Crestwood Board of Education Meeting - January 10, 2023
Small Cafeteria - Board Office
[OBSERVER NOTE: LIVE STREAM AUDIO CUT OUT CONSISTENTLY THROUGHOUT MEETING, RENDERING SOME OF THE DISCUSSIONS AND PRESENTATIONS HARD TO FOLLOW OR IMPOSSIBLE TO UNDERSTAND]
1. CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL - Meeting called to order at 7 pm. All members present.
2. SUPERINTENDENT'S COMMUNICATION
Subject 2.01 OCTM Recognition - Cindy Ducca, Kristen Patton and Jolene Reese
David Toth recognized the members of the Board of Education. Presentation of Ducca, Patton, and Reese on the focus on Mathematics within CPS. Created a 3 year plan to improve math skills within CPS - benchmarks, progress tracking, etc. Wanted to change students’ perception of Math to one of enjoyment with good, quality instruction. Worked with both students and teachers. Created a systematic approach to teaching Math at all grade levels. Gave support and development to teachers in a variety of ways. From Fall to 2021 to Spring of 2022, kids in Mrs Reese’s classroom meeting math growth goals increased from 18% to 94%, with every child showing growth. All three believe that the work they are doing at CPS is positively impacting students at Crestwood/CPS.
3. TREASURER'S COMMUNICATION
Subject 3.01 Monthly Update In December, Crestwood was down in revenue from prior year by $25,000. Currently doing W2 and 1099 submissions. Working on investment account for district for funds.
4. HEARING OF THE PUBLIC (RELATED TO AGENDA ITEMS OR GENERAL COMMENTS)
Nancy Roman - quick update on Crestwood Revitalization Committee - working on trying to get into the building to get survey to staff and teachers. Have spoken with all building principals - they are on board and waiting on Mr Toth’s approval. [Gave draft survey to BOE members] Looked into Board Policy into surveys and had some questions about the policy and whether or not a survey could be administered. Looking for Board guidance on this matter. Kristen Cavanaugh asked what policy number she referenced. Answer was not on audio.
Subject 5.01 Meeting Minutes - Board approval of the Meeting minutes from the Regular Meeting of December 13, 2022, as presented.
Subject 5.02 Financial Statements for the Month of December 2022 - Board approval of the Financial Statements for the Month of December 2022
Subject 5.03 Agreement -Sylvan Learning - Board approval of the attached Agreement made between Academic Ventures MBR as Sylvan Learning of Twinsburg, and Crestwood Local Schools ("District") for ESL Intervention Services.
Subject 5.04 Donations - Board approval of the following donation:
To: Crestwood Local Schools $200.00
From: American Legion Post #193
To: Crestwood Intermediate School Twelve Books valued at $99.71, One book valued at $9.95
From: Tiffany Litke, Levi Morgan
Subject 5.05 Resignation - Board approval of the following resignation(see attached): Heather Giel, Custodian, January 20, 2023
Subject 5.06 Substitute- Long-Term - Board approval of the following long-term substitute teacher for the 2022-2023 school year: Substitute Teacher : Bailey McKarns, BA Step 0 (effective January 3, 2023)
Subject 5.07 Substitute - Board approval to employ the following substitutes for the 2022-2023 school year pending satisfactory BCII/FBI report and appropriate certification where required: Cafeteria: Stevie Reed
Subject 5.08 Revised - Board Policy - Board approval of the first reading of the following revised board Policy: 5330.04 - Procurement and use of Naloxone (Narcan) In Emergency Situations
Subject 5.09 Educational Opportunity - Board approval of the following educational opportunities:
Graphic Design Internship Teacher, Teresa Skully
Creative Minds, Natalie Powell
Creative Minds, Caitlin Fritsch
Subject 5.10 Board approval of Items 5.01 through 5.09 - PASSED UNANIMOUSLY WITH FOLLOWING DISCUSSION: Kristen Cavanaugh - question on the board policy regarding Naloxone and whether there were nurses in all buildings. DT responded that there are Medical Assistants in all buildings, which have training. SROs will also be trained. KC continued to question what if those people are out of the building. DT said that 95% of the time, a medical person would be in the building. KC is concerned that the policy states that it is just the nurse. DT said that we can adjust the policy. KC said that it needs to be a discussion as to what the policy says and who needs to be trained.
Karen Schulz questioned what “ESL” meant. David Toth responded “English as Second Language”
Subject 6.01 Agreement - MacMillan and Company (Lighting) - Board approval of the proposed agreement between Crestwood Local Schools and MacMillan and Company for professional engineering services (see attached).
MAC LLC Proposal - CLSD Chiller Replacements and Lighting Study - 2022-12-21 - corrected (1).pdf (287 KB)
Karen Schulz - questioned why it is called “lighting” when other things are in the agreement. Dave Toth responded that those are controls and are part of the lighting system agreement in the next item.
Subject 6.02 Agreement - MacMillan and Company (Building Automation System) - Board approval of the proposed agreement between Crestwood Local Schools and MacMillan and Company for engineering services for the design of the Building Automation System (BAS) at the Crestwood Primary and Intermediate Schools (see attached).
MAC LLC Proposal - CLSD BAS Replacement - 12-21-22.pdf (279 KB)
Subject 6.03 Classified -Forson - Board approval to employee the following effective January 9, 2023: (pending appropriate certification and BCII/FBI approval)
Classified one-year Probationary - Dawn Forson, 9 month, 7-hour Special Education Aide, Step 0
7. BOARD REPORTS - Board is doing reports differently this year, with building principals presenting information to the BOE rather than members reading reports submitted to them for some of the areas
Griffis - CIS - value academics along with arts and athletics. Had two spirit weeks and students/staff really enjoyed it and it built community. Had first after-school dance in years with over 200 kids participating and raised $600 for additional programming at the school. Had Penny Wars, raising $700. Trying to keep the 6th grade camp cost as low as possible for the students. Working on STEM lab usage and engaging kids in sciences - kids love it and trying something new. Currently doing math testing to see where kids are at in mid-point of the year to develop action steps to help kids move forward.
Ducca - CPS - grateful for staff working with her on math testing, new dyslexia requirements - Talked about different units/learning that is happening at different grade levels, such as learning to tell time and identifying coins - One Book One School is just starting
Subject 8.01 Salary Information and Comparisons [OBSERVER NOTE: information on charts and tables that is referenced throughout this discussion was not available for the public to view/follow. ]
Todd Monroe asked for this to be a topic of discussion after Maplewood’s 6% increase in teacher salary. That is “unheard of” in NEOH - there could be many reasons for that level of increase. Dave Toth has brought up several issues including lack of candidates available. Todd compiled a list of all 12 public schools in Portage COunty and salaries in each for the first 5 years and every 3 years after to show what happens when you stay. “Obvious where Crestwood lies in comparison”, where we go from 3rd to bottom to 2nd to bottom, with Waterloo at the very bottom. In starting salary, Southeast is less than us but jumps above us in year 2.
Maximum earning capability with Bachelor’s degree (which is unusual - most teachers earn a master’s degree) differential between Aurora (top) and Crestwood (bottom) over the course of a career of 33 years - $620,000. Field (middle) and Crestwood (bottom) is $81,000. It would take you 9 additional years of working to reach. With Masters, the difference over a career between Aurora and Crestwood is $741, 500. With Field it is $176,000. These numbers have a big impact on the teacher’s retirement benefit as well.
Salary index is a table of multipliers applied to the base salary that is in every teacher contract to create the salary schedule. These are not often addressed in salary negotiations because it is a big endeavor to adjust it. At Crestwood, if you look at years 14-20, you will have 7 years of the same pay unless the base changes. Compared to other schools, such as Aurora, they adjust in 2 year increments, then 3 year increments. At Field, it is every 3 years. From an earning standpoint, the stagnancy over 7 years can really impact your earning power over your career.
How do we compare to other rural districts? Cardinal is the only district in all of Geauga County less than us. In Summit, only Coventry is less than us. Rural or not, when it comes to that designation, most in Portage beyond the four cities, are like us. We are not competing with other schools.
Dave has spoken often about the number of resignations at Crestwood. If you look at the total resignations of teachers only, 59 have left in recent years, or 50% of total teaching staff. That is LARGE. When teachers leave, it is damaging to what we do - educate kids. In spite of the fact that new teachers come in, working hard, wanting to do well, they can’t compete with an experienced teacher. Todd provided a list of where Crestwood teachers went to after leaving the district.
Todd put together potential base salaries (SERB.OHIO.gov website has all union contracts statewide available) if we increased from where we are right now. What he has is to just assume we reopen the contract right now to increase base salary and what it would look like. A 3% base increase would put us near the top at start, but will change over time or could result in other schools increasing their base salaries as well.
We have 3 segments of employees at the district - 118 teachers, 104 classified employees, administrative
Not all schools have same titles for hourly jobs so harder to compare. Crestwood’s union displays data in two ways - hourly wage and what it would be over the year. If you compare with other districts, we are doing well with our classified employee salaries.
Administrative and Exempt Employees are not unionized and at the mercy of how the other unions negotiate for any increase in salaries. If union get 2%, the Board has usually given this group an equal increase. To try and compare this group to other districts is very hard. You have to go to a district to ask them to provide salary schedule.
Kristen Cavanaugh says OpenPayroll.com does have superintendent and treasurer data and we are high or comparable to city schools. We are “neck and neck” with city schools for those jobs. She agreed that our teachers are lower.
Bonnie Lovejoy says “I don’t understand the whole the conversation because we can only pay what our community will allow us to pay” and if they raise salaries and the general fund can’t cover it, then they either have to have a levy or cut staff. “Where are we going to find the money?”
Todd Monroe responded “it’s my job or our job to answer, its [unintelligible] and Dave’s job to answer.” It’s worth exploring because “I am embarrassed for our teachers”. Automatically, when we put a levy out, the NO people would say “oh, those teachers make too much.” It’s my goal to show the public what a Crestwood teacher makes and how it compares to EVERYONE else and it’s embarrassing. We have a contract with each one of those teachers and classified staff. Our job to provide a good school a good place for them to teach kids. That’s our job.
Karen Schulz mentioned that Kristen had brought up the concern regarding the turnover.
Kristen Cavanaugh said that, yes, she was concerned. But there was a survey done by teachers/staff and pay was middle ranked. Honestly, it was lower. So, yes, pay is a concern but there are a lot of other things we need to do first. We were unaware of the survey - we only got our hands on it when a former employee, now community member, gave it to us.
Karen agrees that the 5 or 6 top concerns should be looked into more.
Kristen Cavanaugh said that when she young and a student at Crestwood, there were teachers that had her parents. They were here not because they made Aurora or Columbus salaries. There were here because they loved this district and they loved these kids. So we lost something.
Karen said that we need to frame this that money is one of the things that we need to address but there are other items. We need to see where we could find the money.
Kristen Cavanaugh says we need a new 5 year plan should we have an increase.
Todd circled back to Kristen’s comment regarding teachers from the long-time past to say that society has changed. Younger teachers (& all professionals) are looking to make more money are are willing to move for it. It is a part of work culture now.
Dave Toth says that there are a variety of reasons why teachers leave. We don’t lose teachers that pay the same - we lose them to places that pay SIGNIFICANTLY more. We do need to look at the environment, not discounting that. We need to come to grips with the fact that less people are going into education. The profession lost 600,000 teachers. The state of Ohio is losing many more to retirement in the coming years. What is going to happen is that districts are going to cherry pick teachers from other districts with signing bonuses, higher base. If you can’t find a math teacher, what do you do? It is a national issue. You have to be able to deal with those situations. If you lose a bus driver, you now have to have a kid on a bus for an hour and a half. All things that the Board needs to face.
Karen Schulz asks what’s the next step. Dave says that’s up to the Board. We can survey the teachers, we can get information. But it’s not just money. Maplewood has more money, but they also have to compete with the private sector with their instructors. The Board needs to consider how you’re going to recruit more staff, keep more staff. There is a whole other component with subs. If a teacher is out long-term, that’s just a body to replace them. How much learning loss is happening there? The community needs to understand the staffing issues and impacts on kids. Karen says we need to know what the Board can do next.
Tim Herron agreed that we need to look at salaries and other things as well.
Dave Toth reminded the Board that there are some items that come up on surveys that may not look like it would cost, but do have hidden costs on a district’s budget. It’s not just salaries that are a cost. Toth suggested that they could create a subcommittee with community, board, staff, teacher, etc involvement. Kristen suggested that it could be a small group that could do work, have discussions, and bring it back to the Board. Todd would like to revisit the survey response and talk more at the next meeting about next steps. Karen and Kristen will bring some next steps to the next meeting with the Treasurer bringing some data tables/guidance on impact to the 5 year forecast should you increase the salary base.
9. ADJOURNMENT - 8:54 pm