Wauseon students will have to wean themselves off of cell phones this school year as policies limiting their use go into effect.
At a Board of Education meeting held Monday, Wauseon High School principal Keith Leatherman announced that students must turn in their mobile phones at the beginning of each class period. They will be held in caddies until returned at the end of each class. Phone use will be permitted between classes.
“They’ve become a little bit of a distraction, to say the least,” Leatherman said. “We just think this is a step in the right direction. The staff is 100% behind it.”
He said the policy will likely undergo growing pains the first couple of weeks, “but we’re going to stick to our guns.”
However, Wauseon Middle School is taking the ban a step further. Principal Joe Friess said cell phone use will be forbidden from the start of the school day until the end. “I don’t want to see them,” he said.
Elementary school principal Theresa Vietmeier said, with a few exceptions, cell phones are not typically used by her students.
In other business, the school board approved the purchase this school year of three buses to replace aging vehicles from the 1990s. The older buses are among 19 used for daily student routes.
“I just think it’s time that we look at purchasing some new buses at a rate achievable and financially sound,” Superintendent Troy Armstrong said. He said although the buses in question have passed state inspection they are showing exterior rust and signs of interior wear.
The school district bought two buses last year but have not kept to a planned two-year rotation to keep the district’s fleet updated, Treasurer David Fleming said.
He said the school district has five inactive buses it has used for parts but they are scheduled to be auctioned.
In personnel matters, the board approved: a one-year limited non-athletic certificated supplemental contract to Anna Vogelgesang as elementary school choir director; parental leave for McKalyn Roth and Lauren Martinez; the resignations of Deborah Roddy as teacher aide, effective Aug. 6, and Sarah Leininger as winter junior high cheerleading coach, effective Nov. 1; a one-year limited classified contract to Darl Whitmire as a custodial floater; one-year limited outside athletic supplemental contract to Maggie Leu as winter junior high cheerleading coach and approval of Leu as volunteer fall junior cheerleading coach; a one-year limited outside non-athletic supplemental contract to Justin Mourguet as assistant speech coach; one-year limited certificated athletic supplemental contracts to Joe Allen, head boys track coach; Kyle Borton assistant track coach; Mike Colon, head girls track coach; Nick Lavinder, assistant softball coach; Steve Marks, assistant baseball coach; Mark Schang, head softball coach; Trent Thomas, head baseball coach; Tom Vernot, assistant track coach; Todd Wyse, assistant baseball coach.
Where applicable, contacts are pending the receipt of clean BCI/FBI background checks.
A motion was passed to establish the following change funds for fiscal year 2020, retroactive to July 1: art festival, $40; high school athletics, $2,600; middle school athletics, $400; concessions, $400; food service, $300; junior class, $40; junior class concessions, $200; Pepsi, $85; speech concessions, $150; high school speech tournament, $250; middle school speech tournament, $150; high school Student Council, $150; primary, elementary, and middle schools, $100 each.
In building reports:
• Primary school principal Blake Young reported the school will continue this year incorporating PAX – a practice of behavioral health strategies – to improve classroom management.
He said Fall Star Benchmark testing will be held Sept. 4-13, and introduced new staffing: McKalyn Roth, kindergarten; Shayla Hayes, intervention teacher; McKayla Pettit, aide; Betsy Harben, music; and Catherine Held, playground monitor.
• Testing results for grades 3-5 indicate most areas exceeded state averages, principal Theresa Vietmeier said. Fourth grade English-Language Arts is several percentage points lower than the state.
All third graders met the promotion score for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.