Two disparate sides of school life were touched on when the Newcomerstown Board of Education met Monday, Jan. 9 at Newcomerstown High School.

While honoring Students of the Month for the different buildings and noting the district scored high on a state-wide value-added scale, the board also learned Tim Sherman, high school principal, and Matt Ritzert, athletic director, would be holding a meeting with student-athletes about the use of alcohol, since weve had to deal with some issues recently, Sherman said.

No details of the issues were discussed at the board meeting.

Superintendent Jeff Staggs said the state is rating districts on several levels, including Performance and Value Added, which rates whether a student receives what the state calls a nine-month level of education. According to Superintendent Staggs, the Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District was ranked third in the three county area of Tuscarawas, Coshocton and Guernsey counties.

Several other events are coming up at the high school, including an Improv Night on Friday, Jan. 13, with free admission, although a good will offering will be taken; a school-wide assembly to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., on Jan. 18, with former Cleveland Mayor Michael White as the speaker; and a college financial aid night.

Kathy Reid, East School principal, said activities there would include a homework party, complete with snacks and a movie, a Winter Carnival on March 10 from 2-4 p.m. that would include a Book Fair. She also commended the kindergarten and first grade staffs for their work on revised content standards.

Pat Cadle, West School principal, said grade level meetings were being held and noted the buildings use included the boys and girls biddy basketball programs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and a Red Cross blood drive.

Superintendent Staggs said he is getting quotes for new wireless video cameras for the school buses and said cameras for the West School and middle school have been repaired. Board member Vince Nay asked about having fewer cameras that could be shared by some buses. Superintendent Staggs said the cameras were not a requirement but could provide valuable information in the event of a problem or accident. He said the project could be costly.

Linda Mullens gave a report about the cafeteria and said that although use of the cafeteria has increased since the first of the school year, there is still frustration in getting timely responses and action from Preferred Meals, the districts food program provider. She said it takes up to six months to get some foods removed from the menu and that there have been problems in getting some of the requested information, such as the amount of carbohydrates in the offerings.

In other action, the board:

Heard Superindent Staggs thank the board for its service as part of the Ohio School Board Association Board Recognition Month.

Approved a Records Commission of the superintendent, treasurer and board president that would meet at 5:45 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, prior to the boards regular meeting.

Approved mileage reimbursement rate of $.55 per mile per Internal Revenue Service guidelines.

Approved the following substitutes, pending background checks and verification of certificates: Tara Belt and Tyler Abbuhl, substitute teachers; Kyle Little, substitute custodian.

Accepted a donation of $227.31 from Newcomerstown Moose Lodge 1337.

Approved field trips for the Polar Express volunteers and the MD classes.

Hired Chasity Opphile as interpreter for a Spanish-speaking kindergarten student for one afternoon per week.

Reimbursed tuition for Greg Marsh for three semesters of Leading and Learning in a Culture of Change at Muskingum University.

Approved family medical leave for Tracy Rominger, Feb. 13 to March 26, and for Melissa Hayes, beginning March 5.

Approved the 2012-2013 school calendar, with May 27, 2013, the scheduled last day for students.

Approved the appointment of Ray Booth to a seven-year term on the Newcomerstown Public Library board.

Following the meeting, the board went into executive session to discuss the appeal of a grievance and to discuss personnel.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.