By BRIAN BOHNERT
Fostoria City Schools Board of Education has its new president.
In its first meeting of the year Monday, the board nominated and elected Anthony Thompson as its newest leader with Joseph Sheak taking the reigns as vice president in his third year on the board.
With last week’s haymaker of a winter storm causing schools to close Monday through Thursday, Superintendent Andrew Sprang said Monday the district has already used six of its calamity days with a makeup day scheduled for May 27.
If the district has needs for additional makeup days, Sprang said he has already targeted three days over spring break that could be used as regular class days.
“That way we could be making these days educationally valuable for our students prior to testing,” he said.
This will be the last year the district will have to operate under the system, Sprang said. Beginning next academic year, the district will switch to what is called “total number of hours in session.” Students in grades 7-12 will need 1,001 hours while grades K-6 will be required to complete 910 hours.
Weather-related issues like delays and closings will pose as obstacles when operating under the new system, Sprang said.
“If you have a delay, that’s fine; but, that counts as hours that you’re not in session,” he said.
Waiver days were also a topic of discussion Monday night. Sprang said the district already has two waiver days available this spring semester, scheduled for Feb. 18 and May 12; however, If Old Man Winter continues to wreak havoc on the district, the superintendent will propose canceling the Feb. 18 waiver day in favor of one more day in class.
On the topic of school safety, Sprang said he will meet with Seneca County Emergency Management Agency today to plan a tabletop exercise for the evaluation of “school safety and response plans.” The exercise will take place Jan. 30 with cooperation from local law enforcement and safety officials.
“I think it will be a good experience for all of the agencies to come together and continue our work we started last year in fine-tuning things,” he said.
During his general fund report, Treasurer Norman Elchert said taxes are down compared to last year and the Medicaid reimbursement is also down due to the state overpaying last year. He said the state will be recovering nearly $37,000.
Elchert said the school foundation allowance is up with expenditures and fringe benefits on the decline. As a result, he said the net total is down just more than one million dollars compared to this time last year.
“Things are headed in the right direction and they need to continue to head in the right direction due to our situation financially,” Elchert said.
Several items were approved during the regular meeting, including the renewal of the Legal Assistance Fund Consultant Service Contract with the Ohio School Boards Association for the 2014 calendar year at a cost of $250 and a motion to raise the Food Service Department substitute staff wage to $7.95 per hour to meet the minimum rate of pay.
In other business, the board approved the employment of Carol Wines, a part-time teacher at Riley Elementary School, and Lynnlee Myers, a bus driver, effective today.
The board met for an organizational meeting at 6 p.m. Monday prior to the regular meeting.
Thompson appointed Sheak as both the Ohio School Boards Association liaison member for 2014 and as the OSBA Student Achievement liaison member for 2014.
Positions on several standing committees for 2014 were also filled Monday night as former-president Dr. Thomas Guernsey and Sharon Stannard joined Sprang and Elchert on the Negotiations, Personnel, Grievances Committee, and Thompson and Patrick Grine joined Sprang and Elchert on the Buildings, Grounds & Transportation Committee.
Other committees filled included: Athletic Committee; Audit & Finance Committee; Policy Development; Records Committee; Athletic Board; Redmen Club/Athletic Boosters; Music Boosters; Vanguard-Sentinel JVSD; Fostoria Parks Board; and, Academic Boosters.
The board also approved 15 standing authorizations for 2014 during the organizational meeting.
The board’s next regular meeting is 6 p.m. Feb. 18 at Fostoria Junior/Senior High School, 1001 Park Ave.
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