Superintendent Welcome Page

East Knox Local Schools

Office of the Superintendent

 

1 August 2014

Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,

Welcome to another school year! You’ll see a lot of new faces among our staff as we hired 11 teachers, 2 bus drivers, an Elementary cook, and School Nurse due to retirements or resignations. We are very fortunate to have found quality individuals to replace those who made various transitions in their lives. We wish them all the very best of luck!

On occasion I feel like Chicken Little (“The sky is falling”) when I speak about the District’s finances. The Board and Administration have spoken multiple times about the looming financial crisis our school district faces. The District yet again avoided the immediate designation of Fiscal Emergency this summer through continued prudent management of our expenses this past school year. In fact, we finished the year spending less money than we brought in. Now that sounds like it should be a no-brainer….don’t spend more than you make. I assure you it’s pretty much impossible these days to balance our budget between unfunded or underfunded state and federal mandates and the fact that East Knox has not passed an operating levy that is still on the books since 1984.

So how did we do it? Most of our savings the past two years has been the result of teaching staff retiring or seeking employment elsewhere. We replaced those teachers with well-qualified, yet lower cost employees as most new hires are just getting their start in education. We are concerned about the loss of veteran staff members, but are also excited about the young folks who have chosen to make East Knox their educational home.

When will “the state” be here? That is a great question. They have proven elusive in the last eighteen months or so. Truth be told, they continue to monitor the District through meetings with the Treasurer, Superintendent and Board as they wait to see if the community passes a levy and financially rights the District on our own. My perception is the state does not want to take over East Knox any more than we want them here. However, we did receive notice in July that East Knox has been placed in FISCAL WATCH, which is just one step from Fiscal Emergency. 

Financially speaking, the forecast has not improved for East Knox. We just managed to kick the can down the road a little further with a turnover rate of 58% of our teaching positions (some positions multiple times) in the last three years. To address East Knox finances, the School Board approved a November ballot issue which will involve a combination of income and property taxes. Specifically, the Board approved ballot placement of a 0.5% Earned Income Tax in combination with a 3.90 Mill Property tax.

We are cognizant of the economy and its effects on all our lives. On one hand, it is unfortunate that schools really only have the option at this point of asking voters to continue and even increase your support of our children’s education. On the other hand, it’s fortunate that communities have maintained local control to decide what their schools should look like versus letting bigger government dictate those decisions to us.

This is a pivotal moment in time for the East Knox Local School District! Do we move towards fiscal health or allow the State of Ohio to come in and dictate our future through Fiscal Emergency oversight? What we do now will shape the District for the next ten years and beyond. Our Board of Education, the Administrative Team, our teachers, staff, and most importantly, our students need to hear from you as we continue the journey towards the November 4th election.

Thanks for entrusting us with the education of this community’s most precious gifts-our children.

Sincerely,

Steve Larcomb


 
 East Knox Local Schools

Office of the Superintendent

 
 

9 May 2014

 

Greetings from East Knox Schools!

 

The school year comes to a close with our high school graduation ceremony on May 30th at 7:00 PM. I was reflecting the other day about school years past. Mine in particular. One of the best teachers I have ever known was Mary Scranton who taught my Latin class during my junior and senior years. The connection was learning about the Pax Romana. It was a period of peace lasting several hundred years in the Roman Empire during the first and second centuries. I chuckled to myself because these days I tend to measure moments of serenity in terms of minutes instead of days, years or centuries. Miss Scranton passed away earlier this year. She was as colorful and vibrant a teacher as any I have ever known although a few of our current East Knox students come close.

 

In several ways, teacher Mary Scranton changed my perspectives about the world as it was and as it is now. I assure you I drive my family silly with my annual speech to them about the Ides of March, Julius Caesar and his parting words, “Et tu Brute?” My Latin name during class was Scipio. What was yours?

 

As you think back to your own youth, who were some of your favorite teachers and why? What was so special about them? As you look to the present, who are your children’s and grandchildren’s favorite teachers and why? Go ahead and ask. I’ll bet it will be an interesting conversation.

 

Have a safe summer! As always, thanks for your time.

 

Steve Larcomb, Superintendent

East Knox Local Schools

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

25 April 2014

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The Knox County Health Department confirms that there are several cases of measles occurring in our county. To the Administration’s knowledge, no East Knox student is currently affected by measles or mumps (as seen in nearby counties).

According to the Knox CountyHealth Department, the best way to not get a case of measles is to be vaccinated. Virtually every East Knox family has chosen to comply with health professional advisories to follow recommended vaccinations including the MMR shot. However, there are a small number of families who have opted, as is their right for religious reasons, to not receive vaccinations including MMR.

Please be advised that all East Knox students who have not received the recommended MMR vaccination will be sent home for the remainder of the 2013-2014 school year if the Knox County Health Department confirms that an unvaccinated East Knox student has been exposed to measles or mumps.

Sincerely,

Steve Larcomb

Superintendent of Schools

 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 2014

Greetings from East Knox Schools!

 

Thankfully the weather has finally turned and flowers are beginning to bloom at last. It’s hard to believe we’re already a couple of weeks into thelast nine weeks of this school year!

 

Our FFA Soils and Landscape Team placed first in the State at their recent nursery competition and will advance to nationals.  Several students earned individual honors in addition to the team’s ranking.  Those students are: Cierra Marshall, Tori Anders, Rebecca McCarthy and Luke Wells.

                                                                                                       

The following students were inducted into the East Knox National Honors Society in March. They are: Jessica McFadden, Nash Smalley, Lydia Taylor, Logan Smalley, Tori Anders, Matthew McDaniel, Emmanuel Singletary, Michaella Lowe, Hannah Tokasz, Olivia Durbin, Katelyn Smith, Kendyl Peverly, Stefanie Jacobs, and Kalen Knight.  Congratulations to these students on their well-deserved recognition!

 

We received that EK Junior Ramsey McCarthy will receive his Eagle Scout award in the next few weeks. Ramsey’s mother, Julie McCarthy-Koontz writes: Ramsey chose to recognize the elderly in his community by creating a charity call “Stockings for Senior”.  Ramsey organized various drives to collect Christmas Stockings and items to fill them, organized a number of people to fill and then deliver the stockings. This past year was the third year for Stocking for Seniors and, to date,1,400 stocking have been delivered to low income home bound elderly and those in nursing homes.  Congratulations to Ramsey.  We’re proud to call him a Bulldog!

 

This is just a small sampling of the great things happening in our public school system.  I did not include the extensive Elementary honor and merit rolls for the third nine weeks since they were also covered in the Mount Vernon News.

 

I hope you have a great spring and take a moment to say congratulations to our students if and when you see them.  I have a hunch that if you say “congratulations” to an East Knox student without even knowing why, they’ll share with you something great they have been doing.  Go ahead and let me know if I’m correct, please!

 

As always, thanks for your time.

 

Steve Larcomb, Superintendent

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
March 13, 2014

The Ohio House and Senate chambers passed Amended Substitute HB416 yesterday regarding changes to calamity days. I would think the Governor will sign off on it today.

The short story: East Knox Local Schools WILL be in school on March 24th. We will NOT be in school the rest of Spring Break Week (March 25th-28th). However, our third and final Blizzard Bag day is March 25th (we do NOT come to school that day). Students will have take home assignments for March 25th that will be due upon their return from break.

Thanks and enjoy today's sunshine!

Steve Larcomb, Supt.
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

February 20, 2014

 
Dear Parents, Students, Staff and East Knox Community,
 
The Board of Education met again last evening for several hours to discuss our school district’s finances. After a diligent and lengthy examination of our staffing in all personnel areas, the Board determined that further reductions in current staff positions would likely harm our students' educational opportunities beyond what they have already experienced.
 

The Administration and Board expects the Ohio Department of Education in coordination with the Ohio State Auditor's Office to request between now and late May a plan of action that addresses the impending $828,000 deficit for the 2014-2015 school year.

The Board's response to those entities will include verbiage that basically states we've done all we can. We do not have a spending problem at East Knox. It is a revenue issue. We need to pass a levy. Further staff cuts will not solve our financial issues.

Relatively soon after that point, the Auditor will/should declare East Knox in a state of Fiscal Emergency which will then cause the formation of a Fiscal and Planning Oversight Committee. That committee will examine the measures we've taken to date and determine whether or not further reductions are required before they'll authorize lending of money to cover our expenses.

The bottom line is that the East Knox community needs to pass a levy this coming November 4th. I am hopeful that we can convince key community members to again create a positive, masterful levy campaign such as we witnessed last Fall.  As our community considers the future of East Knox Schools, there are three basic questions that need to be answered between now and this fall: 1) What do you want for our students? 2) Where do you see East Knox Local Schools in the next five years? and 3) What will you do to help?

 

Sincerely,

 

Steve Larcomb

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

February 11, 2014

  

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and East Knox Community
 
The in-school, make-up calamity days for this Friday, February 14th and next Monday, February 17th are CANCELLED! Please do not bring your student to school either of these days!

 

Our School Board approved using the Blizzard Bag exemption in Ohio law at their meeting last night. Instead of coming to school these days, students will receive assignments that need to be accomplished at home. At least some of these assignments may require the use of the internet. Students who do not have internet service at home and/or who do not finish their work before next Tuesday will be given time to complete their assignments at school during their lunch or study hall times.

 

We are still currently over the calamity day limit by one day even using these Blizzard Bag days.  That day is scheduled to be made up on March 24th which is the first day of our Spring Break.  However, there is movement in the Ohio Legislature to add additional calamity days to this year’s calendar which would cancel the additional day that we “owe” now.

 

I’ll be sure to let you know, as soon as I know, if the law changes to give us more days. Until then, stay warm and dry!

 

Sincerely,

 

Steve Larcomb

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
East Knox Local Schools
Office of the Superintendent
 
 

January 31, 2014

 

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and East Knox Community 

 

You may have heard that East Knox Schools are over our 5-day limit for calamity days (also known as snow days). Our students and staff are currently scheduled to make up the three extra days on Feb. 14th, Feb. 17th and Mar. 24th(the first day of our spring break). We will cut further into spring break if we experience more school cancellations.

 

There is movement in the Ohio Legislature to add four additional calamity days to this year’s calendar. The good news is our students may get a governor’s reprieve as he has indicated he will sign the bill. The bad news is it may not arrive before Feb. 10th. 

 

At this point, the Administration and staff are proceeding with our make-up day plan according to the Board - approved 2013-2014 school calendar. We will follow this plan unless the law has changed AND our school board approves a revised school calendar at their next meeting on Feb. 10th.

 

Thanks for your patience as we have endured one of the more memorable winters of our time. Our children and grandchildren will one day tell their sons and daughters how they had to walk to and from school, uphill both ways in knee-deep snow during the cold spell of 2014. Some things never change and that’s okay!

 

Sincerely,

 

Steve Larcomb

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
East Knox Local Schools
Office of the Superintendent
 
December 4, 2013
 
Re: Snow Days/Delays
 
 
To All Parents and Students,
 
Thank goodness for the mild temperatures these past two days. Friday’s forecast shows a potentially nasty mix of snow, ice and wind. With that in mind, it is time to write this letter!
 
 
As a parent, I know all too well the disruption that occurs at home with delays or cancellations because of bad weather. Therefore, I try to minimize those disruptions as safety permits. Cancel, delay or have school on time? It’s rarely an easy decision. The bottom line is whether or not it is safe for our buses to transport students.
 
Parents have the ultimate decision whether it is safe for their child to travel toschool. This is an especially critical decision with teenage drivers. I urge you to consider all factors (age, experience, weather, etc) when determining whether your child drives to school on any particular winter morning or rides the bus.
 
I try to use the phone notification system on mornings when there’s fog, snow or ice. However, you may also check our school’s website, Facebook page, listen to the radio, or watch Columbus television stations.
 
I hope each and every one of you has a great holiday season. Take care, be safe and thanks for trusting us with your child’s education!
 
Sincerely,
 
Steve Larcomb
Superintendent
 
 
 
 
 

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and East Knox Community,

I wanted to take some time to address last Tuesday’s levy failure and what it means for the foreseeable future while providing factual information as much as possible. First thing, though, is to say thank you to the Our Kids, Our Future levy campaign committee headed up by Mrs. Laurie Gallwitz. The committee comprised of and supported by many facets of this community including, but certainly not limited to parents, grandparents, students, staff members and friends made this the most memorable, positive campaign I’ve ever been fortunate enough to experience. It is absolutely ZERO negative reflection upon the work that was done and falling approximately 108 votes shy of success. The fact is we came to the closest percentage (52-48%) we’ve managed in eight attempts.

It’s human nature to worry about the future of this school district and how it relates to our own personal situations. The best advice I can give is to not stress about that which we cannot control.

What I know as of this date and what I anticipate through May is that nothing has changed for this school year! Our staff will keep our heads up and continue doing the great work that we do day in and day out for our students and this community!

Here's a couple answers to FAQs that the Administration has been asked and the answers as best we know.

1. When will "the state" be here?

We anticipate our Board of Education will receive a letter from the Auditor of State’s Office (AOS) sometime between the end of this month and this coming June 30

th. Upon receipt of that letter, the Board will have 60 days to provide AOS with a recovery plan that addresses how the Board will eliminate the 2014-2015 deficit. We will not be able to provide AOS with an acceptable plan since the levy failed. At that point in time, the AOS will direct the Ohio Department of Education to either place us in Fiscal Watch and give us another 60 days to submit a plan or form a Fiscal Planning and Oversight Commission.

2. What can/will the commission do?

We are told the commission will look at the District’s finances and determine where, in their opinion, further reductions must be made. Then, and only then, will they authorize the District to borrow money to pay expenses once we’ve spent monies we normally receive through tax collections. We will be forced to begin repaying the money loaned to the District the year after it is borrowed. We will then be forced to borrow more money on top of the borrowed money as the deficit continues to grow. The cycle will continue to get worse (think of a Pay Day loan) until our voters realize this will only continue to get worse and it will cost them more money the longer they wait to pass a levy. The commission will dictate to the Board how much money they must ask by way of a levy. We do not

know at this time if they’ll also dictate what type of levy it must be (i.e. property tax, income tax, combination, etc).

3. Will we be forced to merge with Danville or another school district?

East Knox will not/cannot be absorbed/combined/split up with another district(s) without voter approval from the affected districts (i.e. EK voters would have to approve consolidation with Danville AND Danville voters would have to approve consolidation with EK. ODE states it’s not happened anywhere in a fiscal emergency situation). A couple follow up points to the "We’ll just merge with Danville" scenario. Taxpayers pay the higher tax rate of the two districts when consolidation occurs. Do you think EK taxpayers wants to pay Danville’s income tax rate plus their property tax rates? Do you think Danville wants to take on EK’s debts and "no" voters? Just a couple points to ponder.

4. Will the Board go back on the ballot in May?

We have three new Board members taking office as of January. I am thankful for the service of the members leaving the Board (and the two remaining). Their years of service to this community are testament to their care and concern for our students and this school community in its entirety. I am very confident that the new Board members (and the two remaining) will continue the tradition of sound decisions with the information they have available. It will be the Board’s decision when to next go on the ballot until such time that a commission is formed. The commission will then dictate when to go on the ballot, for how much and likely, what type of issue (i.e. property tax, etc).

The Board and Administration will do our best to keep the school community informed as we move down the path towards Fiscal Emergency. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

 
 
 

 
 
 
November 5, 2013

Dear East Knox Community:

It is with sadness for our students and the general welfare of our great community that unofficial results show that our school levy has been defeated by approximately 108 votes. 
The BOE and Administration greatly appreciates thehard work and dedication of levy chairwoman Laurie Gallwitz, many parents, grandparents and friends of East Knox Local Schools in our attempt to pass this combination levy. We engaged our community through a Labor Day Walk/Run event, sponsored a Meet the Board Candidates Night and held a pep rally among many other activities that showcased our students and staff.  The unfortunate fact remains that voters have chosen a path to fiscal emergency for our school system.
We look forward to 2014 with trepidation as we await the formation of the state-appointed Fiscal Planning and Oversight Commission. Their recommendations will be mandates that we will be forced to implement. Please know that we will do our best to continue to nurture and educate our children with the resources we have available. There are dark days ahead for East Knox, but we will face them together with the same Bulldog spirit for which we are known.

Sincerely,

 
Steve Larcomb, Supt
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dear Residents,

 

East Knox Local Schools (EK) and our students continue to excel against all odds and despite many obstacles. The 2012-2013 Local Report Card stacks up well against any in Knox County. These results serve as a testament to the hard work of our students, parents and staff!

 

It should certainly be no secret that tempering these results is our school district’s economic distress. The Ohio Legislature cut school funding across our state by $1.8 billion in 2012-2013. It then restored about $717 million between 2014 and 2015. Our legislators proceeded to pat themselves on the back this summer about the purported increases in educational funding. Nowhere but in Ohio politics have I seen where you take a dollar from a person, give them back 40 cents and with a straight face try to convince that person you made them better off than they were before. By the way, projections for that big gift from our legislature to East Knox is that we will receive zero funding increase from the state. We did not even get our 40 cents back!

 

This is the fifth year in a row that our staff members have not received a base salary increase. There are those who would opine, “So what?” The “so what” is that EK teachers are leaving our students and this community in droves on their way to better job security and pay increases. EK experienced a 50% loss of teaching staff these past two years between retirements and resignations (19 teachers this year alone). Losses of mid-level and senior-level teachers place us at a critical near-term crossroads for our students’ future achievement levels.

 

Our reality is that the EK Board must come to our community and ask you to further financially support our students and secure their futures. The Board placed a combination levy on this fall’s ballot to meet our district’s needs. The levy consists of 2.90 mills of property tax ($101.50 per year for a $100,000 home) and one percent earned income tax. Earned income means no tax on social security, pensions or any other unearned income. The last time our community passed a new operating levy that is still collected was 1984. That’s 29 years!

 

EK students should have physical education, music and art at the Elementary and Middle School levels. They do not have it now, but will in 2014-2015 if this levy passes. Our teachers should have a competitive salary that will keep them at East Knox. Otherwise, our school district will continue to serve as a training ground for other districts. Our students should have physics classes. They should have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. High school $250.00 pay-to-participate fees per activity keep ourpoorest students from getting access to after-school programs. They deserve the rich educational environment both inside and outside the classroom walls that you and I experienced in our own respective youths.

 

The East Knox School Board places these fundamental issues before our community in the form of a levy ballot on November 5th, 2013. We look forward to your answer for the futures of our children and grandchildren.

 

Sincerely,

Steve Larcomb, Superintendent

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

East Knox Local Schools

Office of the Superintendent

 

23 August 2013

 

Re: Next phases for Grades 7-12 iPad deployments

 

 

Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,

 

The Administration received several calls from parents with students in Grades 7-12 who were not able to attend their respective orientation meeting, but wish receive the orientation material and pay the $50.00 insurance premium.

 

For your convenience, staff members will be available to distribute iPads beginning next Mon., Aug. 26th through Sep. 13th from 2:30-3:00. Please come to the Jr/Sr High School Office and we will direct you from there. Contact the office if you cannot come to the school during this time frame and we will make alternate arrangements to meet with you.

 

For an iPad to be issued to a student in Grades 7-12, the following must occur:

 

A parent/guardian must be present to sign for and receive the student’s iPad.

 

A $50.00 technology payment must be made to cover the cost of the insurance policy. This is an every year fee. The annual insurance amount must be paid in order for your student to bring the device home. This $50.00 will cover accidental damage and theft (as long as a police report is filed).

 

If the amount is not paid, then the student will not be permitted to take the iPad home. However, your student will be able to check in and out his/her respective iPad during the school day if you and your student have signed the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).

 

As always, please feel free to contact the office if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,

 

Steve Larcomb

Superintendent of Schools

 
 
 
East Knox Local Schools

Office of the Superintendent

 

 

Aug. 1, 2013

 

Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,

 

Welcome to another school year! This year will look a lot different than it has in the past several years with K-6 now housed at the former Middle School and Grades 7-12 now referred to as the Junior/Senior High School. You’ll see a lot of new faces among our teaching staff as we hired 15 positions due to retirements or resignations.

 

Among many changes are the additions of iPad devices available for each of our students in Grades 4-12with additional devices within K-3 grade levels. Please see the calendar on our website for upcoming distribution and Open House dates.

 

We received notice in July that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) granted our request for waiver of four instructional days for staff development. The calendar has been adjusted. It’s available on our ekschools.org website. The additional days out of school for students are Oct.15th (we already have professional development scheduled for Oct. 14th); Nov. 25th and 26th and Jan. 17th. This means that students will not have school any day of Thanksgiving week nor the Monday after.

 

In an attempt to address the District’s finances, the Board approved a November ballot issue which will involve a combination of income and property taxes. Specifically, the Board approved ballot placement of a 1% Earned Income Tax in combination with a 2.90 Mill Property tax. This remains a critical time for our school district and this community. It’s up to you to help guide the future of East Knox Local Schools.

 

As August 20th approaches, I want to thank you again for entrusting us with the education of this community’s most precious gifts-our children!

 

Sincerely,

  

Steve Larcomb

Superintendent of Schools

 

 
 
 
 May 8, 2013
From the Office of the Superintendent

 The East Knox BOE and Administration greatly appreciates the community’s consideration of the combination levy even though it did not pass. It is unfortunate that voters have chosen a path to fiscal emergency for our school system, but we'll embrace our tasks ahead and continue to do our best to educate students with the resources we are given. However, no one should be surprised by significant changes that will occur in the landscape of what our school configurations look like beginning this August.

 Our staff, Board and Administration are especially proud of our students' achievements in all aspects of their education. We are excited for our students that they are ranked Excellent on the Local Report Card for the first time in district history. We are humbled by the many professional and personal sacrifices our staff members make in their care of our students to ensure their safety, achievement and social-emotional development.

 We look forward to the next six months with trepidation as we await the formation of the state-appointed Fiscal Planning and Oversight Commission. Their recommendations will be mandates that the BOE and Administration will be forced to implement. There are dark days ahead for East Knox, but we will face them together with the same Bulldog spirit for which we are known.
 
Steve Larcomb
 
 
 

Dear Parents and Community Members,

The Board of Education placed a combination levy on the May 7th ballot. This levy will raise approximately $2.1 million per year if approved. It combines 2.9 mills of property tax with a 1% earned income tax. The Board heard a few concerns about last November’s levy request for a continuing period of time. This levy request is for a 10-year period instead of a continuous time frame. We certainly hope the economy continues to improve over that period of time in addition to our state legislature recognizing its constitutional duty to effectively fund public education. In the meantime, it is up to local taxpayers to ensure the futures of their schools and community.

Please visit us on Facebook or feel free to contact me at: slarcomb@ekschools.org for more information about our levy request.

You have the chance to help shape East Knox Schools for generations to come. Please be sure to get out and vote!

 

Steve Larcomb
 
 
 
 
Office of the Superintendent
 
March 11, 2013
 
To all Parents and Community Members,
 

     The East Knox Board of Education will consider two very important issues when it meets this Wednesday, March 13that 7:00PM in the Middle School Commons.

 

     The first issue of note is the possible lease with option to purchase over the next four years enough technology to provide every one of our Grades 4-12 students with an iPad4 with an additional 90+ devices to be shared at Grades K-3. This tremendous opportunity is a natural follow-through with the Board’s upgrade of our technology capabilities last summer. The Board and Administration will use Permanent Improvement (PI) funds, if approved, to the greatest extent possible. PI funds are different from General Fund income and expenses. The Board is asking for a levy in May to cover General Fund dollars which cover day-to-day type operational expenses. These are two separate funds. PI funds cannot by law be used to cover general fund expenses. They are meant for things such as technology, bus purchases and building/property improvements.
 

     The three Building Principals and I attended the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy’s Active Shooter for EducatorsTraining last Thursday. You may have heard of the A.L.I.C.E. training that has been in the news especially since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December. Schools do a great job in training students and staff in lock down drills and seeking shelter. Sandy Hook teaches us that educators need to seriously examine how to respond when an active shooter actually enters a classroom or other area where students and staff are present.

 

     These considerations bring us to the second major issue Wednesday evening. The Board will discuss possibly authorizing the Administration to arm staff members who receive proper training. IF the Board movesforward, the Board and Administration will work together to ensure that no staff member will ever be authorized to carry a gun without Peace Officer Academy certification, meet rigid requalification requirements as recommended AND receive written approval from the Superintendent. Any non-lethal methods would also require intensive training.

 

     I assure you that as Superintendent andfather of two East Knox students, I am excited considering the implications for all students moving forward with technology and its educational possibilities. I am also very concerned for the safety of each one of our students-your children and mine. I’m not sure that putting guns into schools is the right answer unless it’s carried by a law enforcement officer. What I do know is that we must provide our students and staff some form of empowerment and knowledge to increase their chances of survival if ever faced with a significant threat.

 

     Please join us Wednesday evening and bepart of these conversations. I assure you we do not take lightly the future of our children on any level especially these two areas.

 
Sincerely,
 
Steve Larcomb
Superintendent
  
 

 

 

Office of the Superintendent

 
 December 16, 2012
 
Good afternoon,
 
The start of last Friday morning was like most other school days across the United States. Parents sent their children to school, thought about presents, fretting that maybe they still needed to buy one or two more gifts. Suddenly, we were again reminded of the devastation that is inflicted by those who are intent to cause harm. The grief of the Newtown, CT families who lost children and adults in another senseless massacre is unimaginable.  Our hearts go out to them for their loss. We pray that they find healing.
 
As schools and communities reflect in the days to come, they'll certainly re-examine their security plans as we’re doing.  We will not react as defeated by these senseless acts of violence.  As a nation, we will persevere. We will continue to inspire and safeguard our children at every measure, but we can’t do it alone.  We need you.  So, how can you help as a student, parent, faculty and community?  If you see posts, tweets, texts or hear utterances that boast of threats or violence in any form, please let us know or call the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at (740) 397-3333.
East Knox Schools are committed to our children and community. We continue to work to improve emergency communications. We updated our technology this fall with a new phone communication system tool.  Our Administration and the Strategic Planning Committee are working to update our Crisis Action Plan. We conduct lockdown drills at all three buildings often in cooperation with the Knox County Sheriff's Office. They were on hand for a district-wide drill on November 7th. They are fully aware, have toured our buildings more than once, and give us suggestions to improve our procedures. As the staff at Sandy Hook Elementary demonstrated in their acts of courage, it is often the practiced staff's response that saves lives in times of crisis.
 
Last Friday is another reminder to be aware constantly of what's going on around us. Again, if you see something out of the ordinary, tell someone. If you hear any type of threat, report it to authorities. Don't accept what you know is wrong and that you have the power to positively effect. Correct an unsafe situation, trust your gut, and tell someone in charge.   
 
As we ready ourselves for this last school week before break, please join me in continued prayers for the families of the Newtown victims. I assure you I've said a number of prayers that such a tragedy doesn't happen in another community.
 
Sincerely,
 
Steve Larcomb
 
Superintendent
 

 
 
 
December 11, 2012
 


To All Parents and Students,
 

 

Thanks to such a beautiful and relatively warm fall, I managed to delay writing this year's letter about the dreaded thought of calamity days (also known as snow days).
 
 
As a parent, I know all too well the disruption that occurs at home with delays or cancellations because of bad weather.  Therefore, I try to minimize those disruptions as safety permits.  Cancel, delay or have school on time?  It's rarely an easy decision.  The bottom line is whether or not it is safe for our buses to transport students.
 
 
Parents have the ultimate decision whether it is safe for their child to travel to school. This is an especially critical decision with teenage drivers.  I urge you to consider all factors (age, experience, weather, etc) when determining whether your child drives to school on any particular winter morning or rides the bus.
 
 
I try to use the phone notification system on mornings when there's fog, snow or ice.  However, you may also check our school's website, Facebook page, listen to the radio, or watch Columbus television stations. Another way to receive messages from the school is to text the word 'join' to 56360.
 
 
I hope each and every one of you has a great holiday season.  Take care, be safe, and thanks for trusting us with your child's education!
 
 
Sincerely,
 

 

Steve Larcomb

Superintendent

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East Knox Board Of Education
23201 Coshocton Road
Howard, OH 43028
For other contact information, see "District Personnel" tab
Phone: 740.599.7493 x1002
Fax: 740.599.5863