AYERSVILLE — The Ayersville Local Board of Education learned during its regular meeting Monday, that a practice remote-learning day will be held Thursday to test the district’s remote learning plan.

In addition, income tax receipts, a pool levy renewal and the five-year fiscal forecast were also topics of discussion (see related story below).

Superintendent Don Diglia opened his report by sharing the board would like to renew a public-participation option at its meetings, after voting to forgo this option earlier this year due to COVID-19.

Anyone interested in addressing the board at a meeting is asked to contact the superintendent’s office at 419-395-1111, ext. 400, or email Diglia at ddiglia@ayersvillepilots.org by noon the day of the meeting. The board meets on the third Monday of every month.

Diglia, and high school principal Rob Luderman, explained the district will do a practice remote-learning day for students in grades 7-12 Thursday. With COVID-19 numbers spiking in the state, the district feels it’s time to put its remote plan to the test.

Students in grades K-6 are expected to report to class that day at the regular time.

“The goal is to keep K-6 students in person, even in a remote setting, as they would suffer the most during a total remote situation,” said Diglia.

Said Luderman: “On Thursday, students in grades 7-12 will not be physically reporting to the school, we will be following the remote plan we put in before the beginning of the school year. The 7-12 students will follow the two-hour delay schedule, they will Zoom in to all of their classes, and we’ll bring the kids back the next day.

“That will give us a chance to get feedback, and make any adjustments we need to in case we do go remote,” added Luderman.

Diglia then discussed the Fair School Funding plan, as introduced in the Ohio Senate as Senate Bill 376, a companion bill to House Bill 305. The plan would change how school districts in the state of Ohio are funded.

Diglia shared the funding proposal is a three-step plan that would establish a base cost per student per year, it would establish a state and local share, and establish categorical aid for students with disabilities, students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, English-language learners and gifted learners.

The plan would include a device for every student in Ohio, an improved transportation share to districts, and students would be funded at the school where they are taught. In addition, the plan establishes a district’s ability to generate a local share, and it would use property and income wealth.

The board passed a resolution, encouraging the 133rd Ohio General Assembly to expedite the passage of the bill.

In other business, the board:

• approved a memorandum of understanding with the Ayersville Education Association to address Article V fringe benefits, Section B medical waiver option. To be eligible for full payment, a minimum of five months of waiver of insurance is required. For those who waive less than five months insurance coverage, payment will be prorated based on 12 months. The statement does not replace Section B medical waiver option, but is in addition to it.

• okayed Matthew Boff, a non-certified individual, as archery club instructor.

• accepted the resignation, for the purpose of retirement, from the following individuals: Dan Mix and Sue Baker, effective May 31, 2021.

• voted for Erika Wolf and David Cassler as Category II volunteers for 2020-21.

• approved the updated list of certified substitutes and the list of paraprofessional/classified substitutes from the NwOESC.

• okayed the substitute bus driver pay of $16 per hour to replace the current rate of $26 per trip, effective Nov. 17.

• voted for the pay rate change for extra bus trips to $14 per hour while driving, and $11 per hour while on idle time, effective Nov. 17.

• accepted the following donations: $1,000 from Johns Manville to the elementary principal’s funds to be used for student supplies; and $4,388.37 from the Ayersville Athletic Boosters for the new flooring in the varsity locker rooms on the pool deck.

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