ARCHBOLD — Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center’s governing board meet Tuesday to hear updates and take action on personnel issues and agreements.

Board member Brian Baker provided a legislative overview. Gov. Mike DeWine issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency to address the spread of the coronavirus. Additionally, he released other executive orders restricting mass gatherings of over 100 people and the closure of all Ohio schools from March 17-April 3. This order includes all public, community and private K-12 schools in the state. Some testing, such as alternate assessments, English language proficiency and OGT testing, have been suspended.

Jill Gilliland, director of special education, shared the department’s efforts in staying current with guidance during school closings; investigating ways to support students via online learning formats and/or learning packets; and continuing to meet ETR and IEP deadlines in accordance with school district decisions in these areas.

Superintendent Kerri Weir reported the Bryan City Board of Education is contracting with NwOESC to conduct its superintendent search. The search is now underway, as materials and timelines have been developed and the vacancy advertised. It is anticipated that interviews will take place in late April/early May for the position, expected to be filled by Aug. 1.

It was relayed that the public water system at the Independence Education Center (IEC) was recently sampled for PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). This is part of a 2020 statewide initiative through the Ohio EPA to better understand the occurrence of PFAS in Ohio drinking water. Weir shared that PFAS were not detected in the samples collected from the IEC water system.

NwOESC is working on the process to look at a replacement of the boiler at the IEC, anticipated for this summer. The current boiler shows signs of cracking and some water damage and preliminary analysis indicates a replacement would be more cost effective than a repair.

Agreements were approved with the following: Bryan City Schools, St. John Lutheran School-Freedom Township, Ayersville Local Schools, Edon Northwest Local Schools, Fayette Local Schools and Montpelier Exempted Village Schools.

Retirements okayed were Brenda Sonnenberg, paraprofessional, effective June 1; and Cynthia Suffel, paraprofessional, effective May 31. A resignation was approved for Joanna Harmon, school nurse, effective April 20. Also approved were classified limited contracts.

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