VWCS Board of Education Meeting: April 22, 2020

Posted On: Thursday, April 23, 2020

Screenshot of all board members and school principals during Wednesday's board meeting held on Zoom

Four potential dates are under consideration for Van Wert High School’s 2020 graduation ceremony.

Principal Bob Priest informed the Board of Education via Zoom video Wednesday night that the original date, May 24, remains on the calendar, but June 7 and 21, and July 19 have been targeted as possible dates for commencement, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We cannot just go forward and set our graduation date,” Priest explained. “We are still under a stay-at-home directive by the governor and until that is lifted we can’t have gatherings.”

“My intention is to have a ceremony as soon as possible to provide closure for the senior students,” Priest added. “It is my hope that we don’t look at a graduation in July but if that is the case hopefully it’s been pushed out far enough.”

Priest also said a letter will be going out to seniors this week and he commended teachers and staff at the high school for their efforts during the statewide school shutdown. Middle School Principal Mark Bagley, Van Wert Elementary Principal Justin Krogman, and Early Childhood Center Principal Lori Bittner offered similar praise.

In a related move, the school board approved a list of seniors eligible for graduation.

During his report to the board, Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton said meals are still being distributed on Monday of each week at Van Wert Middle School and in Ohio City.

“It’s so important that people who have signed up through the pre-order meal plan follow through and pick up those meals, because we have a lot of meals prepared based on that pre-order meal plan that are not being picked up,” Clifton said. “We’re having to break all of that back down, put it away and store it for use at a later time.”


Bill Clifton gives his report during Wednesday's Zoom board meeting
Van Wert Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton makes his report via Zoom during Wednesday’s April board meeting. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent


Middle School Assistant Principal Darla Dunlap was hired as Middle School Principal. She’ll replace Bagley, who takes over as superintendent August 1.

In other personnel moves, board members agreed to hire Rachel Ritchie as a school psychologist; Jill Fast, elementary school counselor; Kelsey Wertz, second grade teacher; Maggie Roehm, high school intervention specialist, and Emilie Fisher, high school art teacher.

The board accepted the resignations of kindergarten teacher Sara Pugh; Robin Workman, high school language arts teacher; and Juliette Schroeder, high school social studies teacher.

Other agenda items approved by the board included the acceptance of a pitching machine worth $1,572.25 from the Van Wert Athletic Boosters, along with the acceptance of a $2,000 Hattie’s Visible Learning Grant for professional development for Ohio High Schools That Work activities.

The board also approved a Career Education Opportunity (CEO) program agreement with Crestview Local Schools, and board members agreed to create a finance committee led by treasurer Michelle Mawer.

“With this pandemic there is going to be some financial impact to the district,” Mawer said. “Right now there are a lot of people unemployed so that, in turn, is going to affect our school district income tax and, down the road, our state funding could be impacted.”

“It’s a good time to set up a finance committee because down the road we may have to talk and make some decisions,” Mawer added.

She also said in the district’s last audit, state auditors recommended the board form a finance committee, which will consist of administrative, certified, and classified employees.

The next meeting of the Van Wert City Board of Education will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 27.


Original article courtesy of The VW Independent

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