Jerry Hutton, Ph. D. of Clean Fuels Ohio presented the Barnesville Exempted Village School District Board of Education with information about converting school buses to natural gas.

The Barnesville Exempted Village School District Board of Education met Thursday, Feb. 14 and passed a resolution in support of the Community Recreation Center Feasibility Study. At its Monday, Feb. 11 meeting, Barnesville Village Council also passed Resolution 3598 authorizing Poggemeyer Design Group to submit an application for a Local Government Innovation Fund grant to be used for a feasibility study for a proposed community recreation center. Representatives of Poggemeyer presented council with details of the grant at a January 28 meeting. Council also heard from Economic Development Director William Knox, as well as several community members who presented a petition in support of the center.

The Village will be the lead partner on the application, and the study will be done in a cooperative agreement with the school district, Barnesville Hospital and Warren Township.

The school district successfully applied for an LGIF for its 21st Century Learning Grant.

Superintendent Randy Lucas said that Poggemeyer sent him a rough draft of the grant application and asked the district to provide information showing how it had worked with other community entities in the past. Lucas said examples included the 21st Century Learning Grant in which the district has worked with Barnesville Hospital and Barnesville Hutton Memorial Library and the districts partnership with the village to fund a school resource officer.

Bobbi Jo Johnson and others attending the meeting asked the board, community members and business owners to show support for the center. Johnson said she attended a recent meeting and felt the feasibility study was the next logical step.

The board accepted the retirement of high school principal Jeff Crosier, effective Sept. 1.

Superintendent Lucas read the board a letter from the head coach of the Buckeye Local basketball team, praising the players, coaches, fans and custodial staff for making the team feel welcome at a home game last week. Lucas said the letter expressed gratitude for an after-game meal provided to the team, as well as the team, band and fan spirit and good sportsmanship showed to the visitors. The letter also detailed the helpfulness and the custodial staffs cleanliness of the school. Lucas said the school made a good impression on the coach and he wanted to publicly thank everyone as well.

Jerry Hutton, Ph D. of Clean Fuels Ohio presented the board with information about converting school buses to natural gas. Accompanying Hutton was Joe Stenger, owner of Stenger Trucking in Barnesville, who has been working with Clean Fuels Ohio to convert his fleet of trucks to natural gas. Stenger said the company hopes to have all trucks be bi-fuel by 2015. Im a firm believer in natural gas and see nothing but benefit, Stenger told the board. After the presentation and many questions from the board, Lucas and district bus mechanic John Weiss, it was agreed to look into the process further.

Lucas informed the board that he was approached by Barnesville Police Chief David Norris and J.B. Holliday to provide a gun safety program to district students. The board, after hearing the opinions of the elementary and middle school principals, agreed to allow the preventative program, with the stipulation that parents have the option to exempt their children from the program. Lucas said his only concern was that the program is endorsed by the National Rifle Association and he felt some people would be sensitive to that fact. Norris told Lucas he had presented that program in the past and there would be no weapons involved. The program would be for elementary and middle school students. Board President Robert Miller said the preventive program, which would teach children what to do if they encounter a fire arm, was a good thing.

Lucas said the Ohio School Board Associations Spring Conference for the Southeast Region will be Thursday, March 7 at the Belmont Career Center in St. Clairsville.

Lucas also informed the board that the Belmont County Spelling Bee will be Thursday, Feb. 28 in the Ohio University Eastern theater at 7 p.m. Lucas said Belmont County students were lucky to have a bee affiliated with Scripps that gave them the opportunity to advance to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. He said many other counties do not have that opportunity.

Lucas informed board members that they would be receiving invitations to upcoming winter sports banquets. He said this year, the winter sports coaches followed the fall sports in holding individual awards banquets so that parents of athletes in one sport did not have to sit through an entire program.

He said another item discussed at a recent athletic council meeting was possible upgrades to the high school gym, paid for by local donors. He said the scoreboard was one of the areas of the gym that was discussed as needing to be replaced.

Lucas said the council also discussed a request by coaches to received pay for attending clinics and professional development courses.

Administrators gave reports. High School Principal Jeff Crosier reported that scheduling for next year with begin soon, with special attention being paid to changes in math requirements for next year. He said students will take the Ohio Graduation Test in March.

Middle School Principal Julie Erwin said special needs students are being scheduled first and the last practice Ohio Achievement Assessment test was being taken this week. She said preparations were being made for changes in teacher evaluations at both the middle and high school levels.

Elementary School Principal Angela Hannahs said assessments and practice OAAs were being done at her buildings also. She said teachers were being prepared for new pre-school and music and arts standards. Hannahs presented the board with copies of a new student-generated newsletter. She and Erwin also talked about how much the students in the after school programs were enjoying the programs with the hospital and library.

Support Services Director Jonathan Rockwell said he recently attended a conference. He told board members that the district was light years ahead of many larger, richer districts in terms of school safety.

Rockwell said some districts didnt even have key pad entry systems.

You should be pleased with how far you as a board and we as a district have come, he said.

Under treasurers items, the board also approved a donation of $240 to the FFA Program from the Barnesville/Woodsfield Veterinary Services and a then and now purchase order in the amount of $4,077 for OSBA annual membership dues.

The board also approved Treasurer Matt Kings recommendation to advertise for the purchase of school bus for the 2013-14 school year. Purchase order in the amount of $6,035.31 to Sargus Juvenile Center was also approved. The board also approved a purchase order of $24,690.34 for annual workers compensation premiums due to the Bureau of Workers Compensation and a $10,000 purchase order to East Central Ohio Educational Service Center for fiscal year 2013 occupational therapy and Belmont County Alternative Program services.

Sealed bids were accepted for weight equipment previously used in the high school weight room.

The board approved the following personnel items:

Jayme Detling as assistant boys track coach;

John Blattler and Samantha Jefferis as volunteer assistant softball coaches;

Devin Stephen and Randy Stephen as volunteer assistant baseball coaches;

Melissa Dodd and Gilbert Dodd as volunteer assistant track coaches;

Chelsey Christman as a substitute teacher and

Jane Butler and Carissa Wiggins as substitute aides and secretaries.

The board approved Saturday, April 27, 2013 as the date for the high school after-prom, organized and planned by the Barnesville Mothers Club.