AYERSVILLE — State funding, Elementary and Secondary School Emergence Relief (ESSER) II funds, as well as income tax and property taxes were discussed by the Ayersville Local Board of Education on Monday.
To start the meeting, board member Char Ondrus honored long-time educator and former coach Bob Fett, who recently passed away. Ondrus shared Fett taught in the district for 35 years, and served as boys basketball coach and golf coach during his tenure.
“I would say we should have a moment of silence for Bob, but he wouldn’t like it,” said Ondrus. “Please remember Bob and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Ayersville CFO/treasurer Abby Sharp gave the board mostly good financial news, sharing that state funding wasn’t cut as much as predicted, another round of ESSER funds is expected to help offset costs, and income tax revenue is about what was expected.
“We received our January income tax payment and as of right now, we’re about $4,000 above what we expected, and it looks like we will receive what we forecast,” began Sharp. “A state funding update, the governor came out and shared there will not be as big a reduction as expected, meaning we will get back about $68,000, so more good news.
“Even more good news, ESSER II funds have been approved, and our estimated amount we will receive will be $182,747.54,” continued Sharp. “This was passed back in December, and we have until December 2023 to spend these funds. We are expected to have a lot of leeway to spend these funds.”
Sharp explained some of the ways the district hopes to spend the money includes paying for aides brought back to help with social distancing; offset revenue lost in the athletic department and food services; and paying for teaching benefits and salary, all which will help offset payments from the general fund.
The CFO/treasurer did have some bad news concerning commercial/industrial property taxes, in which revenue is expected to be down 33%, or $225,000. “We don’t expect this revenue to come back,” said Sharp.
In his report, superintendent Don Diglia shared the district calendar presented to the board was the one approved by a vote from the education association. The association had two calendars from which to chose. The first day of school is Aug. 30, the final day of school is May 27, 2022, and graduation is May 29, 2022.
“The calendar committee, composed of staff members, were charged with coming up with multiple calendars, all employees voted on the two options, and this is the option with the most votes,” said Diglia.
The board met in executive session to discuss personnel matters, however, no action was taken following executive session. Prior to moving into executive session, board president Lanie Lambert shared how the search for the new superintendent was progressing.
“We were hoping to get an update today (from the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center), but with the weather we had to reschedule,” said Lambert. “We will most likely have to schedule a special meeting soon.”
When asked about the public survey on the district webpage about what people in the district want in a new superintendent, Lambert shared there have been more than 100 responses. Lambert then shared the timeline about hiring a new superintendent.
“At the beginning of March we would like to have our first interviews, and then by the end of March, beginning of April, hire our next superintendent,” said Lambert. “We want the new person to have some time with Don (Diglia) before that person moves into the role in August.”
In other business, the board:
• accepted the resignation of Brooke Martin as head volleyball coach for 2021-22; and the resignation of Phil Eberle from the driver’s education program, effective with the completion of his spring 2021 class.
• accepted the amounts and rates as set by the budget commission, authorized the necessary tax levies, and sent them to be certified by the Defiance County auditor.
• approved the transfer of $50,000 from the general fund to Fund 035, termination benefits, for 2020-21.
• okayed changes to policy 5430.01 valedictorian, section C item #3 dealing with advanced placement and College Credit Plus courses. CCP courses will be more heavily weighted in the formula in picking valedictorian.
• voted to add Matt Hanenkrath as a new Ayersville Education Foundation trustee, effective Jan. 1.
• okayed the lists of certified substitutes and paraprofessionals/classified substitutes from the NwOESC for 2020-21.
• presented Tim McDonough with the Ohio School Boards Association’s Media Honor Roll award.
• accepted the following donations: $500 from Defiance Moose Lodge Family Center 2094 to the football team for equipment; $1,575 from the Ayersville Wrestling Club for pay to participate fees for the wrestlers; and $250 from Defiance Optimists for pay to participate fees.