Superintendent's Message

A New School for Berne Union:
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our community!

The Berne Union community has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a new school facility for our Pre-K through 12th grade students WITHOUT ASKING FOR NEW TAX DOLLARS!

 

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

Because of the Leach Pipeline and public utility property payments that we will receive over the next 30 years, we are able to use this money to pay for the new building rather than seeking a bond levy (in the form of a property tax). 

While voters do not have to approve funds for the construction of the new building, we are asking voters for a continuing renewal of the current earned income operating levy to ensure we have the financial stability to operate the new building without asking for additional taxes.

 

WHY NOW? 

We have to start building and planning now so that we can leverage state funds to cover nearly 35% of construction costs. Once these pipeline funds start coming in this fall, the state will re-calculate its share of construction costs, meaning we will get significantly less state funds.  By starting now, we will be able to finish construction and the state will reimburse us for their percentage of the costs once we complete construction. 

 

WHY DO WE NEED A NEW BUILDING? 

  • A new school is desperately needed to enhance safety and quality education for BU students.
  • We spend $3 million a year – more than we bring in with our current operating levy –to operate our current facility due to ongoing challenges with the outdated and aging structure.
  • The new building will be built on the current school property without displacing students. 
  • The new facility will address four key challenges with the current facility: 
    1. Security & Safety – the district has made modifications to the existing building to ensure the safety of students and staff, but these accommodations are not equal to the modern-day security measures a new school provides. 
    2. Technology – the current infrastructure of the building is not capable of sustaining today’s educational needs. For example, some classrooms have only a few electrical outlets, which is simply inadequate for the amount of technology used in classrooms today. Also, modern classrooms will be equipped with interactive touch screens and the building will be designed for robust wireless access throughout. 
    3. Educational Environment – the current building’s environment is not equipped for student learning in a modern classroom with inadequate temperature control and a lack of modern science and technology lab spaces. The new building will be energy efficient, saving operating costs as well.
    4. Accessibility and Special Education Needs – The current building is not fully accessible for students with physical or developmental disabilities. Additionally, the new building will allow for important technology and classroom needs for the growing percentage of BU students with special needs, including medically fragile children.

      WHAT IS THE CONTINUING RENEWAL OF THE EARNED INCOME OPERATING LEVY?

    The current 2% earned income tax operating levy, set to expire in 2024, funds $2 million per year — nearly 18% percent—of the district’s operating budget. Berne Union is asking voters to approve a continuing renewal of the current tax in November.  

    • The request is a RENEWAL of the district’s 2% earned income tax—it will NOT raise your tax rate! The earned income operating levy provides the same funding levels we currently operate with and is CRITICAL to our district. 
    • The tax is applied to EARNED INCOME ONLY. The renewal is NOT a tax on retirement, social security or other non-earned income.
    • As a continuing renewal, it PROVIDES LONG-TERM FINANCIAL STABILITY for our schools so we can continue to provide excellent education opportunities for our kids now and in the future. We will not have the same challenges that other districts in our county have faced with failed levy campaigns and operational cuts. This means we are ensuring a quality education for Rockets for generations to come!

District Headlines

Time Machine Logo
Time Machine-"A Book Can Take You Anywhere"
Elementary Book Fair Time Machine-"A Book Can Take You Anywhere" is now virtually in progress with the live event to start November 9th-November 12th in the elementary library from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Read More About Time Machine-"A Book Can Take You Anywhere"
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Your input needed
ATTENTION PARENTS & FAMILIES: The Ohio Department of Education would like to invite you to participate in a short, 25 question survey about your involvement in your student’s education. You may be eligible to participate if your child has an IEP and receives special education services.
Read More About Your input needed
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2020 Yearbook
2020 Yearbooks
The 2020 yearbooks are here! If you wish to pick up a purchased yearbook, call the high school office before noon (740-746-9956), provide a name, and pick it up by the end of the day. If you call later than noon, you will have to pick up the yearbook during the next school day.
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FAFSA meeting information
FAFSA night
ATTENTION SENIORS! The United Way will be hosting a night to help seniors and their parents complete the FAFSA for financial aid consideration in college. Please plan to attend the Berne Union virtual meeting at 5pm on October 20th. Ms. Harrison will be in attendance to help answer any questions you might have! See you there! Register to receive the Zoom link by emailing: aspires@uwayfairfieldco.org
Read More About FAFSA night
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Important Announcement
No Afternoon Classes October 2
We will NOT be having afternoon classes on Friday, October 2. Students should report to morning classes as usually, but classes will not resume in the afternoon to allow teachers time to reset their classrooms in preparation for resuming in-person learning on Monday, October 5. We are looking forward to seeing everyone on Monday!
Read More About No Afternoon Classes October 2
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Attention!
ORIENTATIONS 9/30 - High School Gym
High School Orientation will take place on September 30 in the High School Gym. Check the full post for times by grades.
Read More About ORIENTATIONS 9/30 - High School Gym
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Returning to School October 5
Green Plan Starting October 5
After careful consideration of the evolving information related to COVID-19 cases and safety measures, we have determined we are able to return to in-person, in-classroom learning five days a week beginning October 5, 2020.
Read More About Green Plan Starting October 5
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