Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Union, school board will vote Wednesday.
Westlake City Schools and its teachers union have reached a tentative contract agreement, superintendent Dan Keenan announced Tuesday afternoon. Keenan said he could not reveal details of the contract, as it has not been approved yet. The union will vote on the contract Tuesday, with the vote being counted after 4 p.m. The school board will meet at the central office at 5 p.m. to vote on the contract. If the deal is approved, the board will then vote on placing an operating levy on the May 7 ballot. "We did not want to propose a levy until we have the teachers' contract settled," Keenan said.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Diploma programme will be shared with Avon Lake, Berea
Westlake City Schools have scored an Ohio Local Government Innovation Fund grant of $100,000 for its planned International Baccalaureate diploma programme for Westlake High School. The program will be established with Avon Lake City Schools and Berea City Schools. With the grant, 32 staff members including counselors, administrators and 20 teachers will receive training for the International Baccalaureate program. This grant, the maximum grant amount given, is part of $2.7 million in grants and $1.1 million in loans the Local Government Innovation Council approved. "This is really big," said Westlake superintendent Dan Keenan. "What makes it neat is that these grants are open to all kinds of government entities. So to be one of the few …
Monday, November 26, 2012
Westlake City Schools given more leeway in using incidents on social media like Facebook and Twitter to crack down on bullies
Bullying has become a front-burner issue for school systems. As technology such as smartphones and social media like Facebook and Twitter are tools used in bullying, something know as cyberbullying, schools are trying to find the balance between being proactive and stepping outside of their authority. Earlier this year, Ohio lawmakers passed the Jessica Logan Law, which requires districts to set anti-bullying policies that include cyberbullying, and also gives districts more leeway in dealing with cyberbullying incidents outside the school day. Westlake City Schools are refining their own anti-bullying rules. Last week, the Board of Education passed new policies so the school district would be in line with the Jessica Logan Law. The new …
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
School starting sooner to accomodate construction of new high school
If it feels like summer is flying by, imagine what it feels like to a Westlake City Schools student. They go back to school in just over a month, on August 16. In reality, the students are only starting the school year five school days earlier than usual, said Superintendant Dan Keenan. But throw in a weekend, and the school year's starting a week earlier than normal. "It doesn't sound like much until you hear the date August 16," Keenan said. Why is this happening? It's to accomodate the construction of the new Westlake High School. Starting the school year earlier means -- if all goes well and there aren't a lot of snow days -- school could be out at the end of May. The 2013-14 school year starts on Sept. 3, 2013. That would give the …
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Future salaries will be cut by 5 percent
Salaries for future adminstrative hires in Westlake City Schools will be reduced by 5 percent, the school board voted in this week's meeting at Bassett Elementary School. This move, said superintendent Dan Keenan, will keep those salaries competitive with similar districts in the area. "It won't save us a ton of money right off the bat," he said. "But it will save money over time because that's money we won't be spending each year." This will go into effect for the two current administrative openings for director of business affairs and director of human resources. HR director Michael Laub is leaving at the end of the school year to be superintendent of Avon Local Schools. The board approved the matter, along with resolution to continue …
Friday, December 9, 2011
Officials say program would spend much more on private education than public education in Westlake.
The Westlake public school district is joining hundreds of others across the state in opposition of House Bill 136. If passed, the legislation would distribute tax vouchers to families making a combined annual income of $95,000 or less. The current system gives vouchers to students assigned to failing public school districts. In Westlake, a family that meets the financial guidelines could get a yearly voucher of about $2,300 to $4,600 to send a child to a private school in the area, rather than a public school in the district, which is rated Excellent by the Ohio State Board of Education. Proponents say this bill would increase parental choice. Opponents say it will taking money from already cash-strapped public school districts that must …
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Board members and district administrators look to negotiate with teachers' union to lower or freeze salaries in attempt to balance budget.
Treasurer Mark Pepera was met with stiff resistance from board members Nate Cross and Tim Sullivan as he sought to approve the operational end of the district’s 2011-12 budget. Cross and Sullivan voted against the appropriations at Monday night's Board of Education meeting, while board members Tom Mays, Andrea Rocco and Carol Winter voted for it. The respective 3-2 split is nothing new when it comes to financial matters that go before the board, and Superintendent Dan Keenan took exception to much of Cross’s and Sullivan’s reasoning as it dealt with more of the personnel end of the budget. “What makes it difficult here is (the idea) 'We’re going to hold you for ransom and vote no until you accept my concept or idea,'” Keenan said of …
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Cost-saving measures made by administrators and the school board this spring will work to close the budget gap, but personnel wage freezes and a prospective levy are still on the table.
Now that Gov. John Kasich’s two-year, $112 billion operating budget is in effect, the Westlake City School system will see $4.1 million in state funding losses over the next biennium. To absorb the losses before the start of the 2011-12 school year, the administration and school board proactively approved several cost-saving measures this spring, which included the elimination of high school busing, the elimination or reduction of 40 positions and plans to introduce a tuition-based, all-day kindergarten program next year. Scholastic programs were cut, but none were eliminated, Superintendent Dan Keenan said. The $4.1 million state cut is an improvement from the $6.7 million tabulation included in Kasich’s mid-March budget proposal. But …
Friday, April 22, 2011
Anne M. Keller, 57, of Westlake, is believed to have gotten intoxicated at lunch.
A Westlake High School substitute teacher was fired this week after being accused of drinking at work and leaving her class unattended. Anne M. Keller, 57, of Westlake, was arrested April 8 after school staff noticed that she was intoxicated and in possession of an open bottle of vodka, Westlake police said. “She brought a bottle of alcohol with her in her bag and she drank a good portion of that bottle at lunch,” said Westlake City Schools Superintendent Dan Keenan. Keller was supposed to teach family and consumer science classes all day at Westlake High School. Keenan said that when students returned from the lunch break, Keller was in the classroom, but then left. “As kids came in after the bell, she left,” Keenan said. “A student went …
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Union reps to school officials: 'We're coming to you, asking how we can help.'
In an effort to help absorb over $6.3 million in proposed state funding losses over the next two school years, Westlake’s teacher unions said they're willing to make concessions on reducing compensation and eliminating personnel within the district. This news comes just days after the release of Superintendent Dan Keenan’s proposal to collectively reduce or eliminate anywhere from 44 to 73 administrative, teaching, classified and exempt positions from Westlake City Schools. More details will surface at Monday’s regular Board of Education meeting as Keenan and the board will start the process of calculating how much needs to be cut from personnel expenditures, which accounts for about 85 percent of the district’s $50 million annual budget…