A sleep study and the addition of a therapy dog were among topics covered March 26 at the Governing Board meeting at the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center.
Sandy Friess, Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) liaison, reported a study that indicated students in Seattle, Wash., high schools performed better academically when their starting time was pushed back about an hour. The students wore activity trackers as part of the study. Resulting data showed they slept more, earned better grades, and missed fewer school days.
Friess told the board that, even as puberty shifts adolescents’ circadian rhythms, which regulate when people fall asleep, teenagers still need eight to 10 hours of sleep each night.
Early childhood screenings have been conducted on about 280 children from birth through age five in Fulton, Defiance, and Henry counties, according to Jill Gilliland, director of special education. Dates are also scheduled in April.
She said Independence Education Center (IEC) staff members have reviewed functional behavior assessments and behavior intervention plans for students. The center is investigating incorporating a therapy dog next year. A staff member and her dog are in a program for a therapy dog and handler.
Chad Rex, NwOESC director of technology, highlighted the development of the facility’s mobile app. An initial version is in the process of completion. Rex said he has met with IEC administrators regarding the school having a dedicated part of the app.
A specific release date for the app is undetermined, although the goal is July.
NwOESC Superintendent Kerri Gearhart reported that communication is occurring with member districts on the “opt in” or “withdrawal” processes for the Northwest Safety and Special Education Financing District. The group of potentially interested districts will meet for further discussion and planning.
Gearhart listed the following scheduled events: NwOESC Administrators’ Conference, Friday, Aug. 2; bus and van driver training, Monday, Aug. 5; and the annual fall staff meeting, Thursday, Aug. 8.
She told the board that Carol Kleck, NwOESC appointee to the Four County Career Center Board of Education, was recognized by the Northwest Region of OSBA for 45 total years of board service.
In other business, the NwOESC board approved the following donations: $4,000 from Farmers and Merchants State Bank to the Franklin B. Walter Celebration and Scholarships; $100 from Paulding Putnam County Electric Cooperative to EdCamp, held last October; $1,000 from First Presbyterian Church in Findlay, Ohio, to Migrant Health Fair programs.
Board members approved the following agreements: Auditor of State, Local Government Services Section, to provide basic financial statement compilation services for the fiscal years ending June 30 from 2019-21; NwOESC auditory supported services to Antwerp Local School from March 1 through June 30; annual service agreements per the Ohio Revised Code for Bryan City, Central Local, Holgate Local, Montpelier Exempted Village, North Central Local, Pike-Delta-York Local, and Swanton Local schools for the 2019-20 school year.
Family leaves were granted to Janet Bostater, paraprofessional, effective July 1; and Randy Britton, school psychologist, effective Jan. 31.
The board also approved the following: classified contracts for Marta Chavez Arreola, Barbara Florez, Maria Hernandez, Josefina Martinez, and Betty Pacheco; Deborah Patterson of Delta Elementary School and Mallory Carroll of Wauseon Middle School as 21st Century teachers; Constance Hasapes of Delta Middle School as a 21st Century education assistant; Tomi Farmer and Sara Lawniczak as substitute paraprofessionals; and Heidi Foster, Kaitlyn Kuhn, Hillary Moore, Chris Roberts, and Amy Thomas as substitute teachers.
A service agreement with Northern Buckeye Education Council was approved to purchase Internet access between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2022, including discounts as part of the federal e-Rate program.
Amended tuition reimbursement agreements were approved for Kallie Gensler, Katherine Jimenez, Josh Clark, and Alison Luderman to switch to Drake University to complete gifted licensure rather than continue with Muskingum University, at a cost savings. All other aspects of prior agreements remain in effect.
And the board passed a resolution to suspend 20 certificated and classified staff contracts, per the Ohio Revised Code, due to elimination of the Migrant Region VI summer and fall program and services.
Board members entered into executive session to discuss personnel. No action was taken.