By HOWARD BALABAN email@example.com
Medina Journal-Register — The recent assessments in Ridgeway and Shelby combined to help boost the overall assessment in the Medina Central School district.
Originally, the Medina Central School Board decided to keep the district’s tax levy the same for 2013-2014 as it was in 2012-2013. The tax rate was set to be an average of $24.32 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Because of the increased assessments, the board on Tuesday decided to decrease the tax levy by one percent to $9,044,280. The rate will now be $23.85.
The approved levy decrease was discussed at length. Since projecting the amount of state aid is “difficult” to do, according to Sharon Zacher, school district business administrator said the decrease was an option. However, making it an annual thing is something she cautioned against because it would mean tapping into the reserves of the district.
Board member Chris Keller said this year presented the board with a unique opportunity to decrease taxes, and it should take the tax levy and rate on a case by case basis going forward.
He added the district is on the right track, moving toward “getting our financial house in order.”
In other board news, Superintendent Jeff Evoy praised the efforts of teachers in grades three through eight in the district, as state wide test scores showed Medina’s students scored favorably when compared to other schools of similar size and demographic makeup.
Evoy noted the district’s scores improved by seven percent from the previous year.
Additionally, Evoy said he is waiting to hear on two separate grants. One would go toward science and technology, while another would go toward professional development.
Earlier in the meeting, the board heard a report on the summer reading program at Oak Orchard Elementary School. The program was deemed a success by school principal Dan Doctor.
The reading program helped keep younger students from suffering a summer lapse in what they had learned this past school year. It lasted from July 8 to August 8, allowing students and families time off after the school year to relax and before the next school year for family vacations.
Doctor suggested a math component should be added to the program in the future. He also praised the district’s transportation department for its work in getting 80 percent of the participating students to school.
Evoy thanked the board for approving the funding for the program, as it “showed foresight” in promoting literacy to younger students.
Also on Tuesday night, the board approved a $15,000 contract with an athletic trainer, who will be on hand for some of the highest concussion-risk sports, namely football, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and wrestling. A full-time trainer was estimated to cost $49,000. The trainer is set to be at about 70 sporting events and available after school one day a week.