The Barnesville Exempted Village Board of Education heard a presentation on the district's new pre-school program at the Thursday, Dec. 11 meeting.

At the request of Elementary School Principal Angela Hannahs, pre-school teachers Angie and Heidi presented the board with a power point program detailing the program.

"I think the program is incredible," Principal Hannahs said. "It operates like ti has been in place for years," she said, noting that she has a son in the program.

The pre-school teachers said the program consists of two classes - an a.m. class for four-year-olds and a p.m. class for three-year-old students. The a.m. class has a maximum capacity of 24 students and the p.m. class has 18 students.

"We look for the p.m. class to fill-up next year," Angie said. "I believe the program will have a long-term effect on the future of the Barnesville School District.

The teachers showed the board many of the tools the two classes utilize including: literacy boards; balance beam and hopscotch rug; listening center; tables for large and small group work; circle time; literature center; dramatic play area; LCD projector; computer center; chalk table; magnetic literacy wall; six-person art easel and Lego table.

The teachers showed pictures of many activities the classes have participated in so far this year, including a community activity of decorating the village Christmas tree with hand-made ornaments.

The teachers told board members that the students have the opportunity to have weekly music, art and gym classes.

Following the presentation board member Robert Miller said, "You (on the board) know I have pushed very hard for a pre-school program. I believe so strongly that if the students have a strong foundation, they will build on it."

"It is important to note that a lot of the wonderful equipment in the classroom is because of many great grants," Superintendent Randy Lucas said. "It is unfortunate that not all of our programs are that well-funded."

In the public participation portion of the meeting, the board was updated on the senior class trip plans by senior class co-adviser Nate Kerns. Kerns said he and Heather Eberhart have planned a trip to New York for participating students that includes a ticket to a Broadway show. Kerns said 28 students are going on the trip with four chaperons. He said after money from the class treasury is applied, each student will have a remaining balance of $197.50 to be paid in two installments.

Board member Scott Baker reported on a recent Building and Grounds Committee meeting held Dec. 9.

Baker said the school district has made a purchase offer on a house located across from the district office. He said the house would be torn down and the property will be used for additional parking. The resolution to purchase the property and the corresponding purchase order for $20,000 was approved by the board at the Dec. 11 meeting.

In another real estate matter, Baker said the renter of the board-owned house by the high school had asked for a 30-day extension. The house is expected to be removed by February and replaced with additional parking space.

He said alternative ways of de-icing school sidewalks were being explored.

Baker said new concrete was recently poured at the middle school.

A new sign at the elementary school will be installed soon with brick work to be done in the spring.

Baker said the committee is working on Jared's Law requirements involving the district's Haz-mat plan from an inspection that occurred a year ago.

Baker said water is leaking from a flat section of roof in the hallway near the elementary school gymnasium. Also at the elementary school, an old section of playground equipment dubbed "Natureville" has been blocked off from student use do to hazardous conditions and will be removed in the future. Baker said Maintenance Supervisor Jay Tingle is now a listened playground inspector. He and Principal Hannahs have been asked to look into funding new equipment.

In other business, the board:

* Approved Becky Hopkins as a substitute Elementary School After-School Detention Monitor.

* Approved Sally McDonnel as a substitute teacher.

* Approved Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 2 p.m. for high school graduation, assuming the district has no more than five calamity days. Should the district have more than five calamity days, graduation will be held May 30 at 5:30 p.m.

* Accepted the resignation of Nick Saffield as football offensive coordinator; Eric Kerns as head softball coach and Josh Moore as assistant softball coach.

* Approved the G.A.T.E. trip to Columbus on March 8-10, 2009 to participate in the Junior Ohio Model United Nations Leadership program and the G.A.T.E. trip to Salt Fork Lodge on April 3, 2009 to participate in the Eastern Ohio Summit Leadership program.

* Approved the annual OSBA membership due for 2009.

* Approved &9,942 for the cost of the senior class trip (to be paid for from the senior class fund).

The board approved a $20 donation from Roger and Judy Wehr to the high school arts program.

The following grants from the Barnesville Area Education Foundation were approved:

* $300 to Teacher of the Year;

* $862.50 to the middle school student response kit;

* $12.347.41 to the high school auditorium sound system;

* $840 to the sixth grade Eastern Ohio Summit;

* $1,000 G.A.T.E.-OMUN;

* $1,620 to first through fourth grade field trips and;

* $1,000 to the elementary school RIF program.