Van Wert City Schools Superintendent Mark Bagley talks about a controversial voucher bill. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent
Updates and various reports made up the majority of Wednesday night’s meeting of the Van Wert City Schools Board of Education.
Superintendent Mark Bagley updated the board on legislative topics, including controversial House Bill 290, the so-called “backpack bill” that would provide private school vouchers to any student in any grade. Bagley expressed concern about the bill and noted that public schools are required to follow the state’s curriculum, while private schools are free make up their own. He also talked briefly about House Bill 436, also known as the dyslexia bill and said it’s on its fifth revision.
Bagley also said the campaign to renovate Eggerss Stadium is progressing, with more information expected to be released in the ooming weeks. A 20-year bond issue will appear on the May 3 ballot and if approved, it would generate $5 million.
He also said due to the ongoing political fight over district boundaries, it’s unclear if the election will actually take place as scheduled or be moved to a later date. So far, the date remains May 3.
Bagley said 2,134 students are currently enrolled in the Van Wert City Schools and he said he wants to put the district’s latest Quality Profile in the hands of local realtors.
During his report to the board, Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton outlined some pending projects, including roof work at the Goedde Building, the high school/middle school parking lot project, which includes redesigning the curve on the southwest corner to make it safer for traffic. He also said gym floors will be redone this summer.
“The high school/middle gym is going to be resurfaced and repainted,” Clifton explained. “We were told that a high school gym floor can go about 10-12 years, maybe 12-14 years…we’ve been on our original gym floor for 16 years, so we are at the point where it’s time to resurface the high school gym floor.”
The board also heard about an abuse prevention and personal safety program involving the Early Childhood Center and the YWCA of Van Wert County. The program, called “Safer, Smarter Kids” is designed for kindergarteners and is being taught in six 30 minute lessons one time per week by YWCA Director of Youth Development Betsy Hamman. Topics range from safety rules to identifying safe vs. unsafe secrets. Hamman outlined the program for board members and two kindergarten students shared what they’ve learned from it.
Just three personnel items were on the agenda and all three were approved. Joshua Poulson was hired as an elementary physical education teacher for the 2022-2023 school year, and Ashley Showalter was hired as head girls soccer coach. The board also accepted the retirement resignation of cafeteria worker Deb Keber, effective at the end of the current school year.
In other business the board approved the following agenda items:
- A list of high school/middle school sports for the 2022-2023 school year.
- The 2023-2024 school calendar.
- A resolution to adopt the revised safety plan.
- Satellite program standards and a maintenance agreement with Vantage Career Center.
- Recognized the Van Wert Booster Club and the Recking Crew as official district support organizations.
- An agreement with the City of Van Wert for July 4 fireworks on the high school/middle school and elementary campus.
The board also accepted a list of donations from various businesses, organizations and individuals.
The next meeting of the Van Wert City Schools Board of Education will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, in the First Federal Lecture Hall at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
Original article courtesy of The VW Independent