New latchkey program at Monroe Elementary

By Jane Beathard - For The Madison Press

A before- and after-school “latchkey” program is coming to Monroe Elementary in Plumwood, starting in August.

On Monday, members of the Jonathan Alder Local Schools Board of Education approved the new program for the 2017-18 school year.

Superintendent Gary Chapman said Monroe’s program will be managed out of Dublin. All Monroe students are eligible for admission.

An informational flier said registration will open June 1 with sessions beginning Aug. 16 — the first day of school in the district.

Morning latchkey will begin at 6:45 a.m. and run until 8:45 a.m. After-school sessions will run from 3:30 to 6 p.m. All will be held in the Monroe building and will coincide with the Alder school calendar.

In addition to a $35 registration fee, full-time tuition for morning sessions will cost $120 per month. After-school sessions will run $185 monthly. Tuition for students who participate 12 days or less per month will cost $92 for mornings and $135 for after school. Monroe’s federal 21st Century Grant, which runs through the 2017-18 school year, also supports the program.

Monroe’s latchkey will focus on education. Lessons in math, science, cultural studies and cooperative learning will be intertwined with fun activities and events designed to teach as well as entertain. Each enrolled student will be required to read at least 10 minutes daily.

Additional information about the new Monroe program is available via email at or by phone at 614-793-0871.

Also on Monday, board members approved an enterprise zone agreement that will give Autotool, Inc. a 75 percent property tax abatement for a planned expansion at its Corporate Boulevard facility. The abatement will run for 10 years.

Additional approvals by other local governments are needed before construction can begin, according to Jason Stanford of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.

Autotool owner Bassam Homsi said his company, which makes robotic arms for Honda and others in the auto industry, plans a $2.5 million expansion. The current 87,000 square foot facility will grow to 167,000 square feet and add 35 positions to its current workforce of 60-plus. Homsi said about half of his employees are graduate engineers. He also maintains an educational relationship with Tolles Career & Technical Center and Jonathan Alder High School.

In other meeting business on Monday, school board members:

• Approved an overnight trip to the Friendship Cut Tournament for the high school volleyball team. The tournament is set for July 13-15 in Mason, Ohio.

• Approved participation in a leadership camp for a group of high school band members. The camp is scheduled for July 21-23 in Westchester, Pa.

• Hired Brianna McCray as the junior high school athletic director and dean of students. McCray’s contract will run for three years.

• Heard curriculum director Misty Swanger announce the second Innovation Workshop for Alder teachers will be held May 30 to June 8. Student council members will provide child care for those participating. Federal Title II money pays for the workshop.

By Jane Beathard

For The Madison Press

Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.

Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.