South Range Local Schools
Raider Review Fall 2023-2024
🍎 Welcome to the fall edition of the Raider Review 🍎
A message from Dr. Jarred Zapolnik, Superintendent of Schools
We are off to a great start Raiders! I have been so impressed when I visit each school observing our students and teachers doing what is most important, teaching and learning! It has been amazing to attend the many extracurricular activities to see all of our students thriving in everything they do. To our students: Your passion is AMAZING! We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve the students and community: Thank you!
As we proceed through the second nine weeks, I would like to remind everyone of our Raider Way, which are the main components of the district. The Raider Way allows our team to work to uphold the rich traditions of being "the community centerpiece building on excellence." To ensure our mission and vision are always in the forefront of our work, the amazing staff and administration will continue to focus on the following four key components of the Raider Way:
Communication & Collaboration
Safety & Resources
As we continue a team-centered, collaborative approach, I invite you to become part of the story. To better understand what makes South Range so special I have launched a "listening tour" that will continue throughout the year. Your voice and experiences are important to me. Please reach out to my secretary, Paula Lipke, if you are interested in stopping in to share "your" South Range story. I will make sure the coffee is hot!
As always, please check out our district's website for pertinent information: https://www.southrange.k12.oh.us/
With great enthusiasm and excitement, Go Raiders!
Dr. Jarred Zapolnik
A message from Mr. Nero, Treasurer of Schools
July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023
The Treasurer is fiscally responsible for an annual General Fund budget of approximately $14,000,000. He works closely with the Superintendent to report, monitor and plan fiscal operations.
For additional financial information, please contact Mario A. Nero Jr., Treasurer/CFO at 330-549-5475
Where the Money Comes From
Local Property Tax (43.59%) – Taxes levied by a school district on the assessed valuation of property located within the district.
State Funding (42.97%) – State revenue comes from a variety of sources including state education funding, casino, etc.
State Share of Local Property Taxes (5.18%) – State Government reimbursing for tax break programs. (e.g., Homestead and Rollback Programs)
All Other Revenue (6.26%) – Includes tuition, fees, interest, rentals, and donations
Advances and Transfers (2.00%) – Money received by a fund, as a result of an advance from another fund, in anticipation of future revenue. Local funds covering the cost of federal grants until the school district receives money for the grant.
Where the Money is Spent
Personnel Services (57.70%) – Salaries and wages represent the bulk of school district expenditures.
Employee Retirement and Insurance Benefits (26.35%) – Amounts paid by the district on behalf of employees and they are part of a school district’s costs for salaries and benefits. Examples include Retirement contributions, Medicare, and all health-related insurances.
Purchase Services (10.42%) – Amounts paid for services for individuals who are not on payroll and other services the district may purchase.
Supplies and Materials (3.42%) – General supplies, instructional materials including textbooks, bus fuel, and all other maintenance supplies.
Capital Outlay (0.51%) – Money spent for the acquisition or improvements to resources, such as equipment, building(s) and grounds, vehicles, etc.
Other Expenses (1.20%) – Consists of County Auditor/Treasurer Property Tax fees, State of Ohio audit expenses, membership dues and fees, etc.
Advances and Transfers (0.40%) – Transfers are permanent movement of monies between funds, and advances are temporary movement of monies between Funds
Raider Way: High Expectations and Student Performance!
High Expectations & Student Performance, two components of the Raider Way! Our students have showcased their incredible skills & knowledge in the recent state testing, and the results are nothing short of impressive Their hard work and dedication, along with the support of our amazing educators and families, are helping us Get Better Every Day (GBED)!
South Range Has Talent: Faculty Singing! 🎤
News from the Cafeteria 🍕🥞🌮
For this 23/24 school year the Ohio Department of Education determined any student who qualifies as a “reduced meal status” will be receiving both breakfast and lunch at zero cost instead of a reduced price, along with the usual “free meal status” being of no cost to students. Another change this year is if your family receives Medicaid, you automatically qualify for free/reduced breakfast & lunch. If someone in your family is receiving Medicaid, and you are not a free or reduced meal status please contact the Director of Food & Nutrition, Kaitlyn Pierce. We are encouraging all families to fill out free & reduced meal applications to see if your student qualifies for free meals.
We also switched our online payment system from PayForIt to PaySchools. If you previously had a
PayForIt account, your same login credentials will work on PaySchools. You may find the new PaySchools link under the cafeteria tab on the school’s website, along with PDF user guides on how to create a PaySchools account if you do not already have one. With PaySchools you may download money to your student’s lunch account, complete free/reduced applications online and receive an instant notification of your updated status, and view what your child purchases each day along with their lunch account balance.
Any questions please reach out to the Director of Food & Nutrition, Kaitlyn Pierce at
Kpierce@southrange.org or (330) 549-4070.
A message from Mr. Rohan, Principal of South Range High School
We are excited to welcome a few new staff members in Chrissy Sylvester as an English teacher, teaching all our junior level courses as well as Sarah Komsa as our new assistant marching band instructor. Both have been great additions and have brought energy, expertise and great experience to our staff. They have done an excellent job embracing South Range and our rich traditions and have quickly built rapport with many of our students. Welcome to both and thanks for all the extra time spent these past few months to make the adjustment to our school and students so seamless.
As always, the high school teaching staff is always adjusting and modifying curriculum to best service and fit the needs of our students. This year is no different. Our staff has utilized new technology, programs and resources to ensure that our students continue to grow academically and socially. This year we are using our data to closely monitor student growth and have set this as our number one priority. It is a difficult task but with hard work, dedication and determination, one that our staff and students together will strive to achieve.
School athletics are into the tournament segment of our seasons so please check our calendar, Facebook page and school website for up to the minute information. To view our latest report card, please visit the link: https://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/
I look forward to a great 2023-2024 school year and I know with our students and continued family and community support, this year will be another GREAT year to be a RAIDER.
A message from Mr. Szolek, Principal of South Range Middle School
Welcome, South Range Middle School families, to the 2023-24 school year. We are off to a wonderful start and look forward to an exciting and rewarding year! This year’s district-wide motto is “Get Better Every Day” and we look forward to collaborating with you in order to do just that - get better each and every day!
This year, we are pleased to welcome a number of new staff members to the middle school. Each new teacher brings a unique set of skills and experiences which will benefit our students in and out of the classroom. New teachers to the middle school for the 2023-2024 school year:
Mrs. Sierra Bradley, 5th/6th Intervention Specialist
Mrs. Kandace Best, 8th Grade Science
Mr. David Rach, 7th Grade Science
Mrs. Sarah Komsa, Music/Band
Mrs. Julie Liebig, Physical Education
In addition, Mrs. Mary Aey comes to us from the elementary school as our 7th/8th Math Intervention Specialist and Mrs. Lynn Shodd moved from 7th Grade Science to 5th Grade Science. Mrs. Aey and Mrs. Shodd have quickly adapted to their new learning environments and are already having a positive impact on our students.
Building Leadership Team
This year’s Building Leadership Team goal is to promote student engagement. We will begin by conducting a student survey to determine what types of learning opportunities interest our students. Based on the survey results, we will research and implement engagement strategies focusing on those areas of interest. Our content teams are reviewing both state test and classroom data so that learning experiences can be differentiated to meet the needs of all students. These efforts, combined with many others, are aimed at improving the year-to-year growth of our students.
Report Card - ‘22-’23
Congratulations to all of our middle school students and staff members, from the 2022-2023 school year, on an excellent report card. As a building, we earned 4 out of 5 stars with 5 star ratings in the Achievement and Gap Closing components. We recognize the need to improve our Growth measure and are committed to doing so through the implementation of several school wide initiatives, intervention strategies and enrichment programs. To view the middle school report card information, please click the following link: South Range Middle School Overview
A message from Mr. Matos, Principal of South Range Elementary School
I would like to welcome everyone back to South Range Elementary for another great school year. This is an exciting time for our school as we all prepare for the many changes and challenges that come with a new year. With your continued support and encouragement, we will provide a positive environment that will enhance the lives of our children. I hope that we may all continue to work together to achieve maximum success for our students. Welcome back and have a great 2023-2024 school year!
Back in 2020, our 3rd grade language arts classes adopted a new reading series called Wonders. At that time, the plan was to roll out the Wonders series to our 1st-4th grade language arts classes over the next few years. Unfortunately, a world-wide pandemic occurred and put those plans on hold. Now that we are back in full swing, all of our 1st-4th grade classes have adopted the new Wonders program this year. We look forward to working with each grade level, along with our county consultant and literacy experts, to map out our new curriculum to create consistency within and across grade levels. Also, our kindergarten classes, along with our Intervention Specialists, Title I and RTI teachers, are now utilizing the Really Great Reading program to provide both classroom instruction and intervention in early literacy skills. Both of these programs are in line with the Science of Reading and we are excited to see our students’ literacy skills grow in all of our K-4 classrooms.
I would like to welcome our new staff members to South Range Elementary, as well as, welcome our current staff members to new positions for the 2023-2024 school year. Our new staff members include Julie Liebig, who is teaching both elementary and middle school physical education classes; Laura Elder, who is working as a 1-on-1 student aide and Katie McConaughy, who is working with us this year as a long term substitute in various classrooms. I would also like to welcome our current staff members to their new positions this year: Brooke Stewart is teaching our first ever elementary art class; Alyson Zwingler is teaching 4th grade math science; Katie McMurray is teaching kindergarten; Rossana Pluchinsky is teaching Title I intervention classes; and, Taylor Johnson is now teaching both Title I and RTI intervention classes. Congratulations and good luck to all of our new elementary staff members and those in new roles this year!
This fall, our students and staff collaborated to create our K-4 Raider Profile. They worked together to answer 3 questions about what it means to be a Raider at South Range Elementary. The 3 questions were: What are the hopes, dreams and aspirations our community has of our students? What are the skills and mindsets our children need for success in this rapidly changing, complex world? What actions do successful Raiders demonstrate? After combining our responses, our grade level teams were asked to select one outstanding student who consistently has demonstrated the answers to these questions. These students were recognized at the October Board of Education meeting. Congratulations to the following students for receiving our first South Range Elementary Raider Profile recognition: Owin Orville, Hayden Truitt, Ravenna Stiles and Marie Colatruglio.
Report Card - 2022-2023
Congratulations to all of our elementary students and staff from the 2022-2023 school year on an excellent report card. Our elementary earned 5 stars across the board in Achievement, Progress, Gap Closing and Early Literacy. Our students at all levels showed growth and improvement in their Reading, Math and Early Literacy skills. Students in 3rd grade scored an 89% in Reading and a 96.7% in Math. In 4th grade, students earned an 85.1% in Reading and a 94.9% in Math. Our students in kindergarten through 3rd grade increased our percentage of students who are reading at grade level and are on-track with their early literacy skills from 61% to 70%. To view more report card information, please visit the Ohio Department of Education’s website at https://education.ohio.gov/ and search the 2022-2023 School Report Cards tile for South Range Elementary.
👮A message from Officer Hassey, School Resource Officer👮
Hello! I would like to introduce myself as the new S.R.O. of South Range Schools beginning in 2023. My name is Matthew Hassey and I’m not totally new to the South Range family. I began as the “secondary” officer at South Range in late 2020. After longtime S.R.O. Hartman retired at the end of 2022 school year, I took over his role and have some big shoes to fill.
I have been in law enforcement since 2014. I primarily worked for the Youngstown Police Department full time since 2015 and also worked part-time with the Beaver Twp. Police department along with that. In September 2021 I left Y.P.D. and took a full-time position with Beaver Twp. Before I was in law enforcement I actually worked for Chick-fil-A for over a decade, some here in Boardman and some in their corporate office in Atlanta, Ga.
I am excited to get going in my new role and be a bigger part of the South Range family. I have two young children of my own, so I understand the trust you put into an S.R.O. when you send your child to school. I am always wanting to improve the safety and well-being of everyone while they’re on school grounds. I also want to hear from parents about any issue that may cross their mind that I can help with. I am here to serve you and want to have an open line of communication. I want to make it a point to be approachable and trusted by not only the students but parents as well.
One of my first tasks as S.R.O. was collaborating with other police departments to share, and even improve, our urgent action plans. If a catastrophic does happen on South Range campus, I want not only my police department to understand their role, but also our neighboring departments to know how to help as well. I am also continuing to work with students, staff, and administrators to develop these action plan and conduct the proper drills to endure everyone knows how to react in the case of an incident.
I also want to be a mentor and counselor to the students if ever needed. I am active in classroom discussions on topics like bullying, drug abuse, and internet safety. I want to be a positive influence and encourage students to make responsible choices. D.A.R.E. will continue to be offered to middle school students in 2023-2024 school year, along with D.A.R.E. resources available to all other grades as well. I want to have a proactive engagement with students to foster positive relationships and even dispel misconceptions about law enforcement.
If disciplinary matters do come to my attention, I want the South Range family to know that I will handle them in fairness. I will strive to find resolutions that go beyond just a possible criminal charge. I want to find resolutions that help students learn from their mistakes rather than alienate them or force them into juvenile court. Growing up in a “digital” world is hard enough for students. I want them to trust that I will always have their best interest in mind when issues arise.
There have been challenges that have required my intervention thus far. A lot of parents expressed concern about the two separate bomb threats this school year. I want to again extend my invitation to contact me if there are any unanswered questions you have about a threat, a drill, or any issue you believe I should be aware of. In regards to the bomb threats, a complete and thorough investigation was conducted on both instances. I was in immediate contact with other police agencies to assist, which included Canfield PD and Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office. Even if a threat is deemed not credible, a comprehensive school threat assessment will be completed and a full police investigation will be conducted. The Beaver Twp. Police and the administrators at South Range school take every threat seriously.
A message from Mrs. Disibio, Director of Special Services✨
In collaboration with the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio, the South Range Local Schools provides Gifted Services to students who qualify. Teachers have been working on completing training sessions to provide services to both gifted students and to grow all students. Teachers also have been working on completing their written education plans which will be shared electronically with parents/guardians.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly called “Section 504,” is a federal law that protects students from discrimination based on disability. Section 504 assures that students with disabilities have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to students without disabilities. To be eligible, a student must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
At South Range Local Schools, students who are eligible for Section 504 have a team of qualified educational personnel develop, review and revise plans on an annual basis. This team works with the families of the students to ensure that all students have access to a free and appropriate public education. Letters were sent home to all students who are eligible for a section 504 plan and the plans are shared with all pertinent staff members.
Please note the Section 504 plan leads in each building:
Elaine Brancaccio - Elementary School- 330-549-5578
Brenda Petit - Middle School- 330-549-4071
Ericka Burkey - High School- 330-549-2163
The South Range Local School District has the responsibility to identify and evaluate children with disabilities requiring special education services. Early observations and records help an evaluation team find appropriate programs and services prior to the child entering school. "A child with a disability” may include a child who is at least three years of age and less than six years of age; who is experiencing developmental delays, as defined by standards adopted by the state board of education and as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures in one or more of the following areas:
Physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development; and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.
If you have a child up to age 21 years who has or is suspected of having a disability, please contact Jaclyn DiSibio, 330-549-4078, email@example.com
Special Education and Student Services
South Range Local Schools incorporates a Multi Tiered System of Support to address the needs of all students. Staff collaborates with experts within and outside of the school system to implement interventions and supports. All staff utilizes state and districtwide testing to determine student need.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) protects the rights of students with disabilities and the rights of their parents. At South Range Local Schools, a continuum of services exist from general education consultative services, co-taught classrooms, separate student support centers, related services and separate settings.
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, Ohio must identify English learners, annually assess their English language proficiency, provide reasonable accommodations for them on state assessments, and implement accountability systems that include long-term goals and measures of progress.
Contact information for Mrs. Hammond, Director of Transportation 🚖
We continue to thank our families as adjustments are made to our routes. The adjustments are made solely to accommodate new students or to address safety concerns. We continuously review our practices and procedures to support the safe transportation of students. If you would like to learn morea bout how to be a van driver or bus driver, please call me. Come join our amazing team of bus and van drivers!
B H A M M O N D @ S O U T H R A N G E . O R G
3 3 0 - 5 4 9 - 4 0 8 6 E X T : 3 9 0 0 1
Counseling Messages 💡
On October 10th, 6th Grade Students spent the day at Camp Frederick and engaged in small group activities with peers, middle and high school staff, camp leaders, and high school students. They had the opportunity to improve their team building skills, learn the importance of cooperation and communication, and build interpersonal relationships with peers. Activities like the Widget Factory and Creek Stomping were among the favorite challenges. Thank you to the SR Foundation for making this trip possible.
8th Grade students are participating in career exploration activities in their classes. Lessons are being led by Career Counselors at the ESC and Mrs. Petit. Students are learning how to match their interests and values to their future occupation as well as developing soft skills applicable in numerous careers. Speakers are being organized by our 8th Grade teachers to visit classes throughout the year to expose students to various career paths and possibilities.
Our elementary school counselor, Cindy Maynard, has been meeting with students and presenting classroom lessons this fall. One of the biggest events that takes place in October is Red Ribbon Week. This is a week that Mrs. Maynard, Officer Hassey and our PTO organize together that focuses on teaching our students about the importance of being drug-free and living a healthy life. Each day, there is a different school-wide drug-free theme where students and staff dress the same and celebrate healthy living. Mrs. Maynard and Officer Hassey will meet with all of our students to teach about the history of Red Ribbon Week and how they can work to make healthy choices. Our themes this year are: Monday: Wear Red and celebrate “Being Kind to Your Mind, Live Drug Free” Tuesday: Wear Tie Dye and say “Peace Out to Drugs!” Wednesday: Wear Burgundy and Gold and Team Up Against Drugs! Thursday: Wear crazy or mismatched socks and Put A Sock on Drugs! Friday: Wear a costume to have a Harvest Celebration!
Red Ribbon Week was recognized Oct. 23-27. The theme for this year is “Be Kind to Your Mind. Live Drug Free”. Messages to promote healthy choices and spreading kindness will be shared all week. Students will also celebrate with dress-up days like Groutfit Day on Tuesday with the message, “Don’t Let Drugs Dull Your Future”. On Wednesday, students and staff are encouraged to participate in grade level Color Wars with the message, “Be Drug-Free and Let Your Color Shine”. The week will be filled with fun activities and important messages about avoiding drugs, being kind, and living a healthy life.
Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTO)
The elementary PTO is an integral part of many of the events that take place to support our students and staff. From the beginning of the year, the PTO welcomes our students back to school with a giant Welcome Back sign at the front of the building where parents, students and staff can take pictures. The main role of the PTO is to provide various types of support to the students, staff and administration for our many classroom and curricular needs. We are extremely fortunate that our elementary school has an outstanding, supportive PTO. The PTO has been busy organizing the Harvest Day classroom parties, preparing for our 3rd grade Veterans Day program and looking ahead to our holiday celebrations in December with our Holiday Sing programs in kindergarten and 2nd grade and our classroom parties before winter break. The annual PTO Auction will be held on Saturday, November 11th, 2023 at The Lake Club. The auction is the PTO’s largest fundraiser of the year and all proceeds from the auction go directly to our students, staff and classroom needs. Please consider coming out to PTO Auction to help support our elementary school.
- Student Enrichment
- The PTO Enrichment Committee looks for new and exciting ways to enrich the education of our students. During the 2022-2023 school year, the enrichment committee organized a field trip to OH WOW in Youngstown for all of our students. This fall, the PTO Enrichment Committee organized a hands-on, educational field trip for our 1st-4th grade students to Beech Creek Gardens and Nature Preserve in Alliance. The students experienced five stations of outdoor exploration while focusing on a different theme for each grade level to match their science standards. Our kindergarten students will attend the same field trip this spring.
Middle School PTO and South Range Schools Foundation
The middle school would like to thank both the South Range Middle School PTO and the South Range Schools Foundation for the continued support of our students and staff. Our PTO sponsored a delicious conference night dinner for our teachers and continually rewards our students, throughout the year, for their efforts in the classroom. The PTO just completed a very successful Scholastic Book Fair and is now conducting a spirit wear sale. Order forms for the sale are available in the middle school office.
The Foundation offers our teachers and staff members the opportunity to apply for student-centered grants. This year, the Foundation generously funded our 6th grade field trip to Camp Frederick. The day at Camp Frederick was full of team- and character-building activities for our students. Also, we are beyond excited to announce the Foundation is providing the middle school with the resources to equip a new e-sports lab. This lab will provide our students with learning opportunities that extend beyond the classroom while also enabling us to compete against other schools across the country. We also hope to implement a gaming curriculum in the near future.
High School PTO
Thanks to the HS PTO for providing dinner for our staff on Parent-Teacher Conference night. PTO, with the help from many student organizations, will be hosting a walk for First Grade teacher Alison Dobro on October 28 at the Rominger Sports Complex. Registration for this event begins at 8 AM and the walk at 9 AM. Also, reminder that the HS PTO will be having their annual Santa’s Workshop from December 4-8 for all students in the elementary school and any interested MS aged students.
Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (PBIS)
The main focus of PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support) at South Range Elementary, is promoting positive behavior, teaching and reteaching schoolwide and classroom expectations and creating the best learning environment for our students. We use the PAX (which is a Latin word that means peace) behavior system as part of our PBIS program. There are many parts of PAX that are universal in our classrooms and throughout the school. We teach our students the PAX expectations and we practice those expectations to create a positive school building. We also focus on recognizing the leadership skills in all of our students. Our PAX leaders each month are those students who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities. You can research PBIS and PAX and talk to your child about how we practice these in the elementary.
Middle School PBIS
Our middle school PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) team will be implementing numerous initiatives in an effort to encourage a positive and supportive learning environment. Our “Join Our Crew, Board Our Ship!” program recognizes one student at each grade level, per month, who exemplifies one or more of our “-ship” characteristics: scholarship, friendship, mentorship and craftsmanship. These students, chosen by their teachers, will receive a t-shirt, a certificate and a coupon for an ice cream treat from our cafeteria. The students will also have their picture placed on our “Raider Spotlight” bulletin board. For August/September, we would like to congratulate the following Raider Spotlight students:
Grade 5 - Meagan Cochran
Grade 6 - Gannon Leffler
Grade 7 - Jack Martin Cochran
Grade 8 - Addison Massie
Interested in hosting an evening with Dr. Zapolnik and his team?
The first five families to complete the form will have an opportunity to host Dr. Zapolnik and a few members of the team for a meet and greet at the family's home. The purpose of the meet and greet is for the families to share their insights about the district: Wishes, wonders, and worries! Dr. Zapolnik and his team will spend time listening to learn from YOU how to Get Better Every Day (GBED)!
Interested in hosting an evening with Dr. Zapolnik and his team at your house?
Please complete this form if you would like to host Dr. Zapolnik and a few members of the BOE at your house. The purpose of the meet and greet is for the families to share their insights about the district: Wishes, wonders, and worries!
Click here to access the student handbooks
Click here to view the calendar