Fallout of state cuts remain to be seen

Bob Morehead

Herald Staff Writer

Superintendent Dana Addis told the school board May 11 that he and Treasurer Stephanie Hagenbush were  trying to assess the full fallout of the state’s funding cuts.

May 5, during his daily press briefing on the pandemic, Governor Mike DeWine announced that state revenues had dropped some $750 million during the shutdown. As the state is prohibited by its own constitution from running a deficit, immediate cuts were necessary. This included $300 million from education, $7.5 million of it from K-12.

“This is $393,000 out of Norton’s budget,” Addis said. “We are planning together and we want to work together to get there. And we want to be transparent, open and honest.”

Addis also discussed commencement, a shell of itself this year due to the stay-at-home order. Graduates were gathering in small groups over three days May 11 through 13, walking across the stage in an empty auditorium one at a time and receiving their diplomas. 

“We are working with the families in this situation that is not even unusual,” Addis said. “It is highly unique.”

A socially distanced parade in the graduates’ honor is planned for May 30 and the video of the heavily modified graduation will be edited together and released. Yard signs celebrating the class of 2020 sold out.

“I know their hearts hurt but I also want them to know they’re loved,” Addis said.

The board approved the elimination of the French teacher position from the high school.

“It has been my pleasure to teach French to my Norton students,” teacher Cathy Campensa typed in the chat window of the meeting’s YouTube feed. “I am very sad that French will no longer be offered and I am sad to leave my students.”

Three teachers were approved tor the district’s summer reading club. Virus-adjusted this year, the club will meet from mid-June through Mid-August online.

“They will be meeting every Wednesday,” Curriculum and Instruction Director Amy Olivieri said.

Parents can sign their kids up on the district’s website, www.nortonschools.org, or at the school when they retrieve their children’s belongings for the summer.

Grace Kaiser, a kindergartener, was recognized is the Primary School’s student of the month. Patience Johnson, a first grader, was the Elementary School’s. The Dobbins kids, Lucas and Madison, were jointly honored as the middle school’s. Shelby Owens was recognized as the high school’s career tech student of the month and Ben Cocanougher represented the school as a whole.

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