Eight period day discussion turns into consolidation dialogue

A discussion about the courses to be offered in the wake of the shift to an eight period day in the Warren County School District turned into a consolidation discussion during Monday’s committee meetings.

A series of “planned instructions,” essentially course descriptions that outline the scope and resources in that course, were before the board for committee review.

Board member John Wortman thanked those involved in the process and said he is “ecstatic” that the eight period day is coming back.

“I think that every opportunity that we have… to talk about this eight period day, we should,” he added, calling it “one of the most positive developments for our district in a long time.”

Director of Administrative Support Services Eric Mineweaser added that the district’s new graduation policy for the class of 2028 and beyond is phasing in credit requirement increases in light of the switch to the eight period day, adding one credit each year.

Mineweaser said that the change results in eight, 42 minutes periods rather than seven 50 minute periods.

“What it also does, we lose a period due to travel. That has not been anything new,” he said. “Career Center kids… as they travel back they are essentially losing fourth period.”

That’s also true for Sheffield students who are currently attending at Warren in the mornings.

“Right now we have an advisory period built in,” Mineweaser said. “Advisory is not going to be there.”

Homeroom will be extended to ensure Career Center students don’t lose a second period in their day.

Wortman then asked for information on the cost savings to move Sheffield, grades 9-12, full time to Warren.

Superintendent Gary Weber said that would result in a savings of between $600,000 and $700,000 but said it was not included as part of the 2024-2025 budget process because it wasn’t feasible for next school year. He said the school closure process would take six months.

Wortman called the idea “something we need to seriously consider” for the 2025-2026 school year.

Weber said that would need to be an action taken in the September time frame in order to wrap up the process before the heart of budget planning season.

Board member Tammi Holden asked when the discussion on that might occur and there the savings would come from.

She noted that the district is currently spending $25,000 per year on transportation for the new arrangement in Sheffield.

“Closing Sheffield, the building is going to remain open. Cutting teachers? Is that the plan? We just moved these kids… basically because we kept hearing about the teacher shortage Because it wasn’t about money if you recall.”

Weber said the savings would primarily come in staffing but added that there is “quite a bit that encompasses that,” including athletic funding.

“(It would be a) pretty big step from where we’ve been before,” he added.

Wortman argued that a $600,000 to $700,000 savings would be a 1.5 to 1.75 property tax mill savings for district taxpayers.

“I feel that is part of our fiduciary duty,” Wortman said, citing the “many people in Warren County on fixed incomes. We have got to get our finances under control. We cannot continue to have the tax and spend policies that have existed.”


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