The New Albany-Plain Local school board Monday night processed numerous personnel issues.

The New Albany-Plain Local school board Monday night processed numerous personnel issues.

Members approved five continuing contracts for teachers, approved numerous contracts for certified staff members, renewed extended service contracts and accepted the resignation of two certified staff members.

"April is always the month under the Ohio Revised Code that we bring renewal of all certified and classified staff to you," Superintendent Steve Castle told board members.

Castle said the status of House Bill 1, which is Gov. Ted Strickland's school-funding formula, has moved through the House with a few changes and is being discussed in the Senate.

"It appears the all-day-everyday kindergarten provision is going to stay," he said. "I think that is going to be phased in a little later than the governor originally proposed."

Board member Mike Klein, who said he has been following the progress of the bill, said the Senate already has started hearing testimony.

"I think the big thing, even after it goes through the Senate, is that there will be a fundamental change in how public education is looked at," he said. "I think there are going to be some growing pains, in terms of trying to figure it all out."

Castle also gave the board an update about the district's strategic-planning process. He said he met with former communications committee chairs Laura Kohler and Ted Bernard last week to discuss ways to engage the community.

Kohler, who also is an active member in the political-action committee, New Albany for Kids, addressed the board about its discussion to organize an open forum.

"The bottom line is that we recommend that New Albany for Kids sponsor an open forum to assist the board and administration in gathering important information from community residents about the future of our school district," Kohler said. "We recommend that New Albany for Kids will organize and conduct a series of similar events with targeted stakeholder groups over the coming summer months."

The first forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 19, in the 2-5 building cafeteria.

"We will begin the evening in a large-group format and will break into smaller groups to facilitate the sharing of ideas," Kohler said. "The work of small groups will be shared with everyone present at the conclusion of the evening's event. And we promise that everyone attending will receive a written summary of the ideas generated by the participants."

District officials also took a scolding from a resident.

Philip Derrow addressed the board about the district's recent spending decisions.

"This is my first time at a New Albany board meeting, and I wish that weren't the case," he said. "I don't come here because I feel great about what is going on, and I feel precisely the opposite now."

Derrow mentioned the decision to give Plain Local Education Association members salary increases and said he would not support the district financially until its spending habits are changed.

"It does not take a math genius to see the disconnect in the amount of money you have chosen to spend and the needs of your growing student body," he said. "I will not support this district at the ballot box again until the makeup of this board changes or your actions change."

gmartineau@thisweeknews.com