SHERWOOD — Information on the start of the school year was presented to the Central Local Board of Education Monday evening. The board also approved memorandums of understanding (MOU) with the Teachers’ Association of Central Local School (TACLS), and discussed students receiving free meals through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Seamless Summer Meal Program.
Defiance County Community Improvement Corporation executive director Jerry Hayes was also in attendance to discuss a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) proposal for Iron Horse Brews, a restaurant in Sherwood.
Superintendent Steve Arnold gave an update on the start of school, sharing families that opted to start the year doing remote learning, are being taught by Fairview teachers who are live-streaming lessons from their rooms.
“Learning is continuing at a high level for both groups of learners,” said Arnold. “Our teachers are logging on each day to work with our remote learners, while presenting material to our in-person learners at the same time. There are still a few kinks to work out, but we’re off to a good start in the classroom.”
Each of the Central Local building principals, (Tim Breyman, high school; Suzanne Geis, middle school; and Sherrie Brown, elementary), echoed Arnold, with each thanking staff for working hard to educate students. All five board members were also appreciative of the hard work put into the start of the school year.
Arnold shared this is the time of the year when the district is normally awaiting its district and building report cards from the Ohio Department of Education, but none will be issued due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Senate Bill 358 is currently on the table, and if passed, Ohio schools would go at least another year without report cards.
“This legislation would give districts more control over graduates, the third-grade guarantee and other state-mandated issues,” said Arnold.
The superintendent asked the board to approved the MOUs with the TACLS. The first one would increase the facilitator for the Resident Educator Summative Assessment (RESA) salary by $500 for 2020-21 due to the large number of teachers requiring the program. It is a one-time agreement.
The second MOU concerns kindergarten screening held in August. A large grant has been secured from the United Way ($4,000) to cover the full costs of the program, which facilitated the need for an updated MOU.
The board approved both MOUs.
Arnold, and Kerry Samples (treasurer/CFO), each touched upon the district seeking donations to help cover costs for the athletic department, due to the lack of tickets being sold for events, especially football.
“We’re seeking donations because we’re taking a big financial hit from the loss of ticket sales,” said Arnold.
In his report, Samples shared the district has been extended through Dec. 31 (or until funds run out) for the Seamless Summer Meals Program, which provides free breakfast and lunch for all students in the district. The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
At the beginning of the meeting, Hayes discussed the proposed tax abatement brought to the Village of Sherwood by Iron Horse Brews, which is remodeling the former Moats Ford Dealership into a restaurant.
The proposal is for a 100% tax abatement for up to 12 years. The building is being renovated for $675,500, with another $245,000 spent for equipment, for a total investment of $920,500. The projected amount of tax money that the district would not see for 12 years would be about $4,400 a year, or $52,800.
“The project is expected to create five full-time permanent jobs with a payroll in the neighborhood of $400,000,” said Hayes. “I’m here to notify you of the proposal, my next steps are to go to Four County Career Center to notify them, and then Sherwood village council.”
No action was taken on the proposal Monday evening.
In other business, the board:
• rescinded the following contracts: Lisa Vance, grade one lead teacher; Amy Eitniear, grade four lead teacher; and Anna France, junior high football and basketball cheerleading advisor.
• approved maternity leave for Brittany Badenhop from approximately Oct. 9-Nov. 20.
• okayed several one-year supplemental contracts for 2020-21; and Audrie Longardner as a junior high volunteer.
• voted for permanent appropriations for fiscal year 2021 with a general fund total of $14,917,382.96 and an all funds total of $18,278,196.46.
• approved authorization to purchase a 77-passenger bus from the bids received through the Ohio Schools Council on May 5. The district will use grant funds of $39,915 to offset 50% of the cost.
• accepted the following the donations: $4,000 from the United Way to the general fund for kindergarten expenses; $1,000 from various donors to the Arnos Memorial Scholarship Fund; $450 from various donors to the cafeteria fund; $300 from the Ney American Legion to the band fund; and $300 from Ney United Methodist Church to the cafeteria fund.