Licking County News

SWL board schedules forums to answer residents' questions


To provide Southwest Licking residents opportunities to ask board members questions, particularly in anticipation of a 6.1-mill bond issue on the May 6 ballot, the school board will hold its meetings in the three elementary schools the next three months.

"I'm looking for ways to give the community the opportunity to interact," said board member Dave Engel.

Board members on Jan. 16 voted 4-0 -- Roger Zeune was absent -- to hold February's board meeting at Etna Elementary School, March's meeting at Kirkersville Elementary School and April's meeting at Pataskala Elementary School.

A community forum will be held one hour before the regular board meeting. The forums will begin 6 p.m. in February and April, but will begin 5:30 p.m. in March to accommodate a student-of-the-month presentation at 6:30 p.m.

Board President Don Huber originally suggested leaving the order of the schools up to Superintendent Robert Jennell so he could confer with the principals as to when they could best accommodate the meetings.

However, Jennell and a principal present for the Jan. 16 meeting were concerned that the longer they waited to decide where to hold the meetings, the more difficult it would be for the individual principals to prepare for them.

Jennell made the decision to hold them at Etna, Kirkersville and Pataskala elementary schools, respectively.

In other board business Jan. 16, Jennell said he will give his 2014 state of the schools presentation at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at the district office gymnasium.

Jennell said he realized parent-teacher conferences are scheduled at Watkins Memorial High School that evening as well, but it made sense to "bring everyone" to the district office.

Huber said the state of the schools address needs to be advertised as much as possible.

"I would hope that this would become a tradition of the schools and each year we'll get more people (to attend)," Huber said.