Northridge students can take the spotlight on stage and on the playing field this spring, thanks to pledges that have been collected to cover costs associated with sports and extracurricular activities.

Northridge students can take the spotlight on stage and on the playing field this spring, thanks to pledges that have been collected to cover costs associated with sports and extracurricular activities.

"It's going to happen," treasurer Felicia Drummey said during Monday's board of education meeting.

Drummey reported that pledges have been collected for spring sports and activities including $16,383 from the Northridge Athletic Boosters, $1,700 from the Parent Teacher Organization and $5,100 from the Music Boosters.

"Those commitments have come in," Drummey said. "Most, if not all coaches, are donating their supplemental (salaries) to the athletic boosters."

She said the district has also committed to working with the boosters to review finances once pay-to-play money is collected.

"This will allow us to have academic programs like Right to Read week and the Science Fair that would have fallen through the cracks," Drummey said.

The treasurer's comments preceded the board's approval of spring supplemental contracts that totaled $13,834.

A group of coaches, parents, volunteers and boosters developed a plan to save spring sports and activities after the board voted in November to eliminate them as part of approximately $242,300 in reductions to balance the district's operating budget.

In addition to the donations, pay-to-participate fees were raised to $275 per student at the high school and $125 per student at the middle school, with no family caps. The district previously charged $125 at the high school and $25 at the middle school.

Students will also pay $75 to participate in the spring musical and $25 to be a member of the stage crew.

In other board action Monday, a $33,100 contract was approved with Wichert Insurance representing the carrier Employer's Mutual Casualty Company.

Board President Troy Willeke noted that it's expensive to insure the vacant buildings of Hartford and Homer.

Drummey said the future of those buildings hasn't been determined, but it's likely that Hartford will be sold.

"Seeing as we left them behind, I don't see the value," she said. "We're paying premium for a false sense of security we aren't getting in the coverage."

The deductible is $2,500, she said.

Board member Anne Cox said she's concerned about the Hartford and Homer communities and the potential for the buildings becoming eyesores.

"I don't want the properties going to pot," she said.

Willeke said a window was broken at Hartford and it has been replaced at a cost of $200.

"The purpose of insurance is to restore to current conditions," Drummey said. "That doesn't make sense. We'll maintain the property."

The board chose to carry liability insurance on the two former elementary buildings.

The board also approved the payment of $3,943 for annual membership dues to the Ohio School Boards Association.

The calendar for the 2009-2010 academic year was also approved by the board.

The year will start on Aug. 26, with winter break from Dec. 21 through Jan. 3. Spring break is set from March 26 through April 4; graduation is May 30; and the last day of class for students is June 3.

Superintendent John Shepard said the calendar reflects a two-hour late start on the second Tuesday of the month instead of two-hour early release to better accommodate inclement weather during the winter months.

Prior to board business, senior Alan Witte was presented with the Golden Viking Award for his outstanding accomplishments in music.

Witte, son of Mark and Joyce Witte, has been selected to be a member of the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) 2009 All-State Band. This is the third year the trombonist has been selected for the band. Professional trombonist Doug Moran said Alan is the first person in Licking County to be selected three times.

"His musical abilities have inspired others," Moran said.

Witte performed for the board, as did Northridge team members of the Ohio Model United Nations.