PAULDING — The Paulding Exempted Village Board of Education held its annual organizational meeting Tuesday evening, followed by the regular meeting of the board. During the regular meeting, the members heard discussion about remote learning and held a public hearing on the 2021-22 school calendar.

During the organizational meeting, elected as president and vice president for 2021 were Karen Saxton and Jim Foltz, respectively. The members voted to keep the regular meeting of the board on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

Other business included:

• appointing Brian Egnor as legislative liaison and student achievement liaison with the Ohio School Boards Association for 2021.

• appointing treasurer/CFO Kim Sprague as the representative for public records training for all board members as required; authorizing Sprague to pay the district bills; make advance draws on February and August tax settlements; invest active, inactive or interim funds at the most productive rate of interest; file requests for amendments of the certificate of estimated resources with the Paulding County auditor as information becomes available to warrant such filings; and make fund-to-fund advances, advance returns, transfers and appropriation changes as needed with board ratification as part of the financial reports at the next board meeting.

• authorizing superintendent Ken Amstutz and Sprague to enter into and/or accept/participate in federal, state or local grants or agreements deemed advantageous to the district, and authorizing Sprague to appropriate funds for grants awarded; and accept all donations to the district on behalf of the board.

• appointing Amstutz as the purchasing agent with authorization to initiate expenditures up to $25,000 without prior board approval.

• authorizing Amstutz to employ such temporary personnel as needed in emergency situations with approval by the board at the next board meeting.

During the regular meeting of the board, a public hearing was held in regards to the 2021-22 school calendar, in according with Ohio Revised Code. The presentation included the total number of hours in the school year, length of the school day and end of instruction.

No one from the public was in attendance. The board will vote to approve the calendar in February.

In his report, Amstutz gave an update on remote learning, discussed the Panther Virtual Learning Academy and gave an update on COVID-19 related matters.

“At this point, we’re down to 63 students for virtual learning, and overall, we’ve had a very good start to the second semester,” said Amstutz. “As far as COVID, we have not seen a bump since the break, as a district we’ve had very minor problems ... it’s lower than we anticipated.

“As far as remote learning, we don’t have any plans to do so, except for kids in quarantine,” added Amstutz. “With the governor saying he wants schools back to in-person or hybrid learning by March 1, we’re looking at staff being vaccinated soon under phase 1B. I have a survey out to staff about it, but I don’t have all the data.”

Amstutz also told the board that the district is accepting applications for the Paulding Academic Hall of Fame through Feb. 1. There are three inductees from last year that have not been inducted yet due to COVID-19 restrictions last May, however, the district is still accepting new applications.

CFO/treasurer Kim Sprague shared that she has applied for a grant in the amount of $270,000 from the Maumee Valley Planning Commission in Defiance, and that Paulding Exempted Village Schools was one of four entities chosen out of 62 by the commission.

“Back in September, Ken forwarded me an email from Maumee Valley Planning which indicated there was quite a bit of grant money available,” said Sprague. “I put together an application asking for Chromebooks for students in grades K-2 to replace old devices, as well as laptops for the alternative center.

“I also asked for salary offset for the teacher that is grading our NOVA academy and works with online students, offset for some fringes (fringe benefits), as well as some custodial costs,” added Sprague. “All of that came to $270,000. The paperwork is in, I’m not sure of turnaround time, but we’re very happy to be selected.”

In other business, the board:

• was recognized and thanked as part of Board Recognition Month.

• approved membership in the Ohio School Boards Association for the 2021 calendar year at a cost of $5,300.

• okayed a one-year limited extra-curricular supplemental contract for Jessica Schultz as junior high cheer advisor.

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