Maumee Board Of Education Receives Updates On District

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — At its October 24 meeting, the Maumee City Schools Board of Education heard updates from several individuals.

Interim Superintendent Steve Lee gave a presentation on the State of the District and other updates.

“We get into a lot of strategy when we talk about our district priorities and work that we do, but we’ve always led with culture trumps strategy,” Lee reminded the board of the overarching belief of the district. “Culture is people and purpose. It’s how we interact and relate to one another.”

He also reminded those in attendance about the Monday, November 21 Family Night in conjunction with the Substance Abuse Intervention League. The district encourages coaches to not hold practices and teachers to not assign homework on that night so families can spend the evening together, either at the free event at Imagination Station or doing other activities together.

Lee congratulated all the athletes and coaches who are finishing up the season and the students and staff who completed the first quarter.

Treasurer Paul Brotzki updated the board and said the district had put out a bid for dental and health insurance. The expected increases have come back to the district.

With assistance from Savage and Associates, the contract, which can be two years, for health insurance will have no increase this year and 3 percent next year. The dental insurance will see a 12-percent increase.

Brotzki reminded the board that because free breakfast is no longer being offered to everyone, the food service fund is lower than last year, but he expects it to rebound some.

Kate Lankey of Maumee also expressed concern about the ticketing process for sports during the public discussion portion of the meeting.

Lankey said the online-only ticketing service makes it more difficult in some cases as families feel they must purchase tickets ahead of time for sports like football to avoid the $3.00 markup when ordered after a certain time. She said allowing families to choose cash versus online purchases might be a better choice and could help people save money they might need.

“Perhaps you might like to consider making the method of payment optional to accommodate families who prefer the convenience of online and for those who prefer to pay cash and save where they can,” Lankey said.

During the meeting, the board also:

• Approved financial statements and cash reconciliations.

• Accepted a donation from John and Elizabeth Steele to the Maumee City Schools STEAM Lab in memory of Ramona Mercer and a donation of two exercise ball on rollers chairs for student use from the Maumee Chamber of Commerce.

• Approved the attendance of Brock Burkett at the American Choral Directors Association National Professional Development Conference in Cincinnati in February.

• Approved the Wayne Trail Elementary fifth-graders and MHS cabin leaders trip to Camp Michindoh on November 15-18.

• Approved the resignations of Sarah Davis as an intervention specialist at Fairfield Elementary, Jessica Lewis as a classroom assistant at Wayne Trail Elementary, Erinn Shively as a classroom assistant at Maumee High School and Nick Fox as the winter drumline coordinator.

• Approved the nominations of several certificated and operational substitutes, a classroom assistant and other positions.

Maumee City Schools State Of The District Presented At Meeting

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — During the Maumee City Schools Board of Education’s meeting on October 24, interim Superintendent Steve Lee gave a brief State of the District presentation.

Lee explained what motivates the district and how decisions are made. He said the district believes culture trumps strategy when it comes to creating a successful school system. For the district, culture is both people and purpose and how they interact and what they have in common.

“What that looks like intentionally is people focused, that shared purpose, leadership team development – we spend significant time when we have our leaders together talking about culture and how we can be intentional and the latest research around leadership,” Lee said.

Additionally, professional learning community development is important to the culture, Lee said, and the district places a lot of emphasis on it because it has the potential to have the biggest impact.

He also emphasized the importance of prioritizing wellness in staff and students. The district must care about mental health and well-being for students and staff in order for them to give their best to the district, he said.

How the district continues to serve students and plan for the future is the vision Lee put into three categories: evaluation of progress, strategy actions and the district improvement plan.

Under the vision, Lee said the district follows the motto “engage, inspire, empower.”

“We spend a lot of time as staff, digging into those words: What does that mean when a student’s engaged? What’s it mean to inspire? What does it look like when we empower our students to go out and be successful?” Lee posed. “Our priority area is equity, that idea that students come to us with different backgrounds and the job is to have a quality, high expectation and meet the needs of all students.”

Using models like the district report card and the continuous improvement process, the district can see how students in every grade are progressing, what changes need to be made and what is most effective.

On the district report card, which came out in September, MCS received five stars in progress, gap closing and graduation; four stars in achievement; and two stars in early literacy.

The early literacy results helped the district target areas that need improvement and understand what portions of early literacy programming are successful. There is currently a push to focus on a phonics-based curriculum the district had begun working on prior to the report card results.

“(Progress) is probably the indicator we spend the most time talking about and focusing on. We believe if we continue to focus on growth, over time, that exceeding growth will result in high achievement and be the best indicator of the impact we’re having on our students,” Lee said.

The report card progress indicator flagged two tests in high school, biology and American History, that did not meet or exceed expected growth and on which Lee said the district will work to find ways to allow all students to grow in those subjects. All others met or exceeded expected growth.

As the district continues to plan for the future, it will use all data to realign priorities, which currently include early literacy in curriculum, behavior technicians in staffing, expanding access to technology for students and several other areas.

“The future is bright when we make these our core practices,” Lee said.

Lee also outlined specific demographics of the student body. As of October, for the 2022-23 school year, there are 2,266 students enrolled. There is a trend toward larger class sizes in grades 7-12, he said.

The student body is currently 67.3 percent white, 13 percent multiracial, 9.9 percent black, 9.3 percent Hispanic and 0.6 percent Asian.

Districtwide, 30 percent of the students using use free and reduced-price lunch options.  

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