HOLGATE — On Monday, Holgate Local Board of Education heard about last week’s cancelled staff vaccine clinic, which has been rescheduled for this Friday from 1:30-4 p.m. in the high school gym.
The health department received the Moderna vaccine shipment on Monday. The second dose will be administered on March 26. Feb. 26 will now be a professional development day staff, so there will be no school for students on that date.
“Thanks to our Henry County Health Department, our staff and parents for being flexible with the cancellation of the vaccination clinic,” said superintendent Kelly Meyers. “If this year has taught us anything, it’s to roll with whatever comes at us and that all plans can get altered quickly.”
In addition, a blizzard bag was used on Monday and one is scheduled for March 1. One more can be used. Make-up days are April 5 and June 1-3 if the district goes beyond eight calamity days.
Meyers also noted that a new program was initiated at the middle school/high school aimed at safety, accountability and preserving instructional time called SmartPass, a digital hall pass system that is replacing physical hall passes and sign-out sheets. Meyers shared that the students started using the program on Feb. 3.
“Students now create a digital hall pass on their school device or on their phone which the classroom teacher has to approve,” she explained. “SmartPass has already reduced the amount of time our students spend in the hallways by tracking students’ use of the restroom, the water fountain, time at their lockers, going to other classrooms, and to see the school nurse. This will help reduce interruptions in the classroom as well, with students coming/going less frequently.
“The system also gives us the ability to locate students during emergencies and even help with contact tracing for COVID. Our principal, SRO and building secretary receive alerts on their phones when students initiate a pass,” explained Meyers. “So far from visual observations, traffic in the hallways is greatly diminished and students aren’t forgetting things in their lockers as much. The system is getting adjusted as we go. Already our tech coordinator was added as a location and we’re dealing with the issue when there is a substitute teacher in the classroom.”
In personnel matters, the board approved Lisa Jones as Latchkey substitute for the 2020-21 school year and approved the following volunteers for the 2020-21 school year: Christine Yenser, junior high track; Madilyn Hohenberger, softball; Jacob Bortz, Julie Leiman-Guy, Eric Redick and Darlene Wolf, musical.
The board also approved a service agreement pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 3313.845, with the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center for the 2021-22 school year at an initial cost estimate of $584,027.30.
In other business, the board:
• approved substitutes from the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center.
• approved a then and now payment of $4,648.25 to Blue Freedom Farms for the FFA fruit sale.
• approved the amendments to the appropriations: increased the maintenance fund by $6,000; the trust fund (Fitzwater Memorial Award) by $1,000; and the special revenue fund (Title IIA) by $530.75.
• okayed the proposed calendar for the 2022-23 school year.
• accepted the donation of hand sanitizer from the GOJO company.
• approved American Fidelity and Assurance Co. as the district’s Section 125 provider for the period beginning April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022.
• learned that Maddox Pennington was the virtual Math Counts winner, an event sponsored by the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center. He will advance to a Feb. 25 competition.
• was informed that the competition cheer squad has qualified for the OASSA state competition once again. The team recorded its video on Feb. 19 for submission to the OASSA competition and the OHSCCA Best in State competition.
• heard that the entry system software/control panels and security camera server need upgrades as they are original from 2006 when the building was constructed. They also will add an exterior camera to east parking lot and replace two in south lot.