Sidney School Board focused on community engagement

Sidney School Board members Matt McLaren and Alisha Ettleman listen to reports at the Dec. 17 meeting.

The Sidney School Board discussed comments they had heard or seen regarding proposed facility changes at their Dec. 17 meeting.

Sidney School Superintendent Tim Hood started the conversation by asking the school board for ideas of ways to get more people to attend the community engagement meetings the district has been holding to inform the public and seek their input on facility changes. Board members said they were sharing posts about the meetings on Facebook, putting ads in the papers, talking about them on KMA, having articles written about them and posting flyers about the meetings in high traffic businesses. They didn’t know how else to reach the public.

Jen Maher, Business Manager, said she thought the Facebook posts were getting the most traffic. Board members said some of the comments they had received were:

concerns about how much money would be spent on the football field;

 a desire to leave the football field where it is;

questions about how much a new CTE building would cost, and

several people were concerned about the school’s enrollment numbers if Hamburg stopped sending high school students to Sidney.

Hood explained there were about 30 students tuitioned-in from Hamburg, and Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) money doesn’t follow them. He repeated his belief that if those students left Sidney would still have sufficient student enrollment and finances to justify and afford facility changes.

Hood advised the board the school still does not have a contract with Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture (APMA), the firm working on new facility design, but work continues.

In other business, the board approved:

applying for modified supplemental aid for dropout prevention in the amount of $26,568;

signing the Corner Conference Participation Agreement again for the year;

the resignation of a part-time and full-time cook, with regrets;

sharing Aaron Lang as Media Specialist with East Mills nine days per year, and

board members Alisha Ettleman and Shad Smith negotiating with the teachers’ association.

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