Reynoldsburg News

District signs agreement with e-school


Classes at the Virtual Community School of Ohio began Aug. 26 after a new lease agreement was signed with Reynoldsburg City Schools.

Reynoldsburg Superintendent Steve Dackin said the agreement gives VCS office and staff/classroom space in Waggoner Road Middle School, 340 Waggoner Road.

The lease agreement is for two years, beginning Aug. 1 and ending July 31, 2015. VCS will pay the district $1,666.67 monthly to lease space in the school and will provide in-kind services to Reynoldsburg students.

Those services include the online classes Introduction to Spanish 1 for students in grades 3-6 this year and Introduction to Spanish 2 for the 2014-15 school year for those same students.

The high school academies each will receive 15 seats (each seat constitutes one class for one student) for online classes through Florida Virtual, which is taught by VCS staff members.

Hannah Ashton Middle School, Baldwin Road Junior High and Waggoner Road Junior High each receive 10 seats for Florida Virtual classes and Waggoner Road Middle School will receive three seats through the agreement.

Additionally, VCS will provide the district with 100 desktop computers and monitors to be distributed to district schools.

Dackin said the new agreement is "an opportunity for shared services."

"We are their sponsor, but we will get a lot of educational value from this agreement," he said. "Sharing resources always lowers the cost of education for taxpayers."

Dackin said he is confident the staff members at VCS and the new governing board will help make the e-school school successful.

"It has the potential to be the best electronic school in Ohio," he said.

The charter e-school had been on probation since July 2012 after it could not resolve an $800,000 budget deficit. Parents and school officials also had concerns about whether it was legal for former VCS Superintendent James McCord to hire his relatives as staff members.

As the sponsor of the school, the Reynoldsburg Board of Education had the authority to shut it down, but opted in May to take over its operation by removing the former governing board and replacing it with five new members.

The new members include two former Reynoldsburg school board members, Mary Burcham and Jim Slonaker; Charles Parsons, former district administrator; Daryl Albrecht; and Jeremy Grayem. The new superintendent is Jeff Nelson.

Dackin said he recommended the board change because he wanted the 1,300 students enrolled in the e-school to be able to continue their online classes with VCS.