UNION — Northmont City Schools Business Manager Brandon Knecht and Susanne Lintz, assistant superintendent, director of curriculum and instruction technology, Monday night attended the meeting of Union City Council to discuss the May 2 renewal levy.
Originally a 5-year renewal levy, the current levy will become permanent to get off the repeating 5-year renewal cycle.
There would be no increase in taxes from this levy. Northmont City School relies on this particular levy for six percent of its current budget. It is a renewal of 5.9 mills.
“The main thing to take away from this is that it is a zero percent increase in taxes,” Knecht said. “It is very crucial to our district as it accounts for six percent of our budget. It equates to about three point five million dollars and helps to sustain the excellent tradition at Northmont from the classroom to the (basketball) court.”
According to Knecht the levy has been successfully renewed in the past. Schools do not receive a windfall of money from the state.
“At least once a month I am meeting with a business leader in the community or a municipality to see how we can partner to bring great things to the community,” Knecht said. “With our new facilities we’ve seen a big uptick in the events we are hosting now.”
He also pointed out that the district has made $5 million in cuts in recent years including staff cuts and some program cuts.
“The ones we really want to keep and move forward with are dependent upon this levy,” Knecht stated. He also discussed district efforts to secure grants.
Lintz discussed a recent grant called a Straight A grant that Northmont received through a competitive application process that totaled approximately $391,000.
“What we used the money for was to help our teachers provide even better instruction to our students through something called ‘Project Based Learning.’ During a three day period we had all staff in doing professional development,” Lintz said.
The Buck Institute for Education came out to provide training services for Northmont staff with groups of 30 to 35 teachers receiving training over a three day period. It included methods for how to provide instruction for students based on standards of core skills that students need when they graduate and to make them applicable to their lives.
She went on to point out why the levy is a great investment.
Northmont is great investment because:
• It ranks among the top 5 percent in the state in Advanced Placement Scores
• Top 8 percent in the state in Student Growth district-wide
• 100 percent passage for Third Grade Guarantee
• Nationally ranked NJROTC Program
• Academic Challenge has made multiple trips to nationals
• State ranked Science Olympiad teams
• Highest honors at Ohio Music Education Association solo and ensemble
• 79 percent of NHS athletes are scholar athletes
• Multiple national qualifiers in DECA (marketing program)
The levy has been endorsed by the Northmont Area Chamber of Commerce, by Steve Woolf, president of the Clay Township Board of Trustees and by the board of the Northmont Rotary Club.
Mayor Michael O’Callaghan thanked Knecht and Lintz for their presentation. He went on to say that traditionally council has not endorsed levies but as individuals could state that they support it.
“As an individual and as the mayor of Union, I certainly endorse the levy and I am very much in support of Northmont Schools,” O’Callaghan said. “I know they do a fantastic job. In a way they are kind of like the City of Union. They take what money they have and make very good use of it, and that is important as we know.”
Councilman John Bruns also thanked Knecht and Lintz for their presentation.
“I do personally support Northmont Schools,” said City Manager John Applegate. “I am a graduate myself, as is my daughter and my wife and it is an excellent school. You guys do great things. When I see this stuff and read about it in the paper it raises a smile on my face. I wish you the best and if there is anything I can do personally to help, feel free to call and ask and you will have my support.”