OTTAWA — While local schoolchildren were somewhere in the middle of
their sixth period or late lunch, the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce
luncheon April program was provided by Kathy Fruchey, Kevin Brinkman and
Jayson Selgo from Ottawa-Glandorf School District.
Superintendent Brinkman, who is retiring after 32 years in public
education with 23 of those years served at Ottawa-Glandorf, led the
school system update with an announcement of potential funding for all
Putnam County schools. He told the Chamber gathering that he had just
come from a meeting at the Putnam County Educational Service Center,
where he was working with other school districts in the county on an
application for an Ohio Department of Education Straight A grant.
County would be eligible for a $15 million dollar grant,” he announced.
“We presume the entire grant is available. What Putnam County is going
to go for is technology.”
Brinkman explained that he has seen
education change rapidly within the last few years. He anticipates that
it will change even more in the future. “Technology is taking
over—online courses, you hear that all the time. The grant that we are
going for will provide our students with online courses.”
to Brinkman, the county is honing in on specific areas for online
offerings. Credit recovery will allow junior and senior high school
students who have not received enough credits to graduate may earn
credits at the high school and through online classes. Course
enhancement will allow students to study a subject online, i.e. a
foreign language or science, that is not offered at the high school.
all over the state of Ohio are going to this. In the past, O-G really
hasn’t been on the cutting edge. But we really don’t want to be on the
bleeding edge, either,” he said.
Brinkman also shared 2013
achievement test results for the O-G school system. As reported by the
ODE on O-G’s “Local Grade Card”, O-G students met 24 indicators out of a
possible 24, achieved a 100 percent four-year graduation rate and
received a 102.8 performance index score. The maximum score that can be
received is 120. Areas that still need improvement are gifted student
performance and getting students in the lowest 20 percent of
achievement, those who are economically disadvantaged and special needs
students on individual education plans, to the next level.
“Academically, we’re doing fantastic,” said Brinkman.
the O-G school district is down 233 students since the 2001-2002 school
year, but the numbers are starting to come back up. Brinkman feels this
growth will be a trend as enrollment in the elementary schools are up.
Open enrollment is also allowing students who live in other school
districts to attend O-G schools.
Demographically, 22.5 percent of
O-G students live in poverty. Statewide, that percentage climbs to 44, a
statistic that gave Brinkman and the lunch crowd pause.
district treasurer Kathy Fruchey shared where the school system is
currently compared to historic financial figures as well as what may
happen in the future. She noted that there are three revenue sources for
O-G. Property values, or real estate taxes, is at the legal minimum of
20 mils. Estimated income tax collection for 2014 is $1, 121,000, a
change of 6.6 percent. The largest contributor, according to Fruchey, is
“Every governor we’ve had has come up with his own
formula for funding, the one that’s really going to work for
everybody,” said Fruchey. “In 2005, we had $5.3 million in revenue
coming from the state. Today we have $5.24. You might say that’s less,
but on a per student basis, we’ve generated an increase of three
quarters of a percent per student per year. There’s a lot of fluctuation
built into the public formula. I think at this point, it’s just really
uncertain with state funding. I think we have to always be aware of