Bellaire BOE selects plan for snow days

T-L Photo/DYLAN McKENZIE Bellaire Middle School Principal Derrick McAfee speaks to the Board of Education on Monday. McAfee spoke about several grants that his school was recently awarded.

BELLAIRE — Officials with the Bellaire Local School District discussed a plan to make up the hours taken by snow days, among other business on Monday.

At the board’s regular monthly meeting, Superintendent Darren Jenkins brought up the subject of making up the hours lost during snow days. Bellaire Schools were canceled again on Monday due to inclement weather.

Jenkins said that in order to make up the necessary minimum of 1,001 hours as set by the Ohio Department of Education, students will be in session for several days previously scheduled as days off. Class will be held on President’s Day, as well as on March 30, the day before Good Friday.

“That should bring us back to square,” Jenkins said, adding that if another snow day occurs, students will also attend school on April 2.

After that, the board will have to decide on lengthening the school days, or planning to be in session after Memorial Day.

“Hopefully, we can get through with the contingency plan we ask the board to adopt tonight,” Jenkins said.

The board voted in favor of adopting the plan. Board members also heard from resident Kelly Porter, a 1987 graduate of the district who wanted to express some concerns about the athletic programs. Porter raised several issues, including students and coaches not being able to access the new athletic complex, being denied access to the artificial turf area, and that the wrestling coach must bring cleaning supplies due to not being able to access the janitor’s closet. Porter also suggested that Athletic Director Molly Feller give a report to the board at the meeting, much like the school principals do. Porter was informed by Board President John LaRoche and Jenkins that Feller’s position is not at this time a full-time contract.

“The board needs to determine if they want to make that a full-time position,” Jenkins said. LaRoche promised Porter that the board would discuss the issues at hand.

In other business, Bellaire Middle School Principal Derrick McAfee spoke about several grants that his school has recently been awarded. Kelli Cusick, a fifth grade math teacher at the school, did the work to apply for a $2,100 Reflex Math Fact Fluency grant, designed to help reward students for efforts and progress as they learn math skills. The school also received a $500 grant from McDonald’s to use for “flexible seating” options– classroom seating other than a traditional desk and chair, that helps get students more energized. Austin Cusick, a 2013 graduate, also applied for a grant on the school’s behalf, and was awarded $500 for the school to host an Easter egg decorating event and dinner for students and parents. McAfee said he was excited to see the involvement of teachers and the community in supporting the students.

“This is the stuff that gets me going,” he said “There are so many people that try so hard to make sure our students have everything they want and more.”

The next meeting of the Bellaire Local School District Board of Education will be at 6 p.m. March 12 in the high school cafeteria.