PRINCIPAL SMILES … Hilltop Elementary Principal Laurie Worline and Jr.High/HS Principal Steve Riley gave upbeat reports to the School Board at the March 15, 2021 meeting. Worline read a letter of resignation which clearly declares the district to be a great one to work for. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
During the Monday evening, March 15, 2021 School Board Meeting at Millcreek/West Unity Schools, the Board who were all in attendance heard the NwOESC (Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center) Business Advisory Council Quarterly Meeting minutes and Annual Report from Superintendent Jim Wyse. Mr. Steve Riley, Principal of 7-12 and Mrs. Laurie Worline, K-6 Principal also gave reports to the board.
Riley congratulated the Students of the Month, the 8th grade boys basketball team for winning the BBC tournament last month, and the students who earned high excellent and superior ratings at the Local Science Fair.
He reported that covid related quarantines continue to be at their lowest levels since the beginning of the school year.
State Testing will take place in April over the following Dates: April 13-14 for English/Language Arts for grades 7-8 and English II Students; April 15-16 American History and Government students; April 27-28 Math for grades 7-8, Algebra I and Geometry students; and April 29-30 Science for 8th grade and Biology students.
Enrollment number for the month of February was a total of 232 students with 15 of those remote (6 outside unit) and 30 at Four County.
Worline shared that the elementary staff had a successful in service day on Friday, March 12, 2021.
Elizabeth Horton provided in-depth training on Kami, and online program used in conjunction with Google Classroom that allows the students to submit their work electronically.
Michelle Steffes provided additional training on scoring the DIBELS assessment, a program used within Response to Intervention (RTI)).
The entire staff had fun participating in a Road Rally Scavenger Hunt throughout West Unity, visiting the Post Office, Hardware, Jacoby’s Meats, WU Library, Hilltop Freeze, Wyse Guys and Memorial Park. She thanked all from the community who participated.
Kindergarten screening is scheduled for April 21 and 22, and to allow for social distancing there will be no Kindergarten in session those days.
They have a new online form which parents are to use to sign up for their appointment, under the “parent” tab on the school website. Worline said eleven students are already signed up.
Fourteen 3rd grade students are receiving tutoring in Reading from Mrs. Goosman and Ms. Hogrefe at 7 a.m. three days a week. They have been meeting since February 16 to work on the reading skills needed for the state English Language Arts test.
She said the students seem to enjoy coming in before school, and she thanked the teachers as well as the kitchen staff for delivering breakfast to the students.
Five students remain on remote learning and Ms. Hogrefe is able to provide daily tutoring sessions on Google Meet with the students as she sees fit.
The teachers are preparing the students for the state testing, “a bigger task than usual, due to COVID and the shut down last Spring.
The schedule will be April 13-16 third through sixth grade English Language Arts, April 27-30 Third through sixth grade Math and Fifth grade Science. The total enrollment for February was 287 students with four in units outside Hilltop.
The PBIS (Positive Behavior, Interventions and Support has been in full swing recently with 120 “Courteous Awards” given out in February. During March they are focusing on “Attentive” students.
They presented the first Student of the Month Awards for Courteous students on March 5, 2021.
In other business the board voted to approve the consent agenda which consisted of:
•Minutes, financial statements and investments since February 2021 meeting
•Service agreement with NWOESC for $328,476.79 for Fiscal Year 22. $253,476.79, which is approximately 75% of the total estimated costs, shall be a foundation deduction over 24 payments ORC 3313.845, with the remainder to be billed directly at the end of the year.
•Following employments: James Wyse, Superintendent – Five year contract for August 1, 2021-July 31, 2026; Traci Thompson, Treasurer – Five year contract for August 1, 2022-July 31, 2027; Kathryn Gerig, Speech and Language Pathologist – three year contract for August 1, 2021-July 31, 2024; and Denise Leu, part time employment contract for fiscal duties on an as needed basis.
•Speech Language Pathologist Job description
•2021 membership with West Unity Area Chamber of Commerce (approx. $40)
•Revenue increases and appropriation modifications
•Donations from: Tom and Bonnie Stuckey of books for the library; Mary Sauder books for the Library; Warm Hands & Warm Hearts hats and clothing; and 2021 Science Fair donations.
•Employment for 20-21: Dennis Ford Substitute teacher, Wendy Hogrefe Third Grade Reading tutor; Aundrea Gamboe classified substitute.
•Graduate study requests for Daniel Hurd, Morgan Pendleton and Michelle Steffes
•Authorization for Superintendent to enter into various 21-22 College Credit Plus agreements with area colleges and universities for the purpose of reducing the overall cost of the program
•Acceptance of the resignation of Brittney Charles, Kinder Cadet Teacher, as of May 27, 2021.
Mrs. Worline shared Mrs. Charles’ letter of resignation, to relocate to South Carolina, with the Board as she said, “this is a lot to say for our school and that is why I want to read it to you.”
Mrs. Charles said in the letter, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Hilltop Elementary. I have worked hard to achieve student success throughout the years and have given my students the best classroom community, not only when they are in my room, but even when they are in others after I have had them.
As a teacher, these students have become little members of my family and I will think of them often. Thank you for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to be an educator in your district.
My fellow staff members at Hilltop are exceptional and were always there to help when they could. The K-2 Hallway has a great unit of teachers.
Their smiling faces in the mornings and hugs on the hard days will be one of the things I will always remember as a part of my experience, what we have in the Early Elementary especially.
Lastly, I cannot express enough thanks for the administrators I have been lucky enough to work with the last six years.
They have always been motivating to me, compassionate and professional. They are top notch and have helped me become the teacher I am proud to be.
Thank you so much for everything you have done and all the help you have given me, in the next part of my journey. Hilltop will always have such a special place in my heart.
This district is an exceptional and positive community that anyone would be lucky to be a part of. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to change lives and become a part of the West Unity Community.”
Mrs. Worline said that she thought this letter summed up the Millcreek/West Unity school district.
Superintendent Wyse stated that the letter says a lot about the principals and all they do. He has heard that the camaraderie at the school is wonderful and attributes the statements made in the resignation letter to that.
President Heather Jones led the Board in voting to approve the Consent agenda and to adjourn the meeting.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 19, 2021 at 6 p.m. in the library.
Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com