BERLIN CENTER School board OKs open enrollment

Low enrollment in the primary grades prompted the decision.
BERLIN CENTER -- The Western Reserve Local School Board has adopted an open-enrollment policy.
At its meeting Thursday, the board voted unanimously to accept pupils from all school districts. Low enrollment in the primary grades, including only 33 first-graders, caused the board to adopt the policy.
Board president Robert Hermiller noted that open enrollment can be a "double-edged sword."
"I've talked to a number of people, and it's strictly financial," he said of the state funds the district will receive for open-enrollment pupils. "You have to take the bad with the good."
The "bad" to which he referred involved the possibility of nonresident pupils causing overcrowding and problems with athletic teams.
School Superintendent Charles Swindler pointed out that the district still has the right to turn down a pupil if a class is full. The policy also sets a limit on elementary classes at a 24:1 pupil-to-teacher ratio. Copies of the policy are available in the superintendent's office.
Swindler said prospective nonresident pupils wanting to attend Western Reserve schools this year must apply by Aug. 31. Applications are available in the superintendent's office.
Other matters
In other business, the board hired James Riccardo of Boardman as a high school tutor at $14.66 per hour. Riccardo also received a contract as an assistant varsity football coach at a stipend of $3,477.
Lesa James of Berlin Center and Kim Caputo, a senior at Youngstown State University, were hired as high school cheerleading advisers. They will share one contract that pays $2,608. Robert Topoleski of Canfield and Michelle Berk of Boardman, both teachers in the district, were hired as cross-country coaches. They will share one contract that pays $2,029. Richard Rathburn of Berlin Center was approved as an unpaid volunteer to work for the junior high volleyball program.
The Schwebel Co. was awarded a contract for bakery supplies, while Dean's Foods received a contract for dairy products.
The board also raised the cost of adult lunches to $2.50.

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