Created on Tuesday, 18 December 2012 Written by SUE PITTS
It was a meeting filled with highs and lows Monday as the Benjamin Logan Board of Education opened the session with a moment of silence for the victims of the Sandy Hook School shooting Friday.
Ben Logan remembers Sandy Hook victims
It was an irregular start to Monday’s regular meeting of the Benjamin Logan Board of Education, with a somber President Bill Ramsey leading the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a moment of silence for the victims of Friday’s Sandy Hook School shooting.
“Out of respect, I don’t quite know what to say,” he began solemnly. “Our thoughts and our prayers continue to be with the people of Sandy Hook.”
Mr. Ramsey continued by sharing a correspondence dispersed Monday by Superintendent Lori Lytle, who spent the better part of her day reviewing district emergency plans and corresponding with Sheriff Andrew Smith on related matters. He said her message to the staff said it better than he ever could.
“The Benjamin Logan school district, Board of Education and administration are heartbroken for the school community in Sandy Hook,” she said.
“We take all threats seriously here and work very closely with our own law enforcement personnel,” Ms. Lytle assured.
High school principal Mark Butler took the opportunity to announce a student-organized day of remembrance Wednesday in which the student body will don green and white apparel, the colors of Sandy Hook Schools. Mr. Butler said he was taken aback by the initiative students took in honoring their counterparts.
He said it was all their idea and a testament to the character of district students.
After reflecting on the tragedy, administrators talked about the district’s responsibility to ensure the staff and students are prepared for such an emergency.
Superintendent Lori Lytle assured every measure is being taken to keep everyone trained on proper lock down and/or evacuation procedures, with drills conducted and plans updated as needed.
CLICK HERE to read a letter from Ben Logan Superintendent Lori Lytle to the district's staff members regarding the Sandy Hook tragedy.
In his report to the board, high school principal Mark Butler announced a student-led day of remembrance in which the student body will wear green and white, the colors of Sandy Hook School, in honor of the victims.
The mood lightened dramatically with middle school principal Debra Johnson’s announcement that her building was recognized by the Battelle for Kids foundation for being in the top two percent of high achieving buildings in the state. (See related story.)
Elementary school principal Shari Rice outlined Bucket Filling, a new anti-bullying campaign for the district’s youngest pupils.
Bucket Filling encourages the children to fill others’ “buckets” by being kind, instead of being a “bucket dipper” by being mean and bullying others.
High school teachers Jill McKelvey and LuAnn Schmitmeyer introduced the “Flipping Teaching” program, a 10-year-old technology-based concept developed in Colorado that the pair recently became aware of during a recent teaching conference.
In this program, the teachers will videotape themselves delivering 15-minute lessons that can be uploaded for student use out of the classroom, giving students additional “face time” with teachers while at home or anywhere they have access to a computer and laying the groundwork for classroom work.
“For example, say (the student) is on his way to Tipp City. What a perfect opportunity. He can watch me all the way to Tipp City,” Ms. Schmitmeyer quipped, and be ready for class the next day.
The teachers said they plan to implement the plan during the second semester and forewarned board members that they will be receiving via e-mail a sample lesson and will be “tested” at the February meeting.
“We’ll know if you watched it,” they challenged the board.
In other matters, the board authorized, approved or accepted:
• unpaid medical leave for elementary school custodian Tara Johnson, effective Nov. 27;
• $100 stipends to 19 staff members for serving the Student Learning Objective Review Committee, to be paid from grants;
• $100 stipend to Jessica Hilbun and $175 for Jill Hughes for Google Training, paid for with grant funds;
• Michelle Lane as high school plays director;
• membership in the Logan County Area Chamber of Commerce, $146 annual dues;
• a $332.53 donation from the music booster for audio visual equipment in the music department;
• a $4,000 donation from the American Dairy Association Midwest for the Ben Logan FCCLA healthy eating and physical activity project;
• $500 McDonald’s MAC Grant for the middle school and $283.80 MAC Grant for Alana LeMaster to purchase a speech/language tool kit for students;
• a $400 donation from Zoldak Farms for the FFA;
• a $1,000 donation from John Deere Corporate Citizenship Center of Excellence for students working at the Farm Science Review;
• Bellefontaine Tractor Supply Co. donations of $1,000 for tractor paint for the FFA and district, $2,500 in loose hand tools, $1,500 in shelves, screws, bolts and other miscellaneous items for the FFA and district, and the use of two tents for the district Ag Day; and
• the volunteer coaching services of Michael Coder, indoor boys and girls track and field.
The board also approved the two-hour delay schedule for OGT testing March 11-15.
No action was taken following an executive session to discuss a legal issue.
The board meets to reorganize for 2013 at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, with current president Bill Ramsey seated as president pro tempore. The regular January meeting was tentatively set for 7 p.m. Jan. 21, to be confirmed at the Jan. 7 meeting.