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Lakewood approves three percent raises

HEBRON – La k ewo d d Board of Education members approved several personnel recommendations at their April 11 business meeting, including a three-percent salary increase for teachers, classified employees, administrators and supervisory personnel for the 2007-08 school year.S

uperintendent Jay Gault said after the meeting that the agreement was negotiated last summer with the assumption that voters would approve a levy in May 2007. The board now plans, instead, to go to voters with an issue in November. Gault said nothing else changed in the negotiated agreement.

Classified and certified staff contracts were renewed, and board members also approved non-certified substitute and seasonal help pay scales for 2007-08. Substitute teachers at Lakewood will get $5 more a day, as well, for a total of $85 a day next year. Gault said that amount brings them to the county average.

Board members also supported recommendations regarding the Lakewood Digital Academy, which will support a Director of Operations on a salaried teacher’s schedule, rather than at an hourly rate, in 2007-08. Current Director Eva Pound-Bickle was hired as Lakewood Digital Academy Director, with her salary and that of digital academy student assistant specialist Randy Miller being reimbursed 100 percent by the digital academy.

Director of Pupil Services Arnie Ettenhofer said parents of students affected by the up-coming elementary realignment will soon receive a colored pamphlet with general information and answers to commonly asked questions.

Lakewood will educate all students in the same grade level in the same building, beginning this fall. Kindergarteners, first and second graders will attend school in Hebron, while third through fifth graders will attend Jackson Intermediate.

Ettenhofer said the realignment task force will meet again on May 16 at Hebron Elementary. Meanwhile, Ettenhofer said

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administrators, teachers and a transportation committee are re-thinking everything from start times and pick-up points to classroom philosophies as they approach what Ettenhofer refers to as “a time of change.”

In other business, board members:

+ Approved a contract with the Licking County Educational Service Center for special education related services for 2007-08. Treasurer Glenna Plaisted said the district has spent about $165,000 for those services during the current school year but she did not know yet how student needs will stack up for next year.

+ Heard from parents of a kindergarten student who had specific concerns with bussing procedures, particularly regarding a drop-off incident. They will pursue those concerns at the bus garage, at the recommendation of board members. Board member Judy White offered to sit in on that meeting with the parents.

+ Approved a detailed plan presented by high school students to hold a charity video game tournament (see related sidebar story).

+ Approved the donation of $1,063 from the Hebron Elementary PTO for library books.

The board’s next regular meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on May 9 in the high school library.

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