BW Board of Education approves staffing


SUNBURY — The Big Walnut Board of Education approved the district’s staffing plan for the 2024-2025 school year at its meeting Monday.

Superintendent Ryan McLane said that this was traditionally the time to examine and begin posting positions.

“I will recommend the addition of positions,” McLane said. “This will allow us to be properly staffed. There is no fluff. We are not looking at wasteful spending.”

Board President Steve Fujii noted these 18.25 positions (the fraction indicates part-time hours) were fewer than the 10-year staffing plan’s original estimate of 24.5 positions.

Also approved were start and end times for the next school year. McLane said the district currently has 34 bus drivers, and this number may determine whether children who live near a school may have to walk to it. At any rate, no student would have to cross busy routes, nor would any routes that did not have a sidewalk (meaning Big Walnut and Hylen Souders elementaries).

In his report, McLane said the district will begin using the app Stopfinder on March 4. He compared it to Uber, where you can see how far away your child’s school bus is from your stop. There would be no more wondering if the bus is late, or it’s already gone by.

McLane also said, “BeeWee needs hot water,” prior to the board approving the purchase and installment of two high-efficiency hot water heaters at Big Walnut Elementary School. The board also approved a quote from Bluegrass Recreational Sales & Installation to remove the old playground equipment and the purchase and installment of new playground equipment for the Harrison Street Early Learning Center. Most of this being funded by a grant, McLane said.

Finally, McLane said that contrary to a media report, sports betting did not add extra money to school funding.

Also at the meeting:

• Three All-Ohio football players were recognized: Ryan Elliot (kicker, second team); Nate Severs (running back, first team); and Garrett Stover (linebacker, first team, currently enrolled at Ohio State).

• Student Council Representative Emma Kelly said the ACT was being held for juniors on Feb. 27, with other grades receiving instruction at home.

• Alice Nicks gave a report on the Academic Advisory Committee; and Graziosi went over Insurance Committee policy procedures.

• Two people spoke during public participation. The first criticized four of the five board members as being extremist and asked for their immediate resignations. The second questioned the transparency of the board regarding membership and reimbursement to what she called the right-wing National School Board Leadership Council. A third person wished to speak but was late in arriving. They were not permitted to speak, per district rules.

• On second readings, the 9000 relation policies and 0131 legislative bylaws were unanimously approved.

• The board approved fiscal year 2024 alternative tax budget information to be submitted to the county auditor; and the 2023 tax rates for taxes collected in 2024 and estimated revenue. Board member Doug Crowl mentioned that he paid an extra $350 because of the property revaluation.

After about 40 minutes, the board went into executive session “to consider the employment of a public employee or official and to confer with an attorney for the Board of Education concerning disputes involving the Board that are the subject of pending or imminent court action.”

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at [email protected].

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