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Transcript issues highlight board of education meeting

The topic that elicited the most discussion on the agenda at Thursday night’s Butler County Board of Education meeting: student transcripts.

Lisa Adair-Oberer, curriculum and instructional specialist for the school system, reported that a standing issue with student records would soon be addressed, starting with members of each school’s senior class.

“We are bringing in someone from the state department of education to lead this audit of student transcripts. We’ve had some problems, for example, with students taking the exact same class more than once, and we need to get this resolved and get these records cleaned up,” said Adair-Oberer. 

BOE president Brandon Sellers expressed concern as to why students would be taking classes a second time in the first place, saying,“I mean, didn’t the students or someone with the school system notice they were repeating the same classes?”

Adair-Oberer replied that in at least some cases, it appeared that the problems arose due to students transferring into the county’s system after attending virtual school or coming from another system, saying, “Some things have fallen through the cracks in terms of maintaining the students’ records due to these transfers.”

When asked by Sellers how many students were directly affected by transcript issues, she did not have a firm number, but indicated that students at all three county high schools were impacted.

“Our first order of business is to get the seniors’ records cleaned up . . . we may possibly code some of the classes as electives—but we will make sure the students have the required classes to graduate,” Adair-Oberer said. 

Superintendent John Strycker added, “We are bringing in the best people to handle this situation.”

Sellers inquired as to when the schools would learn which students might be missing needed classes.

“We have to have some kind of plan in place by January,” Sellers said. “People get upset when they move Greenville High’s graduation from the stadium to the auditorium because it won’t fit everybody . . . imagine if people come to graduation and their senior doesn’t get to walk?”

Adair-Oberer assured the board that the auditing process for all seniors would be complete by the beginning of the second semester of the 2017-18 school year.

“We will go through all senior transcripts first, and then proceed down through the juniors and so on. But the seniors are our top priority,” Adair-Oberer said.

Board members Michael Nimmer and Linda Hamilton expressed their appreciation that help from the state level was being brought in to oversee the process.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve visited this problem [with transcripts] and it hasn’t been cleaned up. I commend you for calling in the state,” said Hamilton. “Surely students and parents are entitled to accurate transcripts.”

Nimmer recalled there were transcript issues when he himself transferred to Greenville after moving from out of state. “So it does happen with transfers between schools—it happened to me my senior year. It’s good we are getting this straightened out.”

Sellers added, “We just want to make sure our kids have what they need to graduate on time.”