Harrison Hills BOE talking snow days

CADIZ The Harrison Hills City Board of Education kicked off 2014 with its regular meeting Thursday.

Administrative Assistant Duran Morgan reported on the progress of student instruction during the period of bad weather. He reported that material was online and teachers have asked students to work on the material online. Accommodations are being made for students unable to access the material. He noted all the calamity days have been used.

Director of Operations Mark Kowalski reported the electric gate opener and security system is being installed at the transportation center. He noted five drivers and a mechanic are up for contract. This makes almost a third of the drivers turned over during the last two years. Some are up for one or two year contracts, or continuing contracts.

He reported a bus safety meeting last Thursday. The onboard instructors will attend the district meeting Feb. 20 at Canton McKinley High School. The bus ride-along program with law-enforcement officers will begin next week.

Updated safety plans are being turned into the attorney general’s office.

Credit went to the employees during the weather conditions during the weekend.

“This has been probably the coldest and most adverse conditions we’ve had to deal with in years,” he said. Credit went to bus mechanics Adam Grabits and Kevin Foster for the work in plowing and salting to keep the buses running. He added that the age of the building and severe cold exacerbated heating and plumbing issues. He noted a burst pipe in Harrison North Elementary.

In other matters, three paraprofessional tests were given in the last two weeks so they can be certified.

Also, the district saw nine snow days and six two-hour delays. The governor is considering allotting four more calamity days to the schools in Ohio. The legislation has passed in the House. The district would have 12 days excused, though hopefully they will not all be needed.

The kindergarten start date will be moved to Aug. 1 rather than Sept. 30. This does not affect preschool.

In matters of personnel, board accepted the resignation of Lisa Ferrell as a substitute teacher effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Board approved substitute employees for 2013-14, including Haley Bengier, Morgan Heavilin and Mary Giusto as teacher/tutor, LouAnn Dowdle as aide/cafeteria, and Cortney Dowdle as aide. Heavilin was hired as a full-time substitute through juvenile court system and will work at Harrison East Elementary.

For supplemental, Stephanie McKinney was approved as OVLA Science and Language Arts/English, fourth through sixth grades. Orion Bengier was approved for junior high boys track, and Nick Yourkovich as pep club advisor.

The board approved the resignations of Adrienne and Steve Cook effective Jan. 1, and employed Janine Dodds as bus aide six hours per day effective Feb. 3. Board also approved Ian White and Terrance DiLoreto as volunteer track supplemental. Board also approved Cortney Dowdle as an educational aide at six hours per day effective Feb. 3.

In matters of business and operations, board approved committee assignments for 2014. Finance and Negotiations will include Judy Crawshaw and John Harrison. Buildings and Grounds: Phil Madzia and Melvin Allen. Curriculum: Allen and Crawshaw. Cafeteria and Transportation: Madzia and Allen. Athletic: Madzia and Deborah Kenny. Personnel: Kenny and Harrison. Vocational school board: Allen and Kenny. Ad Hoc Technology: Crawshaw and Madzia. Policies: Allen and Crawshaw. Safety and Health: Allen and Kenny. Business advisory: Crawshaw and Harrison. Student Achievement Liaison: Harrison and Kenny. Communications: Kenny. Tax Review: Madzia and Harrison. Legislative Liaison: Harrison. School Records: Kenny. Insurance Committee: Crawshaw and Kenny.

Board entered into a purchase service contract with Mandy Caldwell, Feb. 1-June 30, 2014 for special project coordinator services for Help Me Grow.

Board entered into a purchase service contract with Pauline Gratchen Oct. 1-Sept. 30 for central coordination supervision, grant writing and quality monitoring services related to the MIECHV grant for Help Me Grow.

Board waived fuel cost for the Band Boosters, totaling $597.87.

Board members approved membership to OSBA for 2014 totaling $4,980.

Board accepted two open enrollment applications for the remainder of the 2013-14 school year.

A high school blood drive through Lifeshare will be held today. A cumulative $500 scholarship will be awarded for every 25 units.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com