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School board hears safety concerns about students walking

Cary Ashby • Sep 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Two mothers shared their concerns with the Norwalk school board Tuesday about having their children walk to school. Students who live within a one-mile radius of their school must either walk or be driven.

Maple Street resident Alison Crawford’s son attends Main Street School while her daughter is at Pleasant Elementary. She said asking her son walk across Benedict Avenue “is absolutely inappropriate.”

Crawford also expressed her frustration at not receiving any information about the nearby bus route being canceled. She and her husband are unable to pick up their children from their schools because of their work schedules.

While Crawford said she understands there needs to be a limitation on bus routes, she wanted to get some notice about the sudden enforcement of the one-mile radius rule.

“That was really letting us down for safety,” she added.

Pleasant Street resident Teresa Lemar’s son attends Pleasant and next year will attend League Elementary. She said he “absolutely won’t” walk to downtown Norwalk, citing concerns about traffic, high-school students and the local heroin problem.

In a bus-related concern, Mike Bach, of Manchester Drive, accused a bus driver of speeding down the street and going “through the cul-de-sac like she’s on a race track.” Also, he said if a motorist is driving “casually,” he can’t hear the vehicle from inside his house, but he hears it when someone is speeding.

“I’ve turned her in twice,” Bach said, referring to the bus driver.

Also, the district requested public feedback about the federal grant money which it applies for annually. The money, granted through the Ohio Department of Education, is used in the elementary schools for student-centered reading, mathematics remediation programming and special education support. School board members received no such feedback during Tuesday’s meeting.

Those federal programs are: Title I (which supports students in reading and math through the employment of building Title I teachers), Title II-A (which “provides high-quality, research-based professional development initiatives” for district staff members), Title III (which implements “strong language development for the district’s English language learners”) and Title VIB (which supports special education).  

In other action Tuesday, the board approved:

• An agreement with Edison and Western Reserve local schools to provide required Title I services to their students who are attending Norwalk Catholic and St. Paul High schools for the 2017-2018 academic year. Edison and Western will pay Norwalk City Schools from their Title I allocations.

• An agreement with New London Local Schools to admit a tuition preschool student.

• An agreement with Monroeville Local Schools to admit a tuition student.

• Certified supplemental contracts for about 145 teachers to work during their conference periods. 

• 10 certified substitute teachers and eight classified substitutes.

• Permission for Norwalk High School science teacher Nate Whaley to take four NHS students to Washington to assist with the annual Honor Trip from Oct. 6 through 8.

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