Addressing concerns about the district that are posted to social media was the main topic of discussion at the Defiance City Board of Education meeting Monday evening at Defiance High School. The board also discussed how a problem with new Chromebooks has been addressed by Hewlett-Packard.
Superintendent Bob Morton shared that he recently reached out to a parent who posted a concern on Facebook involving bringing fast food to their child at lunch at Defiance Elementary School. Morton explained that bringing any fast food to a student during lunch time is against district policy. He went on to explain that parents are welcome to purchase lunch at the school and eat with their student/students, and/or bring in a treat for the student/students’ class.
“There have been posts about the district on social media the last week or so, and I want the board to know, and the media to know, that I have reached out to those who posted concerns to get back to me so I can address them,” said Morton. “We want everyone’s experience to be positive, and we know we don’t do everything right, but we want make our parents aware that there are appropriate courses of action, and that we want to have positive outcomes.”
Board president Garry Rodenberger, and other members of the board, expressed willingness to share district policies with the public when concerns arise. Rodenberger went on to share that he and the board support the people who work in the district, while asking the public to do so, too.
Rodenberger then read a resolution in support of the faculty, staff and administration in which the board proclaimed its support of the faculty, staff and administration, and that the board strongly encourages all members of the community to join in it expressing appreciation for the staff’s hard work. The board adopted and unanimously approved the resolution.
Last month, technology coordinator Andrew Eckhart told the board that several new Chromebooks purchased through HP were failing at a high rate every week. On Monday, Morton shared with the board that new Chromebooks have continued to fail at a high rate, but that HP has agreed to send 1,250 new and updated machines to Defiance City Schools at no cost to the district. The plan is to replace the older Chromebooks one class at a time.
In September, Morton shared information about Clothes Bin, a clothing and shoes recycling program, that’s used as a school fundraising tool at no cost to the district. Clothes, towels, linens and shoes can be placed in a bin placed on school property to be recycled, with the district receiving seven cents per pound in return for the items. The money generated will be split among different organizations/programs in the district.
“One bin has been placed at the elementary school and two have been placed at the middle/high school,” said Morton. “One more bin will be placed by the administrative offices, and we encourage everyone to donate the designated items so they can be recycled and kept out of the landfill.”
In her report, CFO/treasurer Cheryl Swisher shared that this is the first year that the five-year fiscal forecast is due to the Ohio Department of Education in November instead of October. Swisher asked the board to move the meeting scheduled for Nov. 25 at the City Municipal Building, to Nov. 18 at Defiance High School, so she can present the forecast earlier and have extra time to submit it to ODE in case of submission issues.
The board approved moving the regular meeting in November to Nov. 18.
Swisher also discussed receiving state funds of $567,687 for the Student Wellness and Success fund, a new fund approved in the biannual budget that was championed by Gov. Mike DeWine. The board voted to approve the increase and appropriations/revenue for the fund.
Following regular session, the board met in executive session for the purpose of employment, to consider the purchase or sale of property, and for matters required to be kept confidential by federal law or state statues.
No action was taken following executive session.
In other business, the board:
• discussed the first reading of several new board policies and revisions to old policies.
• voted for a memorandum of understanding with Paulding County Board of Elections regarding the Secretary of State High School Student Election Official Program. This will allow a student attending Defiance High School, who lives in Paulding County, to take part in the program on Election Day.
• approved the following third-grade after-school instructors, effective Oct. 21: Britt Gerken, Rachel Windhorst, Sharon Waldron, Tammy Lockmiller and Greg Swartz.
• okayed Annette Vander Horst as a substitute teacher, as needed for 2019-20, effective Sept. 23; Judy Corbitt and Heather Rodriguez as hostesses at Defiance Elementary, 3.25 hours per day, effective Sept. 30; Brian Grant as a substitute van/bus driver, as needed, for 2019-20.
• accepted the resignation of Cassandra Passalacqua as a dishroom worker at Defiance High School, 3.5 hours per day, effective Sept. 26; and the transfer of Shaelynn Hughes from Defiance Elementary dishroom, three hours per day, to Defiance Elementary server, three hours per day, effective Sept. 30.
• voted for Riley Zipfel as a varsity wrestling assistant; and Jacob Green and Garrett Sierra as freshman baseball assistants.
• approved the updated substitute teacher list from the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center.
• accepted the following donations: $70 from Carrie and Ken Wetstein for girls tennis locker signs; $150 from the Defiance Optimist Club for the high school volleyball team; $500 from the Defiance Football Alumni Association for the high school volleyball team; $2,500 from First Federal Bank for the high school gym video board; $2,500 from Defiance Physical Therapy for the high school gym video board; 19 backpacks from Cheryl Swisher to the elementary school worth $87.86; six bowling certificates from Defiance Recreation to the elementary school; five Eric’s All American Ice Cream gift cards to the elementary school worth $25; multiple anonymous donations to the elementary fifth-grade camp fund worth $270; $500 from UAW Local 86; and the following donations to the elementary school Watch D.O.G.S. program — four Rib Fest tickets from the Defiance Development & Visitors Bureau worth $20; a hair cut from Steve Wendell; two yard games from S&S Contractors; a two-person kayak trip from River Lures Kayak; water and pop from T.A.C.K.L.E.; a donation of pizza from Xperience Church worth $280; and water and pop from an anonymous donor.