WHS marching band getting new uniforms

Music Boosters donating over $38k for purchase

By Rachael Krisher - For the Expositor

The Wauseon School Board held its first meeting of 2023 on Monday evening with Amy Fisher and Larry Fruth were elected as the president and vice president of the board, respectively. The board approved the 2023-2024 school board meeting schedule and the revised 2023-2024 school calendar as presented.

Luke Ankney, representative from the Wauseon Schools Music Boosters, presented images of the new marching band uniforms that are being purchased for the high school marching band. Ankney said the current uniforms are 21 years old and being held together by “safety pins” and “glue”.

The Music Boosters are donating $38,135 to purchase 75 new band uniforms and 2 new drum major uniforms. Additionally, rolling racks for storing the uniforms and raincoats will be purchased in the future as well. Ankney said the ability to donate the funding for the uniforms come from “successful fundraising” and the boosters are “exciting to be able to do this for the kids.”

Jill Shehorn, transportation supervisor for the district, presented to the board on the wants and needs of the transportation department. Shehorn said that the department has asked before, and is asking again, for a flushable toilet and indoor restroom, as bus drivers currently only have access to a port-a-potty for regular use.

Shehorn explained that there is a need to continue adding to the bus fleet on a yearly basis, as the buses are aging and “sun fading” from sitting outside year-round and damage from “brine on the roads” are taking a toll on the lifespan of the buses. The district is expecting four new buses this year, but delivery continues to be delayed.

Shehorn also reported that the district’s van fleet is in “desperate need” for an update as the “newest van is 12 years old”. Shehorn stated that finding and ordering 9-passenger vans is becoming more and more difficult and the district may need to find alternative transportation options.

Michelle Leatherman, Director of Instructional Services, presented an overview of the district’s report card for the 2021-2022 school year. Leatherman stated that changes have been made to how the State of Ohio completes school district report cards. Leatherman explained that the “style of ratings changed from letter grades (A-F) to five stars (1-5 stars).”

The district received 4 stars in achievement, 3 stars in progress, 5 stars in gap closing, 4 stars in graduation, and 3 stars in early literacy. Leatherman noted that in “every category we were higher than the state average.”

Superintendent Troy Armstrong commented on the gap closing aspect of the report card, saying “we are growing our kids.” The gap closing component measures the reduction in educational gaps for student subgroups. Leatherman explained that means the district is “addressing all of our subgroups,” including students with disabilities and students who are English language learners.

Additionally, Leatherman explained that for younger grades, “COVID definitely impacted student learning” and that is still being reflected in Wauseon’s report card and in report cards across the state. Leatherman also reminded the board that with the change in reporting style, it is difficult to compare the 2021-2022 report card to past district report cards.

The board approved to revise Wauseon High School graduation requirements for the class of 2026 and beyond to reduce elective requirements by 0.5 credits and include 0.5 credits of financial literacy in compliance with new state requirements.

The board elected Curt Crew as the Student Achievement Liaison and Larry Zimmerman as the Legislative Liaison. The board approved the superintendent as the purchasing agent for Wauseon Excepted Village Schools for 2023.

The board entered into executive session “for the consideration of the employment of an employee” at the request of Armstrong. No action was taken when the board returned from the executive session.

Music Boosters donating over $38k for purchase

By Rachael Krisher

For the Expositor