At a regular meeting held Nov. 27, the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center (NwOESC) Governing Board discussed several pieces of legislation proposed by the state Board of Education.
Board member Brian Baker said the state recently adopted a resolution accepting a recommendation by Superintendent Paolo DeMaria’s Advisory Committee for High School Graduation Requirements. A movement across Ohio advocates for the state board to continue offering more relaxed graduation requirements that were intended only for the class of 2018.
The Senate Education Committee adopted a substitute version of House Bill 360, which prescribes suspensions and expulsion policies for cases of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The committee also conducted sponsor testimony on the following bills, among others: Senate Bill 325 which revises background check policies and sexual misconduct policies for public and private schools; Senate Bill 191 which creates the Breakfast After the Bell program to require public schools with high percentages of low-income students to offer breakfast to all enrolled students; House Bill 428 which deals with student religious expression in public schools; and House Bill 58 which requires the state BOE to adopt a model curriculum for cursive handwriting instruction for students in grades kindergarten through five.
In other business, NwOESC agreed to: provide Swanton Local Schools with afterschool program services; enter a Clinical Affiliation agreement with Rhodes State College in Lima to furnish students with rotation through certain clinical services; enter a Student Teacher and Field-Based Experience agreement with the University of Findlay to place teacher education students in NwOESC classrooms; enter a student teacher agreement with Spring Arbor University to place student teachers in NwOESC classrooms. All of the agreements expire June 30, 2019.
Other agreements approved included: one-year classified limited contracts for Mary Baker, Garrett Dempsey, and Kathleen Moll; Mentor Service to Resident Educators – Year One to Jennifer Wade, Elizabeth Fitzenreiter, and Glenda Funnell, Year Two to Jana Lentz, Jody Mohring, and Deborah Wittenmyer, Year Three to Christi Ranzau and Rhonda Wise, and Year Four to Allisa Brown; substitute teaching positions to Sarah Dominique, Michael Faykosh, Richard Fravor Jr., Sarah Gerig, Debra Langenderfer, Rita Leaders, Charles Martinez, Michael Mohr, Darian Oberlin, Wesly Rickenberg, Stacie Schroeder, Jessie Schulze, Thomas Schutte, Brandy Worthington, and Christopher Yackee.
The board also authorized CFO/Treasurer Homer Hendricks to enter into any and all necessary agreements to purchase electricity at discounted rates through Muirfield Energy of Dublin, Ohio beginning Dec. 26, 2019.
NwOESC Superintendent Kerri Gearhart told the board a fourth Activate Healthcare Clinic will open in 2019 at 1809 Oakwood Ave. in Napoleon, and will be available for Buckeye Advantage members and their covered spouses and dependents. The clinic has existing sites in Archbold, Bryan, and Defiance, and provides primary healthcare, annual physicals, wellness coaching, care for chronic illnesses, and some no-cost services.
Gearhart also reported that area administrative changes coming in January 2019 include Dr. Jayson Selgo as superintendent of Archbold Area Schools.
She said eight districts affiliated with NwOESC are requesting use of House Bill 318 School Safety and Security grant funding to expand PAX training and program implementation in their districts. PAX is an evidence-based practice consisting of behavioral health strategies delivered by teachers in the classroom.