Fact or Fiction?

This portion of the LaBrae Local Schools' website is designed to allow our constituents the opportunity to submit questions regarding matters being discussed within the community.  It is an attempt to increase communication and ensure that accurate information is provided on issues relative to the school.  Additionally, it helps the District maintain transparency with the community as the Board of Education and staff at LaBrae work to provide excellent service to our community.  

If you are hearing conversation about the schools and would like to determine whether the information is accurate, please use the link below to submit a question.  Your question will be posted along with a response providing an explanation or clarity to the question.

Follow this link to Submit your question:  Fact or Fiction?

Cross Country

Question: Is it true that the new cross-country coaches have little to no experience as runners? {July 10, 2015}

Yes this is true.  The two coaches that have been hired by the Board of Education are both new teachers to the district, and both have athletic backgrounds as interscholastic sports athletes, but not in the area of cross country.  Both individuals, with their personal and professional qualities, coupled with their athletic experiences, make them excellent candidates to work with our student-athletes.  Additionally, the administration worked to secure coaches with more cross country experience, but all avenues pursued did not produce a single interested candidate.  LaBrae Local Schools thanks the two coaches hired for their willingness to take on this endeavor and their enthusiasm for working with our student-athletes, for without them the 2015 LaBrae Cross Country season would have likely been cancelled.  

Cross Country

Question:  Is it true that a replacement coach for cross country has not been found yet? {June 24, 2015}

That is correct.  Currently, the Athletic Director has followed some leads on potential candidates identified through our affiliation with other districts and coaches.  This has not resulted in us securing the services of a cross country coach.  Additionally, candidates that are being interviewed this summer for teaching positions are being reviewed as potential coaching candidates in addition to their prospective teaching duties.

Guidance Counselor Position

Question: Is it true that you will not be replacing the guidance counselor that retired? {April 8, 2015}

A retirement in our guidance department provides a perfect opportunity to evaluate our current structure relative to the number of counselors and the number of students served.  There is no intent to cut the position and only serve our students in grades K-12 with two school counselors.  However, the District is interested in re-evaluating our current arrangement in comparison with similar districts to determine if we can better serve all of our students.  Currently, our K-5 student population is slightly over 900 students, who are being served by one counselor.  Our 9-12 student population is approximately 400 and is served by two counselors.  The current arrangement needs to be examined to determine how potentially realiging the counselors could optimize the guidance department so that all of our students are getting an appropriate level of service according to the special needs that come with each grade level.

Cross Country

Questions: Is it true that if the Cross Country coach leaves, you are cancelling the program?/Is it true that you are cancelling funding for cross country? {April 8, 2015}

There is no truth to the suggestion in the questions above that the future of cross country is in jeopardy.  The leadership of LaBrae is not interested in using any opportunity created by a potential vacancy as an opportunity to cancel a sport, especially one that still provides our student-athletes with authentic athletic experiences. Despite the roller coaster ride that is school funding in the state of Ohio, LaBrae's finances are stable, and such an act isn't warranted at this time.  However, should finances for the District ever be dire enough, all programs would be evaluated as to whether or not they can be sustained.  Thankfully, we are not at that point, and we don't expect to be in the near future.  

Soccer Coaching Question

Question:  Is it true that the LaBrae boys' soccer team will have the same coach this year as last year?  {March 2, 2015}

While this comment will not be answered directly in this format,i.e. on the Internet, one should be aware that following each athletic season, coaches undergo an evaluation process conducted by the Athletic Director.  Evaluations of the coach take a broad perspective and take into account whether the coach is meeting the objectives established by the Board of Education and Administration of LaBrae Local Schools.  All coaches are provided vital feedback and are engaged in honest discussion about their performance and their leadership of our programs. It is the goal of LaBrae to continue to employ coaches who are meeting established objectives.  Conversely, it is also our goal to cease employing coaches who are consistently not meeting the objectives of our athletic and curricular programs.

Specific inquires as to the status of coaches should be directed to the Athletic Director.  The Athletic Director can be reached at the high school by dialing 330.898.0800.

Homemade Cafeteria Food

Question:  Why are my kids not getting fed homemade meals like I use to?  {January 29, 2015}

This is a great question, and its answer involves multiple factors.  First, a school cafeteria is required to operate self-sufficiently, which means that the revenue collected through sales, and the school lunch program reimbursements from the State, must be sufficient enough to pay for the operation of the cafeteria services department.  The costs to run a cafeteria not only include food and supplies, but it also includes labor costs.  In short, school cafeterias need to pay for themselves.  Local property taxes and state funding are not intended for cafeteria use.

Many years ago, LaBrae had cafeteria cooks working shifts that were more hours than the shift hours of today's cooks.  This reduces the overall labor hours available in the cafeteria department for preparing more homemade meals, which is more labor intensive. This reduction in cafeteria hours is something that is common among public schools as districts have taken steps to keep their cafeterias from spending more than the revenue available.  Simply, with less labor time available, districts have transitioned to using many food products that come pre-cooked and requiring the cafeteria personnel to heat and serve.  On many occasion, our cooks will take base products, such as pasta sauce, and prepare it with added spices and ingredients to make it more palatable than the base sauce product.  Also,another example of how our staff works to balance pre-made meals with homemade offerings is the monthly offering of homemade red and white pizza.   

Another factor impacting offerings is the federal school nutrition requirements.  Every school who receives lunch reimbursements from the government must comply with these requirements or lose the cafeteria funding.  Trying to prepare homemade meals for our students is a difficult task in the time alotted, doing so with the additional requirements from the government would take additional time that simply isn't available, and allowing for longer work shifts for our personnel to do so would jeopardize the long-term finances of our cafeteria operation.  Therefore, LaBrae strives to strike a balance between offering the best food services our resources will allow, while meeting nutrition requirements and maintaining sound financial management of our operation.

Is LaBrae Considering Building Construction?

Question:  I've heard that LaBrae wants to build another school building.  Is this true?  {January 26, 2015}

This is somewhat accurate.  Each year the Ohio School Facility Commission (OSFC), the agency that spearheads new school construction, contacts the District to gage interest in engaging in a construction project.  Up until recently, the LaBrae Board of Education has replied to the OSFC each year that LaBrae is not interested in participating.  However, this year, LaBrae was informed that if it were to participate in a project the State of Ohio would pay for 91% of the construction project.  This is a dramatic increase in the "State Share" compared to the approximate 70% the State paid when the LaBrae Complex was constructed shortly after the turn of the millenium.  

Armed with this information, the Board of Education made a decision at its December meeting to enter into the planning stage for construction of a new elementary building to replace Bascom Elementary.  Once the planning and assessment stage is complete, which is expected to be in May, the Board will then have to make a decision to move forward with a construction project and seek voter support to pay for the 9% "local share", or the Board can decide to not move forward with a project and keep using Bascom Elementary to house grades PK-2.

Tribune Report on Ohio E & A

Question:  The Tribune reported in the paper recently that LaBrae paid $7, 017 for membership in a group called the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy.  That sounds rather expensive.  What is this organization? What makes its membership dues so expensive?

The information reported in the Tribune was inaccurate.  It was simply a misprint.  The dues to join this organization are $.50 for each student enrolled in the district.  Our membership dues for the 2014-2015 school year total $717.00.  The Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy is a pro-public school lobbying group in Columbus that has been advocating for fair and sufficient school funding from the State.  Hundreds of public school districts in Ohio join this organization to strengthen their voice on school funding policy in Columbus.  The LaBrae Board of Education believes it is important to maintain a collective voice of strength in Columbus on the issue of school funding with the hopes of improving state policy so that the education of our students is properly funded and to ease the burden on the local property taxpayers in our community and across the state, and as such continues to support the Ohio Coalition.


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