NAPOLEON — Superintendent Erik Belcher presented a COVID-19 update to the Napoleon Area Board of Education during its meeting Wednesday. A public hearing also was held concerning the 2020-21 school calendar.
Belcher shared that he’s “been amazed” at the low number of quarantines for students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our numbers have been so steady the past couple of months, we’re sitting roughly at about 3-4% for our staff (for quarantines) and about 5-7% for our students,” said Belcher. “That doesn’t mean our staff and our students necessarily have it, a lot of it is due to contact tracing.
“If you were to ask anyone in Napoleon (when the year started) if we would make it to Christmas with in-person learning, I think most people would have said that we would be nuts,” continued Belcher. “As far as the remote week after break, we know having kids in school is best, but sometimes we have to take one step back to move 10 steps forward.”
The public was invited to give input on the school calendar, which was presented at the November meeting of the board. No one called in to discuss it. The calendar is expected to be brought for approval in January.
The board approved a resolution to enter into a contract with Garmann Miller Architects to assist the district with planning for a proposed multi-purpose building at a cost of $16,800. Belcher explained this is an exploratory effort to see how Napoleon Area City Schools can be of help to students and community families.
“What this is about is looking into the interest of bringing a multi-purpose building for the community and the district, not just for athletics, but families as well as career tech,” said Belcher. “At the first of the year we’re going to bring in some community groups to get an idea of what our vision could be.
“What we want to do is take those thoughts, turn it into a vision and see what a multi-purpose building could look like and how it would be used,” added Belcher. “Once we get those ideas, we can turn them into a floor plan and 3-D rendering. Those ideas will help us to decide if we want to move forward, and where it would go.”
Accepted by the board was a Coronavirus Relief Fund grant in the amount of $101,120.90 that has been used to purchase PPE, laptops, iPads and for the district’s NOVA lab.
In addition, the board accepted a Broadband Connectivity Grant in the amount of $60,586.47, that has been used to purchase iPads with built-in hot spots so that kindergarten students who need devices with connectivity can use them.
In other business, the board:
• voted for Ty Otto as president pro-tem for the organizational meeting to be held Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.
• appointed Marcie Bruns as the representative from Napoleon Area City Schools to the Four County Career Center Board of Education for a four-year term, commencing Jan. 1.
• approved extended unpaid leave for Jennifer Fitzenreiter, effective Dec. 4 through approximately Dec. 18.
• okayed the employment of the following individuals: Stacy Eberle, assistant cook at Napoleon Junior/Senior High School, effective Nov. 23; Courtney Knapp, assistant cook at Napoleon Elementary, effective Dec. 16; and Lisa Weber, assistant cook at Napoleon Elementary, effective Dec. 16.
• accepted the resignation of Jody Vargo, assistant cook at Napoleon Elementary, effective Feb. 1. Vargo has served the district for 25 years.
• approved Justin Miller as a volunteer wrestling coach for 2020-21; and Michael Retcher as swimming meet manager for 2020-21.
• okayed Michael Retcher as a Camp Palmer instructor for 2020-21.
• voted for the following substitute positions for 2020-21: David Burkhart, custodial, effective Dec. 2; and Jamie Rosebrock, cafeteria, effective Dec. 3.
• approved the substitute list for teachers and paraprofessionals from the NwOESC for 2020-21.
• okayed the 2021 kindergarten clinic at Napoleon Church of the Nazarene, April 14-16.
• voted for the statement of purpose for the following student activity groups and new officers: Academic Boosters Club; NAS PTO; Napoleon Band Boosters; Napoleon Driving Club; NHS Swimming & Diving; The 3-Point Boys Basketball Parents Club; Lady Cat Basketball Club; Napoleon Athletic Boosters; Napoleon Baseball Backers; NHS Polo Proud; and NJSHS Foreign Language Organization.
• approved Sheryl Dobbelaere for reappointment to the library board for a seven-year term starting in 2021.
• okayed a MOU with Defiance College for the hosting of teacher education candidates to provide practicum and student teaching experiences.
• voted for the Lifetouch Yearbook sales agreement for Napoleon Elementary and Napoleon Junior High.
• ratified a contract with SchoolPointe for a Napoleon Area City Schools website app at a cost of $500.
• approved a then and now purchase order of $24,372 to Maumee Valley Guidance Center for mental health services. This is to be paid with Student Wellness and Success state funds.
• accepted the following donations: 8,000 bottles of water courtesy of the city of Napoleon; and plans valued at $442 from Mike and Denise McColley for Kara’s Garden at Napoleon Junior/Senior High School.