MARTINS FERRY – The school year is wrapping up and the Martins Ferry City School District is looking ahead to educational needs for the 2023-24 school year, and some additional programs and expenses are expected.

Treasurer Dana Garrison addressed the Board of Education on Tuesday and reported that the expected 5% increase in health insurance will likely be higher.

“We have some initial information here and we’re looking at very good potential for a significant increase. I normally would estimate 5% per year, but based on some information we’ve been getting from[the Portage Area School Consortium]it looks like we’re in the high range, so it could be from 7%. increased to 14.8% increase,” Garrison said.

She added that 7% would be an additional $230,000, and 14.8% would be an additional $487,000. Garrison said that 7% would mean an addition of $65,000 on top of the expected 5%.

She said she expected to know more after the consortium meeting tomorrow.

“We should get pricing soon for next year. That’s something we have to keep in mind as we think about using actors for next year and the costs to come. It’s going to go up a little bit more than it has been in the last few years,” he said. Garrison said.

Board member James Agnew asked what prompted the increase. Garrison said claims to the area have increased.

Agnew asked if these included illnesses and accidents. Prescriptions also drive up costs, Garrison said.

Garrison said the district uses the Schwendeman Agency insurance broker.

“They have many different design plans,” She said.

Elsewhere, Superintendent Jim Fogle said the elementary school principal was asking to create a new teaching position for keyboard, basic computer skills, and science, technology, engineering, and math. An additional intervention specialist may also be required to work with kindergarten and first grade students.

The high school requests a second guidance counselor to oversee new graduation requirements such as industry-recognized credentials, pre-apprenticeship programs and exam requirements to obtain those certifications. Board members note that there have been two guidance counselors in previous years.

Fogle also reports that it is looking at estimates for baseball and softball fields in the area. He is also looking at a possible survey of the road leading to the campus.

The board also heard from Lisa Klevitch, after-hours academy site coordinator for after-school activities. She said that engagement among middle school students has been strong.

“We started the year with 40, and now we still have 20, which is good because sports and everything starts now, spring sports,” She said. “Their reading and math scores have gone up, and that’s the point.

“Mathematics is a little bit harder. They don’t make as big leaps in math as they do in reading, but they did raise their grades,” she says. She said.

Klevitch said she uses government testing programs to measure their performance at the beginning of the year compared to now and has found that the majority have improved.

“It tests them. It tests their level, and if they do well, it makes the content more difficult.” She said.

Recent events included a field trip to the Belmont County 911 call center to get a look at how emergency responses are coordinated.

a summer fun camp It will also be made available to students who have completed the programme. Events include topgolf, Urban Air Trampoline Park, bowling, and Allen’s Pool at St. Clairsville/Richland Township Memorial.

“We have a really cool and fun educational summer school camp we’re taking them in the first two weeks of June” She said. “We have a lot of things planned.”

Next year, she said, is the final year of the five-year program, made possible by grant money from the federal 21st Century Grant.

“I hope we do so well and our numbers look really good, that when they rewrite the scholarship, we’ll have it again.” She said.

The board went to a very short, closed executive session for employment issues, and later went to another closed session for about an hour and a half to have a meeting with an attorney for disputes with the public body that is the subject of pending or imminent court action.

The last day of school will be May 26th. Graduation will be on May 28th.

A working session will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 11, immediately prior to the regular Board meeting, to discuss special education, buildings, land, and curriculum.

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