LIBERTY CENTER – A new School Resources Officer (SRO) was introduced to the local Liberty Center school board at its regular meeting on Monday.
The board also heard presentations from high school principal Greg Radwan, athletic director Kaleb Pohlman and director of student services Katie Jimenez.
In addition, Superintendent Richie Peters provided an update on new COVID-19 quarantine guidelines from county superintendents, and the Henry County Department of Health released on October 13.
The advice was presented to the new SRO Kathy Zumfelde, Assistant in the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. Zumfelde replaced Ryan Zumfelde, who is related to her husband.
“We are working with the Sheriff’s Department on this partnership, and Deputy Zumfelde started earlier this year,” Peters said. “She’s worked really hard, she’s connected with the kids and the staff, she stays on top of safety and does a really good job overall.”
Radwan shared information on career preparation, telling the board that the high school will start using the Naviance Career Readiness platform this year. The program features assessments, activities, and goals that students will use to begin navigating their career path.
Students will participate in these activities during the main class starting in their first year and create a portfolio throughout their final year.
Athletic Director Kaleb Pohlman discussed the student drug testing, which currently takes place through Great Lakes Biomedical (GLB), which charges the district $ 17 per test. The tests take place once a month from August to May, with a GLB employee on site.
Pohlman explained that he, or his secretary, DeeAnn Shafer, or both, are on hand to make sure the code of conduct is signed and the right students are tested. He thinks the district can do the testing in-house and save about $ 5,000 a year.
“No certification is required to provide a drug test,” Pohlman said. “I would act as the facilitator of the test, and not only would the process save the district money, but there would also be more flexibility as to when the test could be performed.
“If tested positive, we would have a lab service agreement in place with St. Luke’s McLaren (Maumee) to go through the same process as described in our manual to have a second test available,” Pohlman added.
Director of Student Services Katie Jimenez presented information on the state’s report card, which was released on October 14. The data shows the enrollment of 970 students, with an attendance rate of 93.7% and a graduation rate of 97.7%. Performance data shows Liberty Center scored 95 out of 120 possible points.
Data was collected for third grade eighth grade algebra I, US government, US history, biology, English / language arts II, and geometry.
“Other data points were limited due to a lack of data from the 2019-2020 school year due to COVID,” Jimenez said. “Grades were not assigned to school districts due to this data gap. “
In his report, Peters explained that since the new quarantine guidelines were put in place, there has been one positive case of COVID-19 in the district. Before discussing the case, he reiterated the new guidelines.
Here are the two choices that families of students have when close contact with someone with COVID-19 occurs at school:
• Home quarantine: 10 days home or return to school after the fifth day with proof of a negative test result and no symptoms.
• School mask quarantine: if the pupil has no symptoms, he or she is allowed to stay in school with a mask on for 10 days. They can stop wearing the mask indoors after the fifth day with proof of a negative test result and no symptoms.
“We had one case where a student tested positive, and through contact tracing 11 students were considered close contact,” Peters said. “The 11 students chose to come back to school with a mask. Fortunately, we only had one case, but in the past these 11 children should have been quarantined at home, instead of being at school to receive instructions in person. At this point, none of the 11 students have tested positive.
“We think this is a step in the right direction, when it comes to living with COVID, knowing that it might not go away anytime soon,” Peters continued. “This (new guidelines) allows us to keep our children in school safe. Since October 1, we have only had three positive cases, so we are seeing a downward trend in our numbers. So far, we have quarantined 251 students, and until October 13, again, these students should have stayed at home.
In new business, Peters informed members that a senior citizens’ breakfast will be held Thursday at 8:30 am at the school auditoria.
In other matters, counsel:
• Approved the Model Plan Document, Section 125 Flexible Benefit Plan for American Fidelity for Non-Union Employees, Classified Employees and Certified Employees.
• Approved the following student activity budgets: cross country (modified); and archery club.
• voted for several classroom volunteers for 2021-2022; several people to sit on their respective Construction Leadership Teams (BLTs) for 2021-2022; several people to sit on the Local Professional Development Committee (LPDC) for 2021-2022; multiple people to participate in their respective Positive Behavioral Support and Interventions (PBIS); and several extracurricular volunteers for 2021-2022.
• offered Stacy Bowers an additional one-year college student council contract (50%); Eric Witte a continuous contract as a school guard for 10 months; and Ellen Bockelman a two-year contract as a bus driver.
• appointed Allison Postl and Greg Radwan as LPDC administrative representatives for 2021-2022.
• approved the following uncertified individuals for additional one year contracts for 2021-2022: Brian Dotson and Tyler Short, wrestling assistant; and Brett Rhoda and Clayton Hill, junior wrestling.
• accepted the retirement / resignation of Maryann Riemund, bus driver, as of November 5.
• Retroactively accepted an agreement with NEOLA for services related to the maintenance of the district policy, administrative guidelines and forms manual.
• Voted for the 2023 college overnight trip to Washington, DC, June 8-11, 2023 for students in classes of 2027 and 2028.
• accepted the following donations: 78 BinaxNOW Ohio State Test Kits; and $ 70 at BA Miller Field at the Ward Hogrefe Family Memorial Spring Sports Complex.