafeteria personnel, questioning Superintendent James Herring if he has advised the Bureau of Unemployment the district is seeking substitutes.
Wolf has consistently opposed hiring substitutes who live outside the school district.
Herring said he has advertised in the paper and informed the Bureau of Unemployment and received no response, with Wolf saying it is worth trying again.