Mantua – At the last Board meeting, School Board President Todd Monroe implored residents to support the District’s issue to build a new 7-12 building on the November ballot. He argued that Crestwood has been losing kids to surrounding schools including Streetsboro, Garfield, and BioMed, and that enrollment at the High School currently hovers slightly over 400 pupils. “This is a do or die situation,” he acknowledged, explaining that if voters don’t support the issue than $8.6 million — money paid to the State by Crestwood taxpayers — would be given to schools in Warrensville Heights instead.
He explained that maintenance costs on the District’s older buildings continue to rise, and that the estimated $23 million needed to renovate the structures, in addition to the additional costs to relocate classes while the older structures are overhauled would rest solely on taxpayers. He reminded voters of the smart financial decisions made by the District, which enabled them to refinance the elementary buildings and pay off the debt six years ahead of schedule. Mr. Monroe added that a new facility would be ADA compliant, provide modern security features, and be more energy-efficient. Given the increased maintenance costs of the older structures, he admonished, “we can pay it now, or we can pay it later.”
Later, Crestwood Athletic Director Bob Dean delivered a presentation on revisions to the District’s Student-Athlete Handbook. The revisions include placing more emphasis on building the character of student-athletes versus placing the effort on winning at all cost. Changes to the code of conduct and expectations for athletes, as well as the inclusion of random drug testing as a deterrent, aim to help Crestwood athletics develop better athletes while encouraging them to be better people.
In other news, it was recently announced that the Crestwood Local School District has suspended all High School football operations effective immediately until such time as the Superintendent announces otherwise. The District recently contacted the Mantua Police Department to investigate an incident regarding the Crestwood Football team that was brought to their attention. According to Chief Harry Buchert, “The department at this time has opened a fact finding investigation looking into the allegations made to determine if criminal acts had occurred and to what level and to whom. This investigation is ongoing and the school district has been cooperating completely.”
According to Superintendent David Toth, “We have privacy constraints dictated to us by State and Federal laws when in comes to discussing students and personnel, but we can let you know that everyone associated with our football program will be interviewed by school administration and we hope that everyone will cooperate throughout this process.” He continued, “We are committed to a complete and thorough investigation and will do so with diligence and we will complete the process as quickly as possible. Our number one priority is, and always will be, the safety and security of our kids.”
Lastly, the District recently shared financial information showing how the District compares to the rest of Portage County in regards to tax rates. The information was derived from records of the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Taxation, and compile with data filed by county auditors with the Ohio Department of Taxation. The data ranked the Crestwood District as having the lowest amount of property taxes charged based on property value, as compared to the eleven School Districts in Portage County. That information can be found at crestwoodschools.org.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Crestwood School Board will take place on Tuesday, October 10th at 7 pm in the High School library. The community is encouraged to attend.