Wauseon High School Principal Keith Leatherman unveiled plans Monday for an active shooter drill this fall involving city police and emergency services.
At a scheduled school board meeting, Leatherman told board members the Oct. 30 exercise will include a mass casualty situation, in which student “victims” will go through the process of treatment by rescue personnel, then transportation to the Fulton County Health Center. The Wauseon school district is currently the only one in the county performing the exercise.
Leatherman called it “a very unique situation,” and said preparations began in March. More information will become available as the date approaches.
Superintendent Larry Brown said part of the active shooter exercise is to test a possible situation in which students would be injured. But he added that no one in the school district is presuming that would be the outcome.
“One of the things we’re trying to impress upon…the goal would obviously be to prevent any casualties or injuries at all in one of these situations,” he said. “Part of the exercise is to test that situation, so we don’t want them to misconstrue that as we’re just making the assumption that there’s going to be people injured. That’s not the assumption we’re making. That’s the part we’re going to drill, to assess the Fulton County Health Department and their emergency services – give them the opportunity to drill that.”
If nothing else, Leatherman told the board, the active shooter exercise “has created a lot of great conversations about a lot of different situations and scenarios.”
Board member Stacia Radabaugh commended the exercise, saying, “I think it’s a great, great project.”
The school board welcomed new staff for the 2018-19 school year, including: Christine Garrett, cafeteria supervisor; Kaitlin Szozda, WMS guidance; Shalyla Hayes, WES/WMS intervention; Timothy McQuade, WEVS psychologist; Bridget Benedict, WMS intervention; Jaz Bluhm, assistant band director; Christina Dick, speech/language pathologist; Abbie Mathews, WES intervention; Joy Beck, WES intervention; Lauren Martinez, WMS math; Sara Burkholder, WHS intervention; and Samantha Metzger, WPS counselor.
In other business, the board approved motions to approve modifications and supplemental modifications to the fiscal year 2019 Permanent Appropriations and Certificate of Estimated Resources.
A “then and now” certificate was approved for HVAC system controls from Johnson Controls fo $11,674.
A motion was passed to approve the following personnel items: the resignations of WES music teacher Caitlyn Schmidt, effective July 31, and WMS head cook Tayla Hamilton, effective Aug. 1; the transfer of music teacher Betsy Wenger from primary to elementary school; long-term substitute positions for Gwendolyn Kinsman, WMS eighth grade, and Aleah Fitzwater, WPS music, respectively, each at a per diem rate of $198.47, pending clean background checks; one-year limited classified contracts to WES classroom aide Barbara Silveous and, at four hours per day, four days per week, to WPS preschool classroom aide Marlo Hanak, both pending background checks; a three-year limited classified administrative contract to Christine Garrett as WEVS cafeteria supervisor, pending a clean background check; Christian Crew as a volunteer assistant junior high football coach.
Board members also approved: authorization for Superintendent Larry Brown and Treasurer Dave Fleming to enroll in membership with the Ohio Schools Council Purchasing Consortium; the appointment of board member Amy Fisher as the school district’s delegate to the Ohio School Boards Capital Conference, with board member Larry Fruth as alternate; 2018-19 school bus routes.
In building reports:
• Leatherman said 29 students attended summer school and earned a combined total of 42.5 credits toward their graduation.
He said 24 additional students with academic deficiencies took a total of 62 state tests over the summer to increase their graduation standing.
• Middle School Principal Joe Friess announced an open house for the new school year on Monday, Aug. 20, from 6:30-8 p.m. He said at that time students may pick up new Chromebooks.
He also praised the federal 21st Century Grant awarded to the school. Friess said it has provided the middle school with a large poster printer.
The grant also funded a visit by Friess and several middle school staff members to the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Ga. Friess said the non-traditional school offered the visitors new and novel approaches to teaching, some which they will try to initiate at the middle school.
“You’re going to see some different things out of us,” he said. “Hopefully, it will kind of lend a new spirit of excitement.”
Friess said the academy annually accepts 35 students each in grades 5-8, although it receives 900 applications for admission.
• The elementary school met state indicators in fourth grade math and fifth grade English/Language Arts/reading. All third grade students met the reading guarantee.
All of the school’s scores in those categories exceeded the state averages.
The fourth and fifth grade open house will be held Monday, Aug. 20, from 6-7:30 p.m. Third grade open house and orientation will be held Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 5:30-7 p.m.
• The primary school will hold an open house Monday, Aug. 20, from 5:30-7 p.m., Principal Blake Young reported.
He said benchmark testing to determine individual student needs will be held Sept. 5-14.
Young also said the school will continue to adopt the PAX program, which teaches students to think about how they react in different environments as opposed to how they should. He said it also instructs teachers and staff how to interact with students whose behaviors may indicate personal lives that are less than ideal.
“It’s getting that self-regulation among students,” Young said.
The PAX program involves the district’s grades K-5.
The school has a new science curriculum, Fusion.
The school board entered into executive to discuss employment of personnel. No action was taken.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.