2015, december, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews, westerville

Board gives Kellogg, Griffith updated contracts


The top two leaders in the Westerville City School District each received a thumbs-up and a revised contract from the school board.
The school board Nov. 23 gave Superintendent John Kellogg a new five-year contract and amended his current contract as the result of a positive performance evaluation.
Kellogg received a 3 percent raise, which is retroactive to Aug. 1 and runs through July 31, 2016, when his current contract expires. His new contract covers Aug. 1, 2016, through July 31, 2021.
Kellogg’s previous annual salary of $190,550 is now $196,266.50. Information about the value of his benefits was not available.
According to information from the district, Kellogg will continue to pay 10 percent of his required contribution to the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio. The district pays the remainder, now 3 percent.
Also, Kellogg’s required number of workdays dropped from 260 to 245 per year, and his number of vacation days went from 25 to 10 per year. He may work up to an additional 15 optional days per year at his per-diem rate.
Treasurer Bart Griffith’s contract also was amended, retroactive to Aug. 1, through its expiration of July 31, 2018. He also received a positive performance evaluation.
Griffith received an additional five days of vacation, for a total of 15 days, and a $10,000 district-paid annuity.
His current salary of $168,243 per year did not change.
Griffith will pay his own Medicare expenses; the amount previously paid by the district will become part of his salary. Sick-day severance calculations changed from 62 days in fiscal year 2016 to 52 days in fiscal 2017 and beyond, according to the district.
“Both men save us money daily, and we want to keep them as long as possible. They are the best in the business and are very concerned with saving the taxpayers money,” said board member Carol French.
The contracts were approved unanimously as part of the consent agenda for personnel items.
Land buy, curriculum
Also Nov. 23, the board agreed to purchase the property at 755 Sunbury Road. The 0.88-acre lot is adjacent to Central College Elementary School.
The district will pay Judith Holtzapfel $105,600 for the property, which includes a 993-square-foot house built in 1919, and will plant three spruce trees.
The sale price matches the current market value listed by the Franklin County Auditor’s Office.
Officials said the property would be available to be zoned for school use should the need for a new school arise.
The board also reviewed the district’s curriculum adoption process last week.
Jen Knapp, director of curriculum and instruction, presented information about the revised curriculum and instructional-materials adoption process.
The curriculum, divided by grade level and subject, will be written and developed in a four-step process reviewed every three to four years.
Based on teacher, student and parent feedback, the curriculum could be adjusted.
All courses of study will be available for review online and in print at the Westerville Public Library.
The curriculum is developed by a council comprising half teachers and half administrators. Usually, one person from each academic department and new members are selected each year.
Board member Nancy Nestor-Baker praised the process, its transparent structure and focus on teachers’ and parents’ voices.
Board member Rick Vilardo said he is pleased with the new process.
“It seems to me that in a very thorough way, we have laid out a great road map that will allow us to look at data and get significant input from all the stakeholders,” he said. “This will help us meet the needs of all our learners.”
During the superintendent’s report, Kellogg addressed the preliminary state test results that had been released the previous week. He said individual student results would be available soon.
Students exceeded state averages on all given tests except American Government, Kellogg said. This test was voluntary and did not affect students’ ability to graduate.
“There is still no excuse for Westerville students to not meet the state average on any test,” he said. “Good curriculum and instruction is test-proof. We will build a system that is test-proof.”
In other business:
* The school board unanimously approved the 2016-17 academic calendar.
Ninety-one people provided feedback during a 30-day comment period. Most comments focused around the timing of winter break, spring break and the start date of school.
The district will start school one week later, in the third rather than the second full week of August, but the amount of instructional time will not change.
* French was recognized by her colleagues for her four years of service on the board. She did not seek re-election, and her term ends at the end of the year. She served as a finance liaison and was part of the district’s effort to keep a reserve in the budget.
* The board is scheduled to meet next for a retreat at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 14 at 936 Eastwind Drive.

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