SHERWOOD — An update on projects and a decision to go to remote learning was presented to the Central Local Board of Education on Monday. The board was also addressed by a community member and an attorney concerning alleged culture issues at Fairview Elementary School.
In addition, former Central Local superintendent Darrel Jones, was honored (see related story, Page A1); the board also heard from Fairview Elementary Title I teacher Curt Foust about honoring students, and from teacher Ray Breininger and a few of his engineering students about what’s happening in his Engineering 2 class (see related story, Page A7).
At the March meeting of the board, the members approved bids for work on interior/exterior projects at Fairview Middle/High School. At that time, superintendent Steve Arnold shared asbestos abatement at Fairview Middle/High School may need to start before the end of the school year, so that interior projects can be finished in time for the start of the 2021-22 school year.
On Monday, Arnold told the board that asbestos abatement is scheduled to begin May 17 and conclude May 26, meaning middle/high school students will go to full remote learning the last two weeks of school.
“I am making it official that we will be using our remote learning plan for the high school and middle school students the last two weeks of school,” said Arnold. “This is a brief, necessary inconvenience that will benefit Fairview students for years to come.”
Arnold went on to share there was a setback with the bus garage project.
“Due to materials being difficult to obtain, the completion date for the bus garage needs to be pushed back 10 weeks to about Feb. 26, 2022,” said Arnold. “Of the three projects (interior classrooms, parking lot paving and bus garage) for a delay to occur, this is probably the best one for it to happen.”
The amended schedule was approved by the board.
The board later voted to enter into an amended and restated lease-purchase agreement to refinance a lease purchase agreement for work done done to Fairview Middle/High School in 2017 to save the district $57,000. The board also voted to finance the debt for the new interior/exterior projects at the lower rate (1.95%) from the amended lease/purchase agreement from 2017.
The new projects are estimated to cost $2,800,000. A second agreement was approved to allow CFO/treasurer Kerry Samples to sign the documents for the financing, and keep the district in compliance to the agreement.
“The average annual payment would be around $311,000 a year over the course of 10 years, paid with permanent improvement levy receipts,” said Samples. “Since we are expecting to bring in over $525,000 a year, this will leave over $200,000 a year for other permanent improvement projects.”
In March, Samples explained the board will need to decide if it wants to go on the ballot in November to renew the district’s emergency five-year levy a year early — something the district has historically done in the past.
He reminded the board on Monday that a pair of resolutions will need to be passed for the paperwork to be submitted to the board of elections by Aug. 4. He suggested the first one be on the agenda in May, and the second one in June. The levy was last on the ballot in November of 2016.
At the start of the meeting, community member Josh Kimpel addressed the board as part of the Fairview Community Organization. He explained he felt the organization’s issue with an alleged culture problem at Fairview Elementary School have not been addressed and asked the board to address those concerns.
Later, attorney Denise Stollings addressed the board on behalf of community member Tanna Ellert. Stollings told the board she was representing Ellert, who sent a letter to Arnold in February about her concerns about the culture at the school, in which she named 12 teachers whom she alleges are a problem.
According to Stollings, Ellert was threatened with legal action because of the letter. The board did not directly address the concerns of either Kimpel or Stollings in the open meeting.
In his report, Arnold shared a socially-distanced prom will take place April 24, with an outdoor graduation ceremony set to take place May 30. There are back-up plans in place in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. Meanwhile, the spring choir concert was approved by the board for April 21, the spring band concert will take place May 3 and the spring musical May 7-8.
In other business, the board:
• accepted the retirement/resignation of Susan Kozumplik, middle school teacher, effective May 31. Kozumplik served the district for 38 years.
• OK’d extended time for 2021-22 to the following individuals: Lori Polter, Adam Brickner, Lindsay Estle, Chris Herman and Jessica Nagel, 20 days each; and Jill Speiser and Sally Miller, 10 days each.
• authorized a three-year contract with Healthcare Process Consulting, Inc. to assist the district with the Ohio Medicaid School Program, effective July 1.
• approved the first reading of NEOLA policies as presented.
• OK’d a modified schedule for the high school band trip to Washington, D.C., with the new dates of March 30-April 2, 2022.
• voted for an umpiring clinic for area youth leagues on April 18; and the archery awards program on May 2.
• accepted the following donations to the class of 2022: Ney Jacyees, $100; Taylor Insurance, $40; Grine Trucking, $100; Sherwood State Bank, $50; Richards & Walker, $100; Newcomber, Shaffer & Breininger, $250; and Defiance Police Association, $200. Accepted the following donations: Farmer Fire Department, $250 to the archery fund; Team Sports, $705 to the athletic fund; and Bill’s Locker Room, $78 to the girls basketball fund.