HAVILAND — The Wayne Trace Local Board of Education heard discussion about plans to work with the other school districts in Paulding County on a new student assessment center, approved putting a new roof over the third floor of Payne Elementary School, was given an update on the 21st Century Program, and hired Matt Holden as its new head football coach during its meeting Monday evening.

Winans explained school districts in Paulding and Van Wert counties had been part of a partnership to send students to the Synergy Learning Center in Van Wert, a student assessment center operated by the Western Buckeye Educational Service Center (WBESC). Due to many factors, including cost and transportation, it no longer became feasible to send Wayne Trace students to the center, which is now slated to close at the end of the year.

On Monday evening, the Paulding Exempted Village Board of Education approved an agreement with Paulding County Commissioners to purchase the Parc Lane Training Center in Paulding, to serve as a student assessment center for students from all three Paulding County school districts. Winans explained he is working with the other superintendents in the county, and the superintendent of WBESC, on an agreement to send WT students there when it opens.

“Over the past month I’ve worked closely with Paulding, Antwerp and Western Buckeye ESC to gauge how we can best provide an alternative learning center like the one we’re losing with the closure of Synergy,” said Winans. “Tonight, Ken Amstutz (superintendent of Paulding) and his board are meeting to purchase the Parc Lane Training Center. It will be used as that alternative learning site for all schools in Paulding County.

“Our hope is to provide an education to those students who are better suited in that setting, as well as expose them to opportunities for employment and internship opportunities,” added Winans. “We want to see our students gain skills that will help them be employable after graduation. I will meet with everyone later this week to finalize plans on this. I’m pleased our students will still have an opportunity to learn in such a setting.”

Sean Pfeiffer, bus transportation supervisor/grounds supervisor, was in attendance to discuss projects of need in the district. At the January meeting of the board, Winans shared a problem with the roof pulling away from the building at Payne Elementary led to water getting into the building. The problem had been taken care of at the time, but it is still an issue. The roofs on all the buildings in the district were discussed Monday evening.

On Monday, Winans and Pfeiffer explained what was happening with the third-floor roof (it continues to pull away) and why it should be replaced as soon as possible. Pfeiffer went on to share a list of short-term and long-term projects needed at each building in the district, with the roof at Payne Elementary, a new well-pump at Grover Hill Elementary, and an inspection of the electrical panel at Grover Hill as the most pressing needs.

The board later approved a resolution to solicit bids to replace the roof at Payne Elementary, at an estimated cost of $86,566.15.

The members were given a review of the 21st Century Program, an after-school and summer program taking place at Grover Hill Elementary and Payne Elementary, in which students can receive tutoring and take part in activities, thanks to grant money received through the 21st Century Program. The district is in the third year of the five-year grant.

“Our 21st Century group did it’s mid-year review, and what they’ve found is enrollment is good at each elementary building, but one issue has been a difficulty in connecting with families (due to the pandemic),” said Winans. “They’re working on that, and the summer trip to Camp Clay. There will be two more years of this program funded through the grant, and the push is on to keep this going when funding runs out. It’s very beneficial to our students.”

Winans also told the board that elementary teachers in the district have asked about education field trips for their students. After explaining that athletics and other extra-curricular activities have taken place for junior high/high school students, he told the board that teachers could explore field trip opportunities as long as they adhere to COVID-19 protocols, the trip was educational, and was only for the day.

In other business, the board:

• accepted the amounts and rates as set by the budget commission, authorized the necessary tax levies, and sent them to be certified by the Paulding County auditor.

• amended appropriations and revenues for fiscal year 2021.

• offered Julie Childs the cashier/cook position at Payne Elementary, effective March 1.

• approved the following extra-curricular positions: Brad Anderson, assistant/junior varsity baseball coach; and Mike Jerome, volunteer baseball coach.

• commended head wrestling coach George Clemens III, his assistant coaches and the wrestling team for winning this year’s Green Meadows Conference (GMC) championship; wrestlers Jarrett Hornish, Hunter Long, Seth Meggison, Eli Moore and Jacob Graham for winning individual GMC titles; Hornish, Long, Meggison and Gabe Sutton for winning individual sectional titles; and Sutton, Long and Hornish for earning a trip to the state tournament.

• commended coach William Lyons, his assistant coaches and the following wrestlers for winning individual championships at this year’s GMC junior high tournament: Kamryn Sutton, Corbin Kimmel, Connor Dyson Scott and Logan Gerschutz.

• commended coach Bethany DeJarnett, the assistant coaches and the varsity girls’ basketball team for capturing a sectional title.

• commended coach Jim Linder, the assistant coaches and the varsity boys’ basketball team for capturing a sectional title and finishing as district runners-up.

• commended Joel Dunham, Jenna Dunham, Sharon Spinner, Joni Wenninger, Kaleb O’Donnel, Angie Stokes and the cast and crew of “Willy Wonka” on its three performances.

• okayed overnight trips for the high school wrestling team, if necessary, on Feb. 26 to Lima; March 5 to Troy; and March 12-13 at Marion.

• confirmed open enrollment applications will be accepted between April 1-June 1 for the 2021-22 school year, with applications being accepted from qualifying students from anywhere in the state.

• voted for the Western Buckeye ESC substitute list as presented.

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