The technical school offers 38 programs of study covering several areas.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
CHAMPION -- Trumbull Career and Technical Center officials are prepared for the influx of more students with the closing of the Gordon D. James Career Center and expect to have slots for a handful of teachers.
The James center is expected to close at the end of this school year.
Officials at TCTC and in Lordstown, which operated the James center for the five-school compact, are working out the details to have two James' programs, multimedia and tech-prep computer aided drafting, offered at TCTC.
The center also plans to add another cosmetology session next year to handle the influx of students. The addition of the multimedia and tech-prep CAD and cosmetology classes means employment openings for teachers from the James center with those certifications.
"We're attempting to bring some of their staff on and taking care of some of those displaced workers," said Wayne McClain, interim TCTC superintendent.
Adult programs: Gary Ghizzoni, TCTC treasurer, said TCTC and Lordstown officials are working out a plan to use the James building for adult programs run by TCTC.
"That would free up more classroom space here in the day time," he said.
What happened: Niles school board members decided in December not to sign a contract for another five years with the compact that comprises the center, opting for an affiliation with TCTC instead.
Because Niles sent the most students to the center and paid the most in tuition, the action created a domino effect among the remaining districts.
Lordstown, Weathersfield and McDonald all have been accepted into TCTC. Their students formerly attended the James center in Lordstown. That leaves Howland the only Trumbull County school district opting to provide its students with career and technical education through a facility other than TCTC.
Howland board members decided to send their students to Ashtabula Joint Vocational School instead.
TCTC hasn't decided how to handle the 21 special needs students and two others from Howland attending the facility through open enrollment. A letter was sent to three of the special needs students earlier this month informing them that because of Howland's decision to join the Ashtabula school, their application to TCTC for the 2002 to 2003 school year must be withdrawn.
McClain said those three students were changing programs and were told by someone at Howland that they couldn't attend TCTC next year.
"The letters were sent as a precautionary measure," he said.
McClain intends to recommend to TCTC's board that the Howland students in their junior year be allowed to finish their senior year at the school. Whether or not new students from Howland will be able to attend through open enrollment hasn't been determined either, but the interim superintendent says it's doubtful.
"It's a fairness issue," he said.
Taxes: Under Ohio law, property owners in school districts whose students attend a career center such as TCTC must pay an unvoted property tax. For TCTC districts, that's about 2 mills.
The issue of fairness arises if that millage isn't applied to residents of one district while residents of 19 others are required to pay it.
The amount is dictated by the legislature and TCTC officials contend that state education officials have told them the millage can't decrease.
Programs: TCTC offers 38 programs as well as adult education classes. Programs include licensed practical nursing, cosmetology, equine, horticulture, welding, auto mechanics and collision.
"We think we're the best-kept secret in Trumbull County," said Robert Lackey, a TCTC board member and president of the Liberty school board.
Services provided by students are offered to the public a few days a week. On Fridays, cosmetology students style residents' hair and the Cove restaurant, staffed by culinary arts students, is open for lunch on Fridays.
Community members buy flowers and other plants from the greenhouse during the school's spring sale.
The Licensed Practical Nursing program is open to adults if younger students haven't filled the classes.
"But the requirements with grades are pretty stringent," said Joseph Logan, TCTC board president and a member of the Joseph Badger School District.