XENIA — Xenia Community Schools will not be renewing a contract with the county educational service center.
The board of education Monday voted to terminate the agreement when it runs out at the end of the current school year, preventing an automatic renewal for the 2021-22 school year. Instead, the district will use a new provider, which was selected after a board-required request for proposal for special education services was issued by the district this past fall.
Multiple proposals were received, but the ESC did not submit one, according to Kristy Creel, the district’s communications coordinator. The RFP process was part of a plan to “expand those services and meet the needs of our students,” Creel said in an email.
The vendors and contracts have not been finalized, as the district is finishing negotiations. However as part of the expansion of services, Creel said the district has the intention of hiring some staff, while continuing to outsource for some services.
The end result will be an increase in services for students and a cost savings for the district.
By shifting to the new service delivery model — which includes bringing school psychologists in as XCS employees — the district is anticipating saving approximately $500,000 annually.
“It is our responsibility to provide each student in the district with fair and equitable access to education and critical support services and support, and we take that charge seriously,” Superintendent Dr. Gabe Lofton said. “At the same time, we honor our commitment to every student and family by being good stewards of our limited resources, and ensuring that we can continue to provide programs and services now and in the future.”
Creel said the change “will allow us to ensure quality of service, as staff will report directly to our special education and pupil personnel department.”
Other services will be contracted through multiple providers, which may include Maxim Healthcare Staffing, Catalyst Counseling, and the Greene County ESC.
“The district approached this process with the goal of ensuring that we could continue to provide quality services to students in a fiscally responsible manner given the economy and our current financial landscape,” Lofton said. “As the client in this situation, we are always looking to work with a provider that is committed to the needs of our students and staff, and supports the district at every stage of the process — in this case, from service delivery to billing.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.