TANF Officer helping curb student absences

At the February 2023 New Richmond Exempted Village School District Board of Education meeting, Special Education/Pupil Services Director John Frye gave an update on the first semester work put in by Doug Flamm, the district’s Truancy and Needy Family (TANF) Officer.

“Our approach was to tackle truancy and poor school attendance,” Frye said. “Those are the leading indicators of maladjustment and social dysfunction in a child becoming at-risk…Bad things happen when kids start missing school when they’re young.” 

During the first semester of this school year, Flamm intervened with 78 students a total of 400 times. Twenty of those students are no longer enrolled in the district.

Of the remaining 58, a total of 55 (95 percent) are attending school and being monitored. 

Attendance at all four buildings increased over the previous first semester. Locust Corner attendance jumped from 88.7 percent to 93 percent, an increase of 4.85 percent overall.

“We’ve seen a three to four or five percent increase in each building, and we really want to celebrate that,” Frye said.

Frye also shared specific examples of Flamm utilizing resources throughout the county to help families with needs ranging from housing and food to counseling and assistance with paperwork.

“It’s not just being a truancy officer,” Frye said. “It’s not just rattling doors and saying you have to get your kid over to school.”

Frye’s full report is available online here.

Several new policies receive first reading

The next step in the possible arming of staff members in the New Richmond Exempted Village School District was taken during the district’s February board meeting on Tuesday, February 20.

A new district-wide weapons policy, which can be read in full here, received a first reading at the meeting. Adopting that policy would allow the district to craft specific guidelines on which staff members can carry a weapon, the amount of training required to carry and how often that training should take place.

During a 20 minute discussion, several board members offered their thoughts on the policy and how it would be implemented in the district. 

“This is another layer of protection to keep our most valuable people in this school district safe,” board president Jonathan Zimmerman said.

Board member Robert Wooten was in favor of adopting the policy as long as the district sets clear guidelines.

“Putting in another layer is certainly healthy under the right measures,” Wooten said. “We’re going to be methodical about who we put in, what kind of training they get. All of that is going to be spelled out.”

Specific requirements for staff members would be determined at a later date by the district’s administration after the official adoption of the policy. 

Other new policies and guidelines allowed for the creation of an athletic council and adjusted how the district handles calamity days/remote learning days.

One of the guidelines spells out the criteria for adding a new school to the district. Another officially designates the athletic council as a board committee.

“[The athletic council] has really done some great things for our kids, our coaches and our buildings,” Superintendent Tracey Miller said. 

Another change is due to a new three-day limit on the amount of blizzard bag days school districts are allowed in a year. 

“I think there was a thinking in Columbus that some districts, not us, played a little fast and loose with remote days,” Mr. Miller said. 

To date, New Richmond has used one remote learning day and two calamity days.

February Leading Lions

Several Monroe Elementary students and staff members were honored for their work at Monroe’s Kindness Café. Read more about their accomplishments here

Treasurer’s Update

New Richmond Exempted Village School District Treasurer Mathew Prichard offered a financial update at the board meeting, noting the district is a touch below where it expected to be in terms of spending at this point in the school year.

“We’re at 58 percent of the year and we’ve spent about 54 percent of our expenditures, what we expected to,” Mr. Prichard said. “So we’re a little under that, which is good. That’s a good barometer to see where we are.”

The district also received the second half of its Ohio casino money, an amount around $132,000. 

Additionally, the treasurer’s office accepted a pair of donations: $310 in concession donations to the New Richmond High School Band and an $8,000 donation to the Diana M. Spinnati Scholarship Fund from KSL Charities & Scholarships.

2023/2024 School Calendar

The first reading of the calendar for the next school year occurred at the February meeting. A draft version of the calendar can be viewed online here

The 2023/2024 school year is tentatively scheduled to begin with a staggered start on Thursday, August 17 and Friday, August 18. All students are in session for the first time on Monday, August 21.

Next Meeting

The March meeting of the New Richmond Exempted Village Board of Education is Monday, March 21, 2023. Executive session begins at 5 p.m. with the public meeting to follow immediately after.


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