Wauseon schools will ask voters Nov.6 to renew a 2011 levy to pay for the district’s general operations.
The Board of Education on Monday approved 5-0 the first resolution to request emergency renewal of the eight-year levy, which generates $841,049 annually. The board will file the levy with the Fulton County Auditor for approval, then vote again at its July meeting.
A statement from the school district said that since the original levy passed in a special election in 2011, “we have been able to maintain a positive cash balance in the general fund since that time. Therefore, no additional funds will be requested from the Wauseon School Community at this time.”
Superintendent Larry Brown emphasized the levy is a renewal, and no new money would be requested.
The meeting on Monday opened with questions placed to board members by Joshua Freestone and Kane Panico, Life Scouts in local Boy Scout Troop 8.
Young Freestone asked whether the school district will eventually offer gifted English classes in the seventh and eighth grades.
Brown said a definitive answer is currently unavailable. He said there are no such plans for the 2018-19 school year.
However, he said the school district is revising the gifted education program to allow more general education teachers 30 hours additional training in how to work with gifted students. Brown said the change is “part of that model to get teachers working with more kids that are identified as gifted, but also kids that are also accelerated and doing better than the average student.”
The superintendent said there is no gifted program prior to middle school but the district wants gifted students in grades K-2 to have the same type of opportunity.
Board President Sandy Griggs added, “It’s something that you’ve planted a seed for us to consider.”
Young Panico asked the board if year-round schooling was a possibility within five to 10 years. He said that schedule would benefit the students.
“Every time, when we come back from school, it gets a little bit harder, you’re a little bit rusty, and it takes longer to teach you the basics because they have to go over it again,” he said.
Board member Larry Fruth acknowledged that the concept of year-round school was trendy for awhile, but said the additional cost of keeping school open all year is a problem.
Young Panico also inquired about school uniforms, saying he had mixed feelings on the subject. “It might help to stop bullying, but it gives (students) a little less to identify (personality) with.”
Board members said there was no plan for school uniforms at this time.
In other business, the board accepted the following donations: $1,000 from Circle K to the Wauseon Athletic Department and $100 from Kenn-Feld Group to Wauseon FFA.
The school board approved the following personnel items for the 2018-19 school year: one-year limited certificated contracts to Sarah Burkholder as a high school intervention specialist and Jaz Bluhm as the middle school/high school assistant band director; one-year limited classified contracts to Kayla Wyse as Title VI-B secretary, Cortney Badenhop as primary school reading coordinator, and Erin Cheesbro as elementary school playground aide; one-year certified non-athletic supplemental contracts to Jaz Bluhm as assistant instrumental and James Vaughn as assistant spring musical director; the reassignments of Mary Norman from elementary school intervention specialist to fourth grade teacher, Rachel Smith from elementary school secretarial assistant to reading coordinator, and Molly Pfund from elementary school teacher’s aid to secretarial assistant; full-time and substitute bus drivers for summer lot work, retroactive to May 25, 2018 – Kevin Bechtel, Jenna Henricks, Butch Kline, Heidi Klingensmith, Michelle Myers, and Jill Shehorn.
Some positions are pending clean background checks or receipt of proper licensure.
Motions approved include: a “then and now” certificate to Troy Grime for $4,392.46 for spring planting; approval of modifications and supplemental modifications to the fiscal year 2018 Permanent Appropriations and Certificate of Estimated Resources; authorize the school board’s participation in Title I, Title II-A TQU, Title III LEP (Part A: Language instruction for limited English Proficiency), Title IV (Part A: Student Support and Academic Enrichment), IDEA-B (Special Education), and ECSE-IDEA (Early Childhood Special Education).
A motion was passed to adopt the following Fiscal Year 2019 permanent appropriations: General Fund, $19,631,660.32; Bond Retirement Fund, $1,915,983.75; Permanent Improvement Fund, $1,071,902.50; Food Service Fund, $813,330; Special Trust Fund, $40,860; Uniform School Supplies Fund, $22,000; Public School Support Fund, $10,200; Other Grants Fund, $8,000; District Agency Fund, $37,830; Classroom Facilities Maintenance Fund, $72,400; District Managed Student Activity Fund, $314,815.92; Data Communications for School Buildings Fund, $7,200; IDEA-Part B Special Education Fund, $32,867.71; Title I – Disadvantaged Children Fund, $32,831.95; IDEA Preschool Grant Fund, $991.53.
And a motion was passed to approve the high school band for an overnight trip to Bowling Green State University for band camp July 21-26.
The board rejected authorization for Treasurer Dave Fleming to contract with Julian and Grube, Inc., of Westerville, Ohio, to prepare generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) financial statements for the school district.
Prior to the vote, Fleming told the board the school district paid $6,500 to have the work completed last school year, “and I just don’t think there’s any value to it.” He said foregoing the process would save the school district $14,000.
Fleming said the financial statements were initiated by the state auditor several years ago. But he added that his poll of 22 northwest Ohio schools showed 15 will not prepare GAAP financial statements. Fleming said the state can issue a $750 fine for not participating but hasn’t done so to any school in the past couple years.
The school board entered into executive session to discuss personnel. No action was taken.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.