Masks once again are the dress du jour at the Defiance County Board of Developmental Disabilities board meeting which met Tuesday evening with a light agenda.
Posted on the front door is a sign that states masks are required to enter. When asked about the toll of COVID-19 this year, Tim Bowers, superintendent of the board, said that the Good Samaritan school had to be closed for two days one week because 50% of the students were out with illness.
“When we got to Wednesday and saw that 50% of the population was out, we decided to close Thursday and Friday and let this take its course,” said Bowers. He also said that everyone understood that the closure was for only two days and that it would be the best move for the health of the students and staff.
During the meeting, Travis Hammer, new principal this year for the school, said that his transition was going well. He also spoke about the closure for two days saying that it was seen as a positive move and that the school has been able to continue some extra activities around town.
Hammer also said that the SRO, Mark Janowiecki, was doing some intentional visitation so that the students become more comfortable with his presence here.
The principal ended by saying that the curriculum the school has been using for a few years has been renewed.
In the past, school bus drivers have been an increasing challenge for Good Sam, and this year started off well with one extra bus driver. In Tuesday’s meeting, however, Bowers reported that one bus driver was on extended leave so the bus struggle continues.
Bowers added that, in response to last month’s meeting when the board had discussed purchasing new buses/vans, he had gotten many quotes and in mid-October another quote would be available. The superintendent also said that he was still looking into costs for repairs to current buses.
The new school year at Good Sam has also opened a few slots at the school. One spot is available in each of these grades: preschool, vocational 2 and primary 2. Bowers said that the classes are filled according to criteria based upon staffing available and needs of the students. He also said that four to five students who petitioned to enter the school had to be turned away because of these criteria, saying to the board that simply because an opening exists does not mean it can be easily filled.
In other news, the board:
• approved the contract with Marsha Wonderly as substitute food service manager, effective Sept. 27, 2021-May 31, 2022.
• accepted employment of Sarah Wolfrum as classroom assistant, effective Sept. 7, 2021.
• accepted the resignation of Alex Jones, classroom and bus assistant, effective Sept. 24, 2021.
• approved the contract with Therapy Solutions, LLC and Defiance County Board of Development Disabilities for physical therapy services for Good Samaritan school from Sept. 3, 2021-May 31, 2022.
• announced staff anniversaries for four individuals: Jean Jacques, service and support administration, who started in September of 2014, celebrating seven years; Michelle Rodger, primary instructor who began in September of 2016, celebrating five years; Amy Westrick, an early intervention development specialist who began in September of 2001, celebrating 20 years; and Helen Bowden, a nurse and also in family support services started at the end of September 1998, celebrating 23 years.
• approved the agreement for one-to-one classroom assistant services provided for a student between the Defiance City School District and the Defiance Board of DD (Good Sam school).