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Students attended the July 4th parade in Hiram to show support of the District’s issue, which is up for consideration at the August 8th special election.

Mantua – On Tuesday, August 8th, local voters have the opportunity to show their support of the Crestwood School District at a special election on Tuesday, August 8th. As you may have heard, the issue lost by 19 votes after the early May election, so every vote counts.

Based on input gathered from the community, combined with expert opinions from the Ohio Facilities Commission, the Crestwood School Board has created a plan for the district’s future. That plan includes:

  • Replacement of the High School, which is inefficient to operate, is poorly organized, lacks modern security features, and is not easily handicapped accessible. Crestwood High School is nearly 60 years old. Portions of the Middle School, which is slightly newer, will remain in use. The plan includes designing and building a structure to house grades 7 – 12.
  • The new structure will be handicapped-accessible and provide space for greater educational opportunities students will need for their futures. If the issue passes on August 8th, the State of Ohio will pay for 29% of the cost of the new school. The new high school will be built using local construction service companies when possible, keeping local tax dollars in the community. Under the proposed plan, the existing middle school will be repurposed for board offices and will be available to students for gym practice space and to residents for community uses.
  • The cost to taxpayers will be $14.44 per month per $100,000 of home value. After 2023 that same homeowner’s tax bill will be reduced nearly in half when the loans for the construction of the elementary schools are paid off. If the issue doesn’t pass in August, the state funds will go to another community. When the Crestwood community decides to move forward to update their aging facilities, the community will most likely be left to finance the entire project amount.

Moving forward, the board has approved the implementation of a drug and alcohol testing program in the district. Determined to be pro-active regarding the use of drugs and/or alcohol by district students, the board has determined that the program shall apply to all Crestwood middle and high school students, or any student attending other schools directly affiliated with Crestwood Local Schools, who participate in school sponsored athletics or other extracurricular or co-curricular activities and to eligible students who wish to obtain a parking permit.

They established the program to provide a means of deterrence to develop a truly drug-free school environment and to assist students in getting help when needed. Upon request to participate in athletics, extracurricular activities, or to obtain a parking permit, parent(s) and students will be required to provide written consent for testing prior to participation in the non academic activity, and to submit to random testing on a periodic basis throughout a twelve-month period. The guidelines shall establish a process for random testing of all student athletes and extra-curricular participants, including students who wish to obtain a parking permit, and the process for students that may be tested based on reasonable suspicion. Random urine drug testing and/or oral screening continues throughout the period.

The guidelines include disciplinary sanctions, and shall also require that all parents and students be given a copy of the standards of conduct regarding the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students as well as a copy of the guidelines and this policy. The results of the tests shall not become part of the students’ permanent record, but any documentation supporting a test based on reasonable suspicion shall be maintained in the student’s record. Test results will not be reported to law enforcement authorities, and test information will not be released to law enforcement or other parties except in response to a lawfully executed subpoena. In the latter case, parents will be notified within forty-eight (48) hours of the receipt of the subpoena.
This drug/alcohol testing policy is non-punitive. However, the testing program does not affect current policies of the board regarding student drug, tobacco, or alcohol possession, or use where reasonable suspicion is established by means other than testing as outlined in this policy. The program will be implemented in the 2017 – 2018 school year, which begins at the end of August.

Lastly, Open House events will be held at all district schools on Thursday, August 24th. The Primary and Intermediate Schools will run from 4 – 6 pm, while the Middle and High School events will take place from 5 – 7 pm. Classes will resume on Monday, August 28th.
The next school board meeting will be held on Thursday, August 3rd at 6:45 pm in at Crestwood High School. Residents are encouraged to attend.

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Stacy Turner is a wife, mother, and contributing reporter who has lived in the Mantua/Hiram area for over a dozen years. After enjoying a career in marketing, where she spent her time writing on behalf of other people, she gets a kick out of writing under her own name. Mostly, she enjoys the opportunity to learn more about her community through the stories she covers.