The Wauseon Board of Education last week approved the purchase of four new school buses.
The Board authorized the purchase of four school bus chassis and bodies from bids received through the Ohio Schools Council in the fall using Ohio Department of Education School Bus Purchase Program Award in the amount of $215,961.
The funds spent by the district will come from a different pool than those used for operating the district.
“The money for the new buses will come from our permanent improvement fund which is not used for operating expenses,” said Superintendent Troy Armstrong. “Permanent improvement funding can only be used for this specific type of purpose.”
The age of some buses in the district’s fleet has become a concern.
“The buses are needed because we have buses that are more than 20 years old or approaching 20 years old,” said Armstrong.
Also at the meeting, the Board held a discussion about the potential of paying off the Board of Education building. The 9,554 square-foot building, located near the elementary/middle school complex, opened in late 2018.
“The district will use its American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief reimbursement dollars,” said Armstrong. “This money is in a building fund and can only be used for this type of purpose.”
The Board heard a presentation from Michelle Leatherman, director of instructional services, on an unfunded mandate for 18 hours of dyslexia training for teachers in addition to a certification process through the Ohio Department of Education. Leatherman provided some information on dyslexia and told the Board what is required with the passage of House Bill 436.
Beginning next school year, all kindergarten students will be screened for dyslexia. Also, all K-3 students must be administered a universal dyslexia screener and grades 4-6 must be given a screener upon request of a parent or teacher.
A multidisciplinary team will also be established to administer screening and intervention measures and analyze the results. And, starting with the 2022-2023 school year, each local city and exempted village school district, community school, and STEM school must establish a multi-sensory structured literacy certification process for teachers providing instruction to students in grades K-3.
The 18 hours of training for teachers must be completed by the start of the 2023-24 for kindergarten and first grade teachers. Second and third grade teachers need to complete it by the start of the 2024-25 school year and special education teachers in grades 4-12 need to complete it by the start of the 2025-26 school year.
Also at the meeting, the Board held a discussion about the possibility of a tax abatement for a potential new hotel by Rama Tika Management LLC. If built, it would be located near the Ohio Turnpike interchange north of the city.
• The Board heard a presentation from Armstrong regarding the Ohio Department of Education Fiscal Year 2021 Audit Summary demonstrating excellent fiscal responsibility of federal funding uses.
• The Board approved donations, including $3,630 worth of sewing items from Betty Panning to middle school special education life skills classrooms, $2,646.44 from athletic boosters to Wauseon baseball for cage nets, $2,000 from The Greg and Sherry Suon Charitable Fund of Thrivent Charitable Impact & Investing to the elementary school food pantry, $1,000 from Ohio Means Jobs to the Class of 2023 for prom, $500 from Trinity Lutheran Church Caring Cupboard to the elementary food pantry, $100 from Velma Horst to the elementary food pantry, and T-shirts valued at $180 from Sarah Klopfenstein to the WMS quiz bowl team.
• The Board accepted the resignation of Samantha Burkholder as primary school guidance counselor, effective, March 14.
• The resignation of Bethann Simon, assistant to the treasurer AP/AR, was accepted, effective April 18.
• The Board accepted the resignation of full-time bus driver Jenne Henricks, effective at the end of the school year.
• Rebecca Rupp was offered a one-year limited outside supplemental contract to be the boys tennis coach this school year.
• A service agreement between the school district and the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center was approved for the 2022-23 school year.
• The Board approved the appointment of Roger Wyman to a seven-year term on the Wauseon Public Library Board of Trustees.
• The Board recognized and commended Camryn Rash, a ninth grade student, for her artwork being published in theAmericans for the Arts/National Association of Counties 2022 calendar.