BLOOMDALE – A mentoring and tutoring program is back this year at Elmwood Local Schools.

The Royal Readers program last year had the high school leadership team mentoring and tutoring their middle school and elementary counterparts, said high school Principal Ty Traxler at the Sept. 12 school board meeting.

He said teachers were asked to identify students who needed help with social skills, reading or math.

There were 15-20 high school students who initially participated during last year’s inaugural program.

“We thought it was really successful, really positive,” Traxler said.

This year, so many students are interested in participating that they are adding other student groups, he said.

Traxler said a high school student who is fluent in Spanish is working as an interpreter for an elementary student who doesn’t speak English.

“We think the possibilities are endless with this,” he said.

There are blue and white homerooms at the high school where leadership skills are taught, and that is being expanded this year with a Homeroom Buddy Program.

There are 21 elementary classrooms and 21 classrooms in the grades 9-12.

Each high school classroom has adopted an elementary classroom and every nine weeks will do an activity together.

“That’s something we’re really looking forward to seeing grow,” Traxler said.

The next session will be Sept. 30.

“I love the idea,” said board member Melanie Davis.

Board President Debbie Reynolds said it was a win-win for all the students.

“The older kids will see what a positive influence they have on these children,” she said.

The district’s administrative team has been looking for ways to integrate all grades, Traxler said.

There was a K-12 pep rally at the start of the school year “that was pretty cool,” he said.

Also at the meeting, the board:

• Saw Marty Rothey, northwest region manager with the Ohio School Boards Association, present board member Brian King with a 15-year veteran board member certificate.

She also announced that Reynolds had agreed to join the executive committee for the northwest region of OSBA.

“Thank you for coming and honoring our board members,” said Superintendent Tony Borton.

• Heard Carrie Kingery alerted the board of the need for maintenance of the baseball field.

She said the field is not being maintained during the off season, which makes it difficult for players to utilize it to work on their skills.

Kingery said it is not being mowed, there are weeds in the outfield and a ground mole issue in the infield.

The issue is manpower, Borton said, but they are working on planning a long-term fix.

“We’re aware of all the issues,” he said. “It will get better. There is a plan.”

• Heard Treasurer Jenalee Niese report that the Rover pipeline payment is down 9.5% from last year.

She said there was a court hearing in August, but nothing was decided.

• Heard Borton announce that starting next month there will be audio recordings of the business section of the board meeting available on request.

Because the video recordings were not closed-captioned, they did not adhere to ADA requirements, he said, and cannot be posted.

• Heard Borton reported that a database of student conflicts and bullying incidents is being developed by the administrative staff.

“It’s working very well,” he said.

• Accepted $250 and $1,000 in donations to the food pantry from Victory Chapel Fellowship and Benschoter Hay & Straw LLC, respectively; $3,945 for Elmwood baseball from Royal Summer Baseball; a green energy machine valued at $3,000 to the middle school from Ohio Energy Project; and $450 to the high school from Stearns & Hammer Attorneys at Law.