Lake preschool busing will continue

MILLBURY – The preschool program will continue in the district with transportation, the Lake Board of
Education decided at Wednesday’s meeting.
Superintendent Jim Witt had recommended that transportation from the old Millbury building to Lark
Elementary, where the preschool is held, be eliminated.
He said too many parents were repeatedly late picking up their children, causing problems.
But the board said since special-needs children had to be transported anyway the bus service should
continue. They also asked that the administration look into finding an in-district spot for the
preschool in 2010-11.
Board members also asked Witt to come up with a policy to address the tardy issues, "because we
can’t have our transportation department turned into a daycare," said board member Eric Hirzel.
Board member Margene Akenberger said she worked full-time when her children were young and managed to get
them to school, daycare and other activities.
"If I didn’t pick them up on time, I paid money," she said. "Let’s take care of the bad
The preschool has been held at Lark since the Millbury building closed last year. Witt reminded the board
that local building options were looked into, but none were found.
Under state law, Lake only has to provide school for children age 3 and older with special needs. But
there are "typicals" who attend the preschool, which has about 24 students, Witt said. He did
not know how many of those students rode the bus to Lark.
The preschool is paid for though a grant and Wood County provides the teachers and a supervisor.
Witt estimated the busing cost at $11,000 for a driver and $2.80 per mile with a 50-mile roundtrip per
day. While Lake is required to transport special-needs students, a savings could be realized with the
drivers being able to do other runs or shuttles, he said.
Also at the meeting, the board:
¥ Hired Jay Ackerman as assistant high school principal for a $59,000 salary for the 2009-10 school year.
He had been an English teacher and involved with student government at Sylvania Northview High School.

¥ Approved an extension of the Apple equity lease agreement for computers for one year to July 16, 2011.
Technology Director Donna Zalar said the agreement gives Lake equity, every time it makes a payment,
getting the district more computers. Most recently, the computers in the lab at the high school have
been replaced.
¥ Denied a request by the Shaw family to allow their child to attend kindergarten at Lake this year. The
board in March moved the entrance date of kindergartners from a Sept. 30 fifth birthday to Aug. 1.