ANTWERP — Upcoming budget cuts from state funding were a main topic of discussion during Thursday’s Antwerp Local Board of Education meeting, along with a discussion of a freeze on non-essential spending.

The meeting began by recognizing retiring teacher Linda Mabis, who leaves after 33 years of service to Antwerp Local Schools.

Treasurer Michele Stuart noted that the district will likely be deficit spending in the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years, but will have a positive cash balance for all five years. Expected revenue is the biggest guess as the Antwerp Schools’ budget saw a 2.94% decrease, down about $112,000 for the district.

“I don’t want to paint a picture of doom and gloom, I know the last few years have been good,” said superintendent Dr. Martin Miller. “Knowing these cuts are coming, we want to watch what we’re spending but still provide an education for these kids.”

The board also discussed the placing of a renewal levy on the November ballot that would generate $150,000 per year as a permanent improvement levy. It was noted that the levy itself would not be an increase of cost to taxpayers and would be more beneficial for those taxpayers to renew than to add a levy later.

In his report to the board, Miller explained he had received word from the College Board that a Chinese guest teacher had been approved for the district in the 2020-21 school year.

“We’re really excited for this opportunity for our kids to learn more about the Chinese language and culture,” said Miller, who noted the teacher would be arriving in the Antwerp district in August on a one-year contract that could potentially have an option to carry for a second or third year. “It’s going to be quite an experience for our community and for the school ... it’s a good educational experience for everyone.”

Middle school/high school principal Travis Lichty noted that the commencement video for the graduating senior class would be streamed at 2 p.m. Sunday on the district’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, with the procession to follow at approximately 4 p.m. The procession will begin at the fieldhouse, with the route posted on the district’s Facebook page.

Lichty also noted that the teachers have recommended the first draft of the 2021-22 class schedule with an adjustment from 42-minute periods to 45 minutes, along with getting rid of the academic assist period.

Elementary principal Tracey Stokes called the student pickup of personal items a “huge success” and explained that about 90% of items were picked up and brought back with a drop-off day for school items set for Tuesday, May 26, from 10-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m.

The school board went into executive session to consider the employment of public employees or officials.

The board also addressed contracts for the upcoming school years, approving contracts for the following educators:

One-year contracts: Jon Short, Kurt Tempel, Rick Weirich, Kendra Cottrell, Alex Wobler, Jared Eklund, Ashley Malfait, Sara Schaper, Derek Smalley and Megan Burill.

Two-year: Kyle Zartman, Christen Bauer and Mary Lillemon.

Three-year: Zac Feasby, Andrea Newell, Diana Hammer, Travis Hammer, Krista Runk, Shelly Billman, Crystal Brooks, Tina Kennedy, Betty Smazenko and Mary Jo Smith.

In other business, the board:

• heard that all buses passed inspection.

• approved the Western Buckeye Educational Service Center substitute list for the current month and provided reasonable assurance that all active members on the list have a position as a substitute teacher on an as-needed basis with the Antwerp Local School District.

• approved the class of 2020 graduation candidates.

• approved the following STS student workers for the 2020-21 school year: Alexandra Lehman, Zachery Devall, Rylan Brooks, Madison Ruen, Lydia Krouse, Luke Krouse, Lydia Brewer, Alyssa Fuller, Kyliegh Logan and Gaige McMichael.

• approved Eric Thornell and Luke Krouse as part-time summer custodians.

• approved the May 2020 five-year forecast.

• approved the fiscal year 2021 service contract with Western Buckeye ESC and an audiology service contract with NwOESC for the 2020-21 school year.

• approved a service agreement with Northwest Ohio Area Computer Services Cooperative for the period July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2023.

• approved the administrative salary schedule for the 2020-21 school year.

• approved a quote with Loop Asphalt for the Waterplant Drive ‘S’ curve for $20,960.

• approved an overnight trip for football players for July 16-17 to Western Reserve High School in Collins, Ohio, to be supervised by Jason Hale and Travis Lichty.

• approved the Ohio School Plan for fiscal year 2021 liability and property insurance.

• approved the purchase of Google Chromebooks from X-Tek Partners for approximately $86,000.

• approved a memorandum of understanding with the AEA relating to educator evaluations for the 2019-20 school year and implementation of OTES 2.0.

• approved school lunch prices for the 2020-21 school year of $2.80 for elementary and $2.90 for high school and middle school, marking no change from 2019-20.

• approved a one-year non-certified contract for bus driver Paul Adams for the 2020-21 school year.

• set the next meeting date for June 30 at 5 p.m. in the board of education conference room.

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