Sandusky Schools asks for input

Rebuilding or renovating school facilities can be a divisive discussion among educators.
Alissa Widman Neese
Jul 17, 2013

 

Before Sandusky Schools officials make any decisions on the matter for their district, they’re asking community members to provide input at a series of upcoming public discussions.
 
At their meeting Monday, school board members released a statement regarding the plan, called “Summer Conversation on the Future of our Schools.” The dates and times for preliminary discussions will be listed soon on the district’s website. Anyone can attend.  
 
“We’re seeking input and feedback from all segments of the community,” board president Faith Denslow said. Superintendent Eugene Sanders stressed Sandusky Schools has not yet made any decisions, but it’s important to start talking informally about the possibilities.   
 
The district could seek assistance from the Ohio School Facilities Commission, a state organization that provides partial funding for construction or renovation projects it oversees, Sanders said. It could also assess community input and decide it’s not necessary to update its facilities at this time. No matter what the outcome, academic plans will determine facility needs, he said.   
 
“We don’t want to build facilities and then build our academic plan around those,” Sanders said. “We want a strong, dynamic, viable education plan to determine what facilites we need to match that plan. That will lead the conversation moving forward.”   
 
The district will first meet with a select group of community leaders Wednesday morning, he said.   
 
In other business, board members officially accepted assistant superintendent Dennis Muratori’s resignation Monday and hired David Danhoff as his replacement. 
 
Also at the meeting, state Rep. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, gave a brief presentation to board members regarding the state budget’s impact on public schools. Gardner praised Sandusky Schools officials for their desire to find innovative ways to educate children, including the district’s new gifted school slated to open in August. More than 100 fourthgraders through sixthgraders have already enrolled, Sanders said. 
 
“Public education has more competition than it did 20 or 30 years ago and if you sit back and don’t engage, you’re bound to lose students,” Gardner said. “I give you credit for already thinking in that way. I know the governor wants to see districts like you pushing the envelope and finding new ways to educate kids.”   
 
The new state budget offers districts a share of a $300 million pool of “innovation funds” in one-time grants for projects to modernize schools and improve achievement, he said. Sanders and board members expressed interest Monday in pursuing the funds.

Comments

44870 South

Wow...as a Perkins resident I can't help but wonder what it must be like to be asked FIRST, before big decisions are made. Nice move Sandusky on getting your community involved PRIOR to making sudden rushes to judgement! I sure wish your rival across the street would take a cue.

Bherrle

44870 South,

How long have you lived in Perkins? Me - only two years now - but somehow, I was able to inform myself enough to know that 9 years ago, all of the Perkins community was invited to participate in this very same kind of thing, when strategic planning began for the future of the district & specifically facilities began.

For you or anyone else to make statements like this, painting Perkins in a bad light, is reprehensible, and irresponsible. There was no rush to judgement. The Perkins community was invited to be involved 9 years ago. It is still invited to be involved. You don't agree with a plan, then suggest an alternative. Not addressing the facilities issue, however, is not an alternative.

The original $100 Million Dollar Academy (over a period of time, not all at once) was not the dream idea of Dr. Gunner or the BOE. It was a collaborative effort with the community members who chose to participate. The entire public was invited.

44870 South

And said NO...

Bherrle

It's a shame that's all you can say.

Nemesis

Why? It's the truth. The voters TWICE rejected it, and then the administration pulled this end run millage switch. School administrations are well known for having these community forums, and then doing what they had planned all along regardless of what the voters say.

Perkins2060

And said no twice.

lifetimeresident

I have to disagree with you. I'm a lifetimeresident and the wool is being pulled over your eyes. Period. He's building a new school with or without our support. Me and You. We dont need a vote. He's building.

Bherrle

Tell me what you know that contradicts my statement that the public was invited into this process? What wool is being pulled over my eyes?

The buildings need to be replaced. That has been shown in several studies. Not addressing the facilities issues is not an option. So if you don't agree with past plans, current plans, or potential future plans, then what specifically are your ideas. What plan do you have that solves the facility problems, doesn't degrade the current academic and athletic programs, and spends less money than what has been proposed?
By "He", I assume you are referring to Supt. Gunner. The BOE makes those final decisions, not Dr. Gunner. Many may not know this, but he has provided the board options on building new, and on renovating. I believe by law he has too. There is no tunnel vision, pie in the sky thinking going on here.

I'll also remind you that no final decision will be made on facilities until after the November Board Member election. If any new members are elected, they will have a chance to get up to speed on the issue before the board decides on a direction.

Nemesis

No one's disputing that the public was invited to participate. The issue is that their participation was subsequently ignored.
Twice they voted against it.

As for the proposition that the buildings must be replaced, throughout the Ivy League, the cream of America's crop is educated to be the leaders of tomorrow in buildings older than this nation.

As for Gunner's role, school boards are very deferential to their supers, typically being composed of people from outside the education industry, they are in thrall to the super's credentials and the need to validate all the money they typically spend getting an out of town "rock star" to fill the role.

As for any final decision on the building, if the levy passes, the money will be spent. If you think that this levy will pass and that, subsequently, the millage shift will be reversed, then I have a bridge for sale.

samantha

Many accuse the supporters of giving out false information while the facts are what is important.
The new building levy failed ONCE- in November of 2010. It was a 4.98mil Levy for 10 years with FREE Obama money for a $100M campus that lost 58% against to 42% for. The board surveyed all registered voters after the failure. Of the over 1400 responses, 60% said they would support the remodel or rebuilding of a new high school.
The only levy since 2010 was the failed operating levy in May of 2013.
As you can see, there has been only ONE building levy, not many as people on this blog are stating. Please be factual when posting. SR just provides us the forum; they do not police the facts.

Bherrle

I don't think the millage will be moved back, nor do I think it should be. The board moved it, which was their right to do. The 5.2 was the only millage than could be moved. By law, nothing else can be.

Your comments about Gunners role suggest that there will never be a school board that actually makes up it's own mind, that they will always bow to any Super. I disagree.

Local Resident

@Bherrle-I have watched the discussions that have been all over this paper in regards to the Perkins levy, and I can respect your opinion on the matter. Good for you for doing your research and learning all you can. I was on the fence and trying to educate myself as well, just for educational reasons. I am a graduate of Perkins schools and although I no longer live in the district, my parents do and I am still very interested in what is happening with Perkins. Then the other day when visiting with my parents a "supporter" of Perkins schools stopped by. I told this person that I was just visiting with my parents and they were quite elderly so couldn't come to the door and speak. This "supporter" then proceeded to TELL me how to vote. I told her that I was not a Perkins resident and I would not be able to vote. She then told me that I NEEDED to make my parents voted for the schools so they do something good for the district "before they die". Really??? If this is the way Perkins is garnering supporters, I am ashamed.

Perkins2060

They are scoundrels.

Common Sense

As my dear, departed mother would say, "It takes one to know one."

Bherrle

Local,

If this occurred this way, then it is clearly wrong and not the way that supporters were being asked to handle themselves during the door to door campaign. I apologize to you on behalf of the campaign. That is no way to campaign for any cause.

I'd like to know more about where this occurred, and if it was a student, or adult. I realize that sharing your parents address here is not an option, but we could perhaps track down who this was with this info.

RMyer

Sorry, did not intend to comment.

44870 South

Right. Well maybe we should have FIRST asked Sandusky where to buy turf for the brand new stadium we absolutely NEEDED. Because ours looks like it was sewn together by a 3rd grader.

Bherrle

44870 south,

Serious question. Are you just not happy unless you are complaining about something. Now it's the turf? Really?

I think the turf surface looks very good.

44870 South

I'll re-phrase - Yes. The turf does not look of quality compared to other turf projects I have seen. Was disappointed when I first saw it. 1.7 million matched for the stadium project...and they are laying off how many teachers??? Sandusky City Schools - don't make these same ridiculous decisions. And when the taxpayers give you there answer - respect it and move on.

KnuckleDragger

Well, in defense, Sandusky had Cedar Point that paid for the whole project. Perkins only had FRMC kick in a portion over like 10 yrs

44870 South

Well, if it is gonna take 10 years to pay it off, not including the loan that was taken out to complete it, then I think they had time to shop around...Maybe what looks like it came from Mom and Pop's Turf Shop wasn't the best deal. This was all about playing catch up to the kid next door. 1.7 million dollars matched for an unnecessary non-academic project. How many teachers are they laying off????

RMyer

FRMC was only one of a number of local businesses and community members who made the stadium project successful. If it was such a bad idea, why would so many elect to donate time, money, and materials?

Perkins2060

Yeah, notice all the billboard signs at the stadium? It looks ridiculous. Perkins is a joke thanks to Gunner and all you disciples.

believeit

You can't have it both ways. You don't want to contribute any funds, yet are upset that advertising was used to help offset costs. Unbelievable.

santown419

Well in Sandusky defense Orlando pace also was on board for the project so since you haven't or isn't from Sandusky don't spread lies

Bherrle

44870 South,

My understanding is that the track was already not usable, and that the stadium was a serious safety concern. The district was at a point where they had to spend at least, a minimum (and perhaps more) of $1.1M on the complex, and that would have left the grass field untouched.

So, the choice was spend a minimum of $1.1M on redoing the track, and bleachers (and shutting down the stadium for a year to do so),also not touching the grass field which I understand was not in the best shape, or spend approx $1.7M on a $3.4M project. A no brainer decision in my mind. The timing was unfortunate, but that could not be helped, something had to be done.

Did you offer your input, your idea when that issue was discussed at board meetings, or at any other time?

To your statement "when the taxpayers give you there answer - respect it and move on." So I take it you feel they should ignore the facility issues? What is your solution to the facility problems?

Wald

If the repairs were $1.1 million, why not match that with community donations? Then the school only spends $550,000 out of pocket and saves about $1.2 million of unethically taken taxpayer money.

Bherrle

Wald,

My understanding is that the public donations were available only with school funds to match. No money was used or taken "unethically."

Nemesis

I received some fine education from a highly regarded university whose track was unusable for almost half the 20th century. In case you didn't notice, athletics isn't the purpose of an educational institution.

OHIOHOOSIER76

I'm quite the sports fan and I love going to high school football and basketball games, but I agree with your comment that 'athletics isn't the purpose of an educational institution'.

I'm a Norwalk resident and have one child still in Norwalk city schools, I'm waiting for the day that Norwalk City Schools TELLS THE VOTERS that they are going to build a new football/track stadium so that they will no longer have to share Whitney Field with St Paul (which made sense back when the schools were across the street from each other). As much as I'd like to see a new stadium in Norwalk, there is no reason for it right now because of the financial outlook of the district.

Edwin Ison

Ashland?

Strong Schools ...

I love our stadium! It is beautiful and people form our area and surrounding areas have made comments about how nice our stadium is. I am proud of the stadium and I know the students enjoy playing in top notch venue.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I will attend every meeting they are willing to put on to provide input. These are the kinds of opportunities that get me excited and will see the district better off.

lifetimeresident

Hero, they look right through you and everyone else like were idiots. The new school is going to be built.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I can't say I am for or against a new school as I don't think I know enough, but I also want to use it as an opportunity to network, get to know the decision-makers, and also possibly provide input on not just what goes on with the material aspects but also about the content of the classes that are taught.

Wald

They could just steal from the operations fund after the taxpayers vote no, then come back with an operations levy a'la Perkins.

Bherrle

Wald,

You keep saying that, over and over again. They did not steal anything. The inside millage move was a very wise financial decision for the district long term. It provides PI funds long term to address facilities needs without the need for additional building levies or bonds. It dropped the district to the 20 mil floor (in 2011), which allows the district to collect full tax revenue growth on property values, residential/ag and commercial/industrial. Comercial/Industrial traditionally grows faster than Residential/AG, so it also over time shifts more of the taxpaying to the Commercial/Industrial side. It was totally within the board's right to do so, many other districts in Ohio have done it, and it is totally legal.

The facilities issues will not go away. So rather than continue to make the same negative comments, which is so easy to do, how about providing some solutions to the current problems? Solutions that are better and less expensive that the past, current, or future plans. Being negative is easy. Being a part of the solution is much more difficult.

Wald

You either don't care or don't understand that your basic democratic rights were violated. A new building levy was proposed. The taxpayers said no. They took the money anyway. Other solutions have been proposed, but they have to have brand new, like Yellow Pages Stadium. If you'd rather have a dictatorship where you have no vote as to how your money is spent, by all means, vote yes. I'll be voting no to protect my democratic rights and to keep a system of checks and balances.

Bherrle

Wald,

It is neither that I don't care or understand. I don't agree with you that my democratic rights were violated. I believe that my rights are to vote on board members, and to vote on on issues (such as levies) put on the ballot. If I want a say on how everything is done in the district, then I should run for the BOE.

Your logic suggests that we as a nation are already not a democracy, as voters get no vote on how state and federal money is spent.

YoMamma

I would bet the bank that SCS would not make the same mistake as Perkins did. Moving money that way is almost criminal and Perkins is suffering the consequences of their actions.

Bherrle

Yomamma,

See my comments directly above to Wald.

Pirate Mom

Congratulations SCS for looking forward and asking for input from your citizens! A multitude of quality, responsible schools only benefits all surrounding communities and most importantly, our kids which are our future! Kudos and best of luck!

believeit

You are correct that the more quality schools the better. SCS also deserves congratulations for having multiple levies for new funds passed in the time Perkins has passed none. By the way, as previously stated, there were several meetings presented by Perkins that asked for citizen input (also with a storyline by the register), but somehow this is forgotten.

KnuckleDragger

This how things should go, instead of the Shannanigans that Perkins LSD pulled.

gonezo77

It should read "ask"

observer

Bherrle....do you not WORK? It seems you're on here 24/7 posting on every school thread they have! IMHO, you're wasting your time, if not actually harming your cause! You haven't changed anyone's mind that I know of, and badmouthing LIFELONG residents of Perkins, while you yourself have only lived here two years, isn't winning you any friends. Can you not find another way to spend your day? I suggest you use all the time you're wasting promoting Mr. Gunner into looking for a job!

Bherrle

Observer,

I have previously stated several weeks ago that I am in between jobs. Thank you for your concern. Rest assured, I spend plenty of time on that cause.

I don't believe I've badmouthed anyone, that is not my intent. If I am responding to someone who is attacking me, then yes, I may get somewhat defensive. I'm not trying to make friends.

Believe me, the last thing I want to do is be on these blogs, but there are just too many people who are posting negative opinion, making it sound like fact, posting outright misinformation, making mean spirited comments, and in some cases, making wild accusations. I can't stay silent and allow that to go unchecked.

Everyone's vote is their choice. I'm just trying to get the facts out there, and discount the rumor, misinformation (from either side of the issue), and negative attacks on the current BOE and Super that are not factually based.

Laughing

Sounds to me like some people on here are just jealous. Awful angry and negative. Could be their kid didn't get much playing time on that field? Maybe they are from SMCC or SHS and got their butts kicked on that field.
And by the way if SCS are doing things the right way, why are so many leaving? Not only hundreds of kids, but also their last Super., Assistant Super., high school assistant principal, the A.D, basketball coach(let's not get into THAT whole hiring process), and some teachers all left.

Foryourinformation

Laughing: You need a blog name like "Laughing", due to needing to laugh at yourself for your questions that you obviously don't know the answers to. Talk about someone being "misinformed" and spewing information that they know NOT of! The last superintendent left because he was not from Sandusky. If you go back and do the appropriate research, you will find that Mr. Tucker was seeking the superintendency in his home town of Lorain before he got hired in Sandusky and his own school district didn't want him, so instead of them hiring Dennis Muratori, they hired Mr. Tucker and Mr. Muratori left and went to Ehove. Read the past news stories to stay informed!!!! Mr. Tucker was appointed by the past Superintendent, Mr. Pahl, who was the worst superintendent in Sandusky's history, and when the opening came up again in Lorain, there were different Board members who hired Mr. Tucker back to his hometown. That was his goal, and he planned to get his "feet" wet to move back to Lorain. Sandusky don't have a "high school assistant principal", they have 3 if you knew your facts. If you are talking about Mr. Matheny leaving, you should ask the question as to why after having been employed by SCS for over 15 years, why did Mr. Mathey leave??? Mr. Matheny left and went to Huron because he wanted Mr. Poggiali's job and knew he wasn't going to get it. He had former friends from the SCS that got him the job over in Huron as their high school principal. The A.D. left because she wanted to. Not because SCS's did not benefit her, but there were some things going on with her and she wanted to be in a more "suburban" district than Sandusky. Finally, "some" teachers left because they have found administrative positions in other districts. I know because my 1st cousin is one who left ONLY because she got hired in as a principal in another district which only enhances her career as an educator.

Once again..."laughing", you really need to laugh at yourself for making yourself look foolish with trying to create a mockery out of the SCS District without proper information or cause.

WHAT A JOKE!!!

bucsfan98

well said, well said

vacationland

If the Perkins levy fails it's time to talk about merging the two schools and address facility needs for a joint school district. No what the levy supporters wants to hear right now but should be brought up as $$ continues to be an issue. Not popular to many Perkins residents but with the influx of Sandusky residents in the Perkins schools system it starting to make sense for both districts. Sandusky has the $$ right now and can stabilize financial issues. SHS is plenty big enough for both schools population. The neighborhood schools would not change and new buildings needs might not be a duplication process. The stadium is a case in point of this duplication process.

cockynurse

I happen to love SCCS. Their students are actually respectable and look at Their graduation rates and college awards.

Other than that-sounds to me like there's a lot of butt hurt people whining in the wrong place.

bluedot

?

Perkins2060

I am now all for merging the districts. Keep Sanders and get rid of Gunner! Merge now!

soccermom10

Merging the districts would increase the property tax millage by over 11 mills for Perkins residents.

bucsfan98

it will never happen people in perkins are to stuck on themselves

Common Sense

First, before you offer to do this, please take off your angry shirt and look at what the shape Mr. Sanders left his previous school districts in in terms of their environment (does 15.1 mill levy ring a bell). Also, there is still the investigation into attendance records for state funding during his reign at Cleveland and Toledo schools.

senioritis

I am so proud of my community. Even on a story about Sandusky City Schools looking to the future and trying to improve, it's still all about Perkins!

Perkins2060

Merge now!

StayInformed

Congratulations to you Wald in stating that you will attend meetings! Perkins has had several meetings in reference to the new school. In the beginning the public was invited to give input, complete surveys, attend meetings and even directly give input to architects. Unfortunately, those meetings were not well attended by the public. This is the same public that states their input wasn't respected in the decision. If you want to be involved, you need to start at the beginning not just jump on the band wagon and complain when you don't like the decisions that are made!

Wald

I didn't live in Perkins when all that went down. Thanks for playing, though!

StayInformed

I was stating that I commend you for saying that you will attend all of Sandusky meetings in reference to their plan!

samantha

Many accuse the supporters of giving out false information while the facts are what is important.
The new building levy failed ONCE- in November of 2010. It was a 4.98mil Levy for 10 years with FREE Obama money for a $100M campus that lost 58% against to 42% for. The board surveyed all registered voters after the failure. Of the over 1400 responses, 60% said they would support the remodel or rebuilding of a new high school.
The only levy since 2010 was the failed operating levy in May of 2013.
As you can see, there has been only ONE building levy, not many as people on this blog are stating. Please be factual when posting. SR just provides us the forum; they do not police the facts.

In addition, the strategic planning process was started under Sheri Buccerri. The public was invited to attend open meetings bi-monthly for 18 months. Denny Rectenwald followed the plan to fruition including the public meeting where it was shared. Denny Rectenwald invited the Ohio School Facility Commision in for recommendations. Dr. Gunner picked up the ball with numerous public meetings seeking info on what the community wanted from facilities- new or remodel. Those meetings led to the 2010 levy. After that failed, the survey that I mentioned above took place. In addition, there were three well attended public meetings about stadium needs; four poorly attended meetings about inside millage (two more than required by law); which leads to the recent meetings regarding this levy which seem to have people engaged as they are well attended. Not to mention the monthly BOE meetings that no one goes to.

Sorry people. Complaining that the BOE has not asked for help is inaccurate. I am sure that the comments that follow will be that ‘we told them but they didn’t listen’. Let’s see what happens next.

The community of Perkins likes to arm chair quarterback, not get involved. As someone who has been engaged every step of the way, I applaud the BOE for their efforts.

Perkins2060

Love the phrase "Free Obama money". That one never gets old. Yes, that's all I got out of your "post". By the way, where's our paid communications director? Why does Gunner have you disciples posting here instead of someone that's paid to?

samantha

Keep it real… you would complain about that too

Perkins2060

So those against the levy are complainers? You disciples are doing a whole lot for your cause! Keep up the name calling. It makes you look real intelligent and is really persuading the no voters!

samantha

I said complaining- you twisted (as you sometimes do) my gerund into a name. I did no name calling. Just addressing the comments that people say the Perkins Board should have done what SCS is doing. You seem uncomfortable?!

StayInformed

Well said Samantha! Thank you for supporting with specifics. This process has been ongoing for years. The BOE has asked repeatedly for input throughout the process.

More often than not in today's world, decisions are made without public input. I also applaud Perkins for making it a community cause.

JERRY from SANDUSKY

ZIMMERMAN FOR PRESIDENT

OH-IO

OFF TOPIC: Some people have what is called ADHD and they can't seem to focus on what's being discussed.

Darkhorse

The schools can have all the conversations they want but the bottom line is the taxpayer is tapped out. For once, the schools need to concentrate on getting these kids educated instead always asking for more money.

Perkins2060

Not in Perkins! We have an endless flow of taxpayer money for gunner and his disciples to blow on whatever they want! Just ask the parents who can't afford the pay to play fees that are on the levy committee!

Strong Schools ...

The state has cut over 2 million dollars from our school district. Chances are they will cut more in the future. We need to pass this levy in order to keep educating our students.

themomx6

The state cuts TWO million dollars, so we go and take out a THREE million dollar loan to plan for a school we can't afford, and the residents voted down.! Then threaten to layoff 18 teachers and charge students $730 to play a sport. Intelligence in action!

RMyer

The loan is currently being paid out of the permanent improvement fund which is a separate pool of funds generated by the p.i. levy. P.I. funds can't be used for operations. The state cuts are coming out of the operational funds of the district. Several actions over the past few years have been taken to cut costs and increase revenue (open enrollment, for example) to avoid having to ask for more or higher levy amounts. Those options are close to being played out. One 2.9 mill levy for additional funds in 18 years is a good track record for fiscal responsibility. The state sees us as a property rich district and will not be increasing funding to us in any meaningful way. Aren't many options with the pay to participate fees-either charge to self-fund or don't have them (that would be too bad for the hundreds of students who participate). This levy in August is for ten years (not permanent like those in the past). Putting this off will only result in higher levy amounts within the next few months and into the future.

Strong Schools ...

I am sorry if that is how it was handled. That is not how the levy supporters were asked to approach the levy.

Rosa

Kudos to Sandusky for asking their residents input, and may the gifted program be a great success!!!! Any parent who does not check into this program will be losing out on a great opportunity for their child!!!

Rosa

Also, this post is about the Sandusky Schools so why are all these Perkins people posting on here??!! I still say we should have one school system in Sandusky, not two. There is no Perkins, Ohio!!

believeit

Nor is there Margaretta, Ohio, Edison, Ohio or hundreds of other school districts that formed for a variety of reasons. The point for Perkins Township residents is that the school system IS the central focal point of identity and pride, and hopefully will be supported.

bucsfan98

lol

Common Sense

Some time ago, the city of Sandusky wanted nothing to do with the school to the south as they were considered "stupid farmers". We have the lower millage rate of the two school districts and have been able to attract a large number of transfer students through open enrollment. The Sandusky City Schools did not see that type of an influx when they opened their schools for enrollment. It may have to do with the environment.