NwOESC board discusses grants, special ed

Staff report

The Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center Governing Board heard reports about grant programs and special education at their Aug. 27 meeting.

CFO Treasuer Homer Hendricks shared an update on 21st Century grant programs for the 2019-20 school year. NwOESC has six active grants – Swanton Middle School, Delta Elementary School, Defiance Middle School, Patrick Henry Elementary School, Wauseon Middle School, and Holgate Middle School. Hendricks said NwOESC received a School Psychology Intern Grant to offset the costs of this year’s intern.

Jill Gilliland, director of special education, said 500 early childhood students were screened during inter-agency screenings in the spring. In addition, the NwOESC team screened 70 children in the month of August. The center has roughly 800 students enrolled currently in preschools served. The center is investigating options for additional equipment for the IEC playground, and working with two companies to compare options and costs.

Director of Technology Chad Rex reported that the NwOESC mobile app was publicly launched at the Administrator Conference and Staff Orientation meeting. New technology deployments occurred in several areas of the ESC.

At the IEC, staff received new Chromebooks and a classroom was upgraded with a short-throw projector and Smartboard. The Northwest Ohio Opportunity School is operating with new Chromeboxes and monitors. Twenty Chromebooks were deployed to the preschool program’s classrooms.

Rex also reported that the new PRESIS software is nearing completion.

The board approved agreements with: the Birch Agency to provide sign language interpreter services through May 29, 2020; the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West to provide audiologist services through June 30, 2020; Kristine Fauver to provide psychologist services through June 30, 2020.

NwOESC Superintendent Kerri Gearhart said security cameras in the main building have been installed and are functional. Work on the public address system is next, as the center strives to enhance safety and security in the main office.

A similar project at the IEC/Opportunity Center campus is planned and the center is waiting on BWC grant approval prior to installation.

Gearhart said she will serve as ESC representative on an Ohio Department of Education Committee related to the Student Wellness and Success funding. The state biennium budget allocates $675 million over two years for traditional districts, community schools, joint vocational school districts, and STEM schools for services and programs to support student wellness and success.

Districts are required to plan the use of the funds with at least one of eight community partners. Funds can be used to provide additional mental health services, wraparound services, physical health care services, family engagement and support services, mentoring, before and/or after-school programs and more.

The NwOESC facilitated the annual bus and van driver in-service trainings held Aug. 5 at Archbold High School.

The board entered into executive session for the purpose of investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee, official, licensee or student. No action was taken.

The next meeting will be held Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, 6:30 p.m. at the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center, 205 Nolan Pkwy., in Archbold.

Staff report