ANTWERP — The Antwerp Local Board of Education briefly discussed its latest report card from the Ohio Department of Education during Thursday’s regular session.
The district received a B average from the state.
While superintendent Martin Miller was pleased with the progress the school has made, he believed the letter grade system in itself was flawed. “The letter grade (is) not too impressive,” he said, stating that most schools rate higher the fewer percentage of children are on free and reduced lunch programs, for example.
Miller also notified the board about an upcoming visit from Discovery Education.
Self-described as the global leader in standards-based digital content, the East Coast-based organization will send representatives to Antwerp Local Schools on Nov. 7. Technology-based businesses and industries from the area will be asked to attend as well.
A STEM-based business and leadership forum will be held at the school that day, during which time the representatives will tour the building and observe how the STEM program is being used in Antwerp.
The end result, Miller hoped, was that all involved will see how Antwerp is utilizing the programs and how the students can help each other.
The board also heard about a computer program which grants school staff the ability to keep track of how students are using their computers at school. The program alerts staff if any messages of questionable intent are sent via the internet, including words such as “depression” or “suicide.” However, it would not alert staff if a student were, for example, doing a report on depression for class.
The system can also determine where students are in the building.
A weekly printout can be addressed to parents, revealing to them what their children are doing on the net.
In other business, the board:
• heard from school resource officer Caleb Miller of the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office. Miller gave a brief presentation on his duties at school, including checks of the school perimeter and interior, classroom visits, searches, service checks, and even an arrest last year. Miller also has taken part in almost 200 school counseling sessions with students. Miller goes to school resource officer school for training.
• heard a building and grounds report from Andrew Messman, who said the following projects have been completed or are in the works: fixing the concrete levels of uneven sidewalks, working on water accumulation problems at the football field, installation of larger storage sheds on the track and ball fields, upgrading the press box, ordering new permanent trash cans at sports areas, sprucing up softball field bleachers, and converting fryers’ power sources from propane to natural gas. A project to build a new concession stand is 98 percent complete. However, Messman and Miller, among others, reported having problems with Richland Roofing, which has repeatedly pushed back a start date for fixing the school’s roof.
• noted other projects, including new security cameras and WiFi to the concession stand, the addition of fiber optic cable to the press box and concession stand, and the installation of new bus cameras.
• heard the homecoming bonfire will be Oct. 3, with the game on Oct. 4 and the dance from 8-11 p.m. Oct. 5.
• was reminded of the Ohio School Boards Association’s capital conference, on Nov. 10-12 in Columbus.
• heard that the student body continues to show an increase in numbers, with 770 currently enrolled. The seventh-grade class, with 72 students, is the largest in the school, with the fourth grade the smallest at 32. It was also revealed that 25 Antwerp juniors and 11 seniors attend Vantage Career Center.
• praised the boys and girls golf teams, both of which placed second in recent GMC competition. The teams will go on to districts next week.
• spoke of a recent tribute to George Hetrick, who has raised the flag at home games for 36 years. A placard has been installed at the flagpole in his honor.
• discussed upcoming events, including fall pictures next week, the fall band show at 7 p.m. Sept. 28, and the annual PTO fundraiser Sept. 30.