Palestine school chief says more to report card than first meets the eye

EAST PALESTINE– Superintendent Chris Neifer presented the state report card at this week’s meeting and explained why it isn’t a strong indicator of how the district is actually performing.

“It’s like hitting a moving target,” Neifer said. “There are so many changes going on at the state level in regards to testing and the local report card. This report card will be changing again. There are committees meeting right now to make more adjustments to this.”

Neifer said that although the letter grades don’t appear to be strong on the exterior, he is pleased with the district’s ability to maintain its strengths from last year.

“I am not a fan of this report card,” Neifer said. “I will not run a district that worries about what those grades say. Our focus as a district is to make sure we are doing the right things for the kids.”

He believes the state isn’t completely wrong in its thought process behind the report cards , but it is wrong how they go about it.

In other business, the school board addressed November’s income tax levy when board member Rube Ginder discussed the importance of the issue.

“School districts don’t have a magic bean,” Ginder said. ” We’re not like other government bodies where we can raise utility rates for projects. We have to go straight to the voters.”

Ginder said East Palestine has been a frugal district for many years. Employees have taken multiple wage freezes, and there is zero debt in the district.

The administrative team will begin updating the school district safety plan this month. The plan must be updated every three years and is due in January.