Twinsburg City School District staff can now enroll their children in Twinsburg schools

Temporary measure during pandemic, officials say

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
The school board met Friday morning and approved 4-1 a resolution that allows the children of staff members outside the district boundaries to pay tuition and temporarily enroll in the Twinsburg schools.

TWINSBURG – Teachers and staff at the Twinsburg City Schools will have the option of enrolling their children with the district, even if they do not live within the district.

The school board voted 4-1 Friday to allow district staff to pay tuition to enroll their children outside the district with the Twinsburg schools during the pandemic.

Superintendent Kathryn Powers said this is not open enrollment and not a permanent situation, but something for staff living outside the district to provide for greater flexibility and ease of mind for them. Powers said that, as of Friday, that families of 11 children, mostly primary school aged, had expressed an interest in enrolling their children with the Twinsburg schools. The oldest student is in eighth grade.

Mark Curtis, school board president, said this “was a unique circumstance,” so the district’s staff “aren’t forced to choose to leave their kids at home.”

Board member Adrienne Gordon cast the dissenting vote, saying that she had received several phone calls from parents in the district who were concerned about capacity issues. High school parents especially had been concerned with their college-track children not getting the classes they would need due to the restricted class sizes due to the pandemic.

Powers said that when she recently talked to the principals of the district, she said that capacity issues would not be an issue.

Treasurer Martin Aho said that the tuition the parents of children enrolling from outside the district is calculated by the Ohio Department of Education and is dependent on property taxes.

The request to allow children of staff at the district living outside the Twinsburg City Schools area came from the Twinsburg Education Association and the Twinsburg Support Staff Association.

Cheryl Wilner, an art educator at Wilcox Primary School, read a statement on behalf of both unions to the school board during the board's Aug. 19 meeting, saying that allowing staff to enroll their children in the school district would help them out.

“Many of our members do not reside in the Twinsburg community,” Wilner said. She added that the issue of how to juggle parenting and work responsibilities was “causing a lot of stress and anxiety.

“We want to support our students, but we also need to focus on own work as well as own children.”

The Ohio Revised Code allows school districts to admit children they are not required to admit if tuition is paid.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@recordpub.com.