By: Rebecca Miller
The NWOAL issue is still alive and kicking in the minds of some school board members in Northwest Ohio, but the Evergreen School Board has decided they are not ready to pull out at this point in time.
Superintendent Eric Smola read the results of a 20% response to the Survey which was sent out to parents and students, concerning whether or not the school should leave NWOAL and join with some other schools in forming a new league.
In his summary of the report on the study he stated, “The results of the survey clearly indicate there is strong support for Evergreen athletics. There are obviously pros and cons to staying and/or leaving the NWOAL. Due to the low participation rate, the survey finds most (80%) of the district families/students are either neutral or perhaps do not care which athletic league Evergreen continues membership in.”
“Only 20% responded to the survey and there were no clear-cut outcomes. In addition, more than half of the students indicated they did not feel adequately informed regarding this situation.”
“At this time, more information needs to be collected, the survey results and open-ended responses need to be explored more in-depth, students need to feel informed, and options need to continue to be considered and evaluated.”
Following his presentation, Board members all expressed their thoughts with the jist being for all of them, that they agree to collecting more info, exploring the answers more in depth and getting more input from the students.
It was expressed that it seems all the schools involved are sitting back and waiting for the other schools to make a decision first.
Board member Mr. Matt Vaculik stated strongly that he feels that this should affect all sports at the school, “across the board and not just for football and basketball.” Board member Mr. Don Smith shared that he feels that more attention should be given to Academics.
He congratulated the students and faculty for “their herculean efforts during covid.” Most importantly the Board stressed that they want everyone to know, “We are listening!” They want the community to “buy in” to the development of Youth Sports.
It was agreed that the topic should be tabled for now, as “it is all theoretical as no other schools have said they will quit and join a new league and as “Nothing has changed, so lets stay put unless something changes.” So the conversation will continue as they get more data and do not rush into this.
The Board voted to approve the meeting agenda and the minutes of the March 22, 2021 meeting. In Correspondence, Mr. Smola shared that Mrs. Danett Setmire, H.S. Art teacher, reported that two Evergreen Art students, Walter foster in 10th grade and Alysa Chupurdy in 11th grade, are the winners of the Why County Government Matters Art contest. He congratulated the students for this achievement.
Mr. Jerod Schmidt, a parent of an Evergreen student, addressed council with his concerns on random drug testing privacy. He asked that parents be given the option to get their child tested privately at an outpatient lab, if they are randomly chosen.
His concern is that if a student is tested along with a lot of other students, and then they “disappear from their sport,” it would be assumed by other students that it is because they tested positive with drugs in their system. He just wants it all to be done in a protected health situation.
HIPPA policies do not apply to the company, Great Lakes BioMedical, that is doing the random testing at the school. Board Member Zach Murry stated that the school is subject to FERPA so the students would be protected for privacy through that. Schmidt was not against the random testing.
He clarified that he just feels parents should be offered an option to take their child elsewhere for the test so it would be more private, if they so choose. President Nora Kiefer said they understand and are willing to “continue this conversation.”
Mr. Scott Gruber of Meeder Investments gave the Board a District Investments update.
In other business, the board approved:
-the financial Consent agenda as given by Treasurer Brian Carrol, which included the Cash Reconciliation, Cash Summary and Disbursement Summary
-Acceptance of the following donations – $100 anonymous donation to the Student Assistance Fund and $200 from Patrick Abec to the Class of 2022 Prom Fund
-Increased Tournament Fund for the February 24, 2021 tournament game and transferred the net amount to the Athletic fund
-Approved a revised Auxiliary Services Agreement with the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West for the 2020-2021 school year in the amount of $73,337.20 for services of Auxiliary Services personnel for the benefit of Holy Trinity School and to amend resources and modify appropriations accordingly.
-Non-Renewed all supplemental and pupil service contracts such as coaches, club moderators, etc. for the 2020-2021 school year, effective at the conclusion of the current year.
-Approved a $200 supplemental contract for Chris Lyons’s instrumental services for the spring musical to be paid from the General Fund for the 2020-2021 school year.
-Approved Henry Roberts as a seasonal worker to maintain campus grounds as needed during the 2021 mowing season. Compensation is set at $18.00 per hour at a maximum of forty hours per week beginning May 3, 2021 and ending on August 13, 2021. The superintended or the superintendent’s designee will make all work assignments.
-Approved the employment of two students, Jacob Blanchard and Morgan Kohler, at minimum wage to help, as needed, during the summer months of 2021.
-Approved updates to current Board Policy, which include new, revised, and replacement policies.
-Approved an agreement with Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center (NWOESC) to cooperatively participate in special education services for fiscal year 2021-2022 at an estimated cost of $808,906.63. The Board and NWOESC agree that $733, 906.63 of this amount shall be paid pursuant to R.C. 3313.845 or applicable law by having this amount deducted from the Board’s state foundation payment, with any remaining balance being invoiced and paid directly to the NWOESC.
-Approved continued participation in the Optimal Health Initiatives (OHI) Charter Workers Compensation Group Rating Program for the 2022 calendar year.
-Approved a 2021-2022 service agreement between Healthcare Process Consulting (HPC) and Evergreen Local School District for the purpose of HPC assisting in managing the district’s Ohio Medicaid School Program (OMSP) in order to procure Federal Medical reimbursement for Medicaid eligible services provided by the district. The term of this agreement shall be for one year, commencing on July 1, 2021 and ending on June 30, 2022, both dates inclusive at an annual fee of $4,000.00. Renewal and/or amendments of this agreement can be made upon mutual agreement of both parties prior to its expiration.
-Approved an agreement with NWOESC to provide training, support, resources, and handbooks to all mentor program participants for the 2021-2022 school year.
-Authorized the purchase of new K-5 ELA curriculum program, Wonders from McGraw Hill, 2020 edition. The new program better aligns with Ohio’s Learning Standards and includes textbooks, web- based software, teacher materials, and initial and ongoing professional development for implementation at an approximate cost of $97,842.91
During Discussion and Information, Mr. Smola gave a follow up on the Student Lunch Program, explaining that the district has entertained the possibility of contracting an outside food service provider and the process has been moving along.
In early April six companies made proposals and they plan to invite two of those to present to the committee to determine if this would be best for the students and the district. Any contract would have to be approved by the Board of Education at the main meeting.
The High School Locker Room renovation project was sent out for bids and the bid opening is set for Tuesday, May 12. The bids will be presented to the Board at the May meeting. This is from a hold put on the project a year ago.
Elementary Principal Mrs. Draheim reported: “AIR Testing: Grades 3-5 have finished with the ELA portion of the AIR Assessements. Testing will continue for Math and Science. Testing will be finished on May 6. ; 3rd Quarter Honor Roll: Students that achieved the Honor Roll in grades 2-5 earned a popsicle Bomb Pop, certificate and pencil. This is funded throught the Elementary Principal Account.; Staff Appreciation Week: Staff Appreciation Week is May 3-7.
With funding from the Elementary Principal Account, Knotty By Nature massage therapists will be providing 15 minute chair massages to the elementary staff. This is a thank you to our staff for getting through this stressful COVID school year!
Also, MVP has special things planned each day to thank our teachers and staff for all of their hard work. MVP always does an outstanding job or making Staff Appreciation Week special.; 5th Grade Middle School Visit: The fifth graders will be touring the middle school on May 14.; 5th Grade Field Trip to Greenfield Village: MVP will be paying the entrance fee for each student as a special trip before students move on to the middle school. The trip is planned for May 20.;
The School Climate Committee has been busy planning Right To Read Week and Field Day. Right To Read Week will take place May 10-14. Field Day is planned for May 21 with a rain date o May 24.; Kindergarten Screening: The last day of school for our current Kindergarten students will be May 21. This gives our teachers the time to do Kindergarten Screening May 24-27 for the 2021-2022 Kindergarten class.”
Middle School Principal Mr. Ruffer reported:“As we move through the month of April, we are working on finishing up staff evaluations, completing teacher roster verification, continuing state testing, and working on plans for next year already!
It is a very busy time of year, but also very exciting. It’s a great feeling knowing that we have had in person learning the whole year, and that is credit to our students, parents and staff members! On March 23rd, 6 students from grades 6 and 7 participated in a virtual youth leadership summit hosted by HC3.
Evergreen students met via Zoom with students from other local area schools such as Bryan, Archbold, Wauseon, and Delta. High school YAC members and adult allies helped to lead various activities to help build leadership skills in our youth.
The goal of The Summit was for students to leave with a skill set that they can carry on to their respective school buildings, districts and communities. A meeting was held with our current 7th graders to provide information for class selections for next year.
A special thank you to Mrs. Roesti and Mrs. Hanifan for presenting information in regards to their programs and classes that they offer, which will now be available for 8th graders to participate in.
The middle school staff deserves a big shout out with their work in planning for their No New Instruction periods during state testing. They were given the challenge of finding ways and planning to provide opportunities for extension and intervention.
The grade level teams worked together to put students in groups and make plans that met the needs of those groups. Students have been engaged in reteaching, escape rooms, collaborative group activities, educational games, lessons that require higher level thinking skills, and many more.
Thank you to the middle school staff for their work in putting this all together. State testing is underway in the middle school for both our VVA and in person students. The staff has done a great job in preparing for this, and so far everything has gone very smoothly.
Summer School dates are set for June 7-11 (math); June 14-18 (ELA); June 21-25 (social studies and science). We have made adjustments to how summer school is set up in hopes of better supporting our students who struggled during the school year.
We will be sending out information to those affected students and parents at the beginning of May. April 21 is Administrative Assistant’s Day, and at the middle school we are very fortunate to have Lisa Peluso in that position.”
“She does an amazing job, is always willing to help, and keeps the middle school running smoothly! Thank you to Mrs. Peluso for all she does for our students, parents, and staff!”
High School Principal Mr. Curtis reported: “Evergreen High School’s commencement ceremony will occur on May 23rd in the High School Gymnasium at 2pm.
This ceremony will be a free ticketed event utilizing our Hometown Ticketing online box office. Tickets will be available through the school website or a URL that will be shared with families beginning May 3rd. Families will need a code to obtain a tickets, each student’s individualized code will be their 5 or 6 digit student ID#.
Graduates will be permitted to invite up to 6 friends or family members to ensure a 25% capacity limit as defined by the most recent health order. This information was shared with Seniors during a class meeting on April 16th and a letter will soon go out to senior families to help them prepare for this celebration.
EHS has over 35 local scholarship deadlines concluding or quickly approaching.The High School staff will soon set up a series of dates to organize committees to review local scholarship applications and finalize the award of local scholarships.
On May 6th the Evergreen Viking Band will offer an in person performance in the High School gymnasium. This event will be a free ticketed event using the Evergreen Hometown Ticketing Box Office. Ticketing for this event will be limited in the same way as graduation and other athletic events to ensure 25% capacity.
To date, 55 students have turned in the required paperwork to report their intent to participate in the College Credit Plus program during the 2021/2022 school year. Most Evergreen students who participate in CCP coursework traditionally take coursework at the University of Toledo; however, some students register at other local colleges and universities such as Bowling Green State University, Northwest State Community College, Owens Community College, and Lourdes University.
Jacob Blanchard was awarded the Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship and will be attending Ohio State in the fall. The Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship awards only 176 scholarships and will cover his Full cost of attendance to Ohio State.
Derrick Cobb was recognized as the Four County Student of the Month. Derek is currently a Junior in the Mechanical Systems and Piping program at the Career Center.
The American Legion has chosen three Evergreen Boys as delegates to attend the Buckeye Boys State conference at Miami University from June 13-19th. At Boys State, young men learn about city, county, and state government through a non-partisan objective education approach.
Many Ohio teachers receive a value- added report each fall that provides important data from the previous school year. School staff prepare in the spring for the next school year’s value-added reports through a process called as roster verification. EHS administration began the school setup process on March 30th.
The initial school setup has concluded and teachers are currently working to verify their rosters before May 4th. Principal review and approval will occur between May 5th and May 21st.
The following Evergreen Athletic Booster officers (Michelle Herr, Debbie Campbell, Theresa Bryson, and Lynda Arquette) announced during the April 14 th meeting that they would not be running for re-election at the annual May business meeting scheduled for May 12th. Elections for a new officer group will occur on May 12th beginning at 6:30pm in the EHS Media Center.
Mr. Stoup intends to work with the Evergreen Athletic Boosters to help them identify a proactive list of specific initiatives that they’re willing to support.
By generating a proactive list of Booster supported initiatives, we’re hopeful to provide the community a more transparent vision of how the EAB intends to spend money raised with community support.
During the April Evergreen Athletic Booster meeting, Mr. Stoup shared a vision for future Evergreen Athletic Booster collaboration through several offered initiatives.
Items discussed for potential future EAB collaboration include: plans for a uniform rotation for all Evergreen athletic programs, a need to update the High School gymnasium scoreboard, the purchase of weight room equipment for a new athletic expansion, and a new athletic alumni recognition program.
These potential initiatives presented at the April booster meeting will be discussed with the new EAB officers who should be voted in during the May organizational meeting.
EHS will soon begin interviews for anew Head Cross Country and Head Bowling Coach. We have received materials from several qualified applicants.
The athletic department has been investigating new avenues to generate re venue t o help offset the losses taken during the 2020-2021 school year following COVID capacity restrictions.
Mr. Stoup has informally assessed representatives from other local athletic programs on financial and budgeting practices in an effort to refine internal protocol within the athletic department.”
Curriculum Director, Dr. Dolores Swineford, reported: “Curriculum Resource Adoptions Beginning August 2021
English Language Arts (Grades K-5): Since the beginning of the second semester, elementary school teachers have been evaluating English Language Arts curriculum resources to replace the one being currently used, Wonders 2014 edition.
The process began with reviewing three different resources: Wonders 2020, Into Reading, and Reach for Reading. Teachers evaluated both the digital and print versions for each resource. While reviewing the three curriculum resources, the teachers completed a detailed scoring rubric to evaluate each component of the resource.
Late March, teachers participated in presentations by McGraw-Hill Wonders 2020 and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) Into Reading. After the virtual, one-hour presentations, the teachers selected their top curriculum resource choice via an anonymous survey which included evidence for making the curriculum resource their top choice. Wonders 2020 received the most responses (22 out of 24 responses).
Teachers’ evidence included: “ new online leveled reading library”, “intervention piece and differentiated activities were huge”, “I believe this program contains more rigorous content and will help to prepare my students for state testing and to become a more independent reader/writer.”, “Students could utilize the online platform to type their work in, take notes, and once students opened up the work at school it would be available offline to use at home for students who do not have internet access.”, “Wonders also covers all ELA standards and all of our science and social studies standards.”, and “WONDERWORKS for tier 2 & 3”. Each teacher will receive a classroom kit, as well as intervention specialists will receive a curriculum resource kit for the grade level they co-teach and the intervention resources (WONDERWORKS).
All curriculum resource kits will include both print and digital materials for the next 5 years. During initial conversations with our McGraw-Hill sales representative, the initial quote for the new K-5 curriculum was $101, 427.00 and this did not include the WONDERWORKS intervention component. To compare costs between Wonders 2020 and Into Reading, I contacted our sales representative from HMH.
The HMH Into Reading resource quote, not including the intervention component, was $112,699. In 2015, Wonders 2014 was purchased for grades one through three and grade 5 for approximately $60,000; grade 4 was purchased the previous year for approximately $22,000.
Knowing how much we had already budgeted for a new K-5 ELA curriculum resource, as well as how much we spent when we purchased the ELA resource over the last 6 years, I contacted our sales representative for a better price.
In response, the new quote presented for Wonders 2020 and WONDERWORKS is $97,842.91. Additionally, included in the quote is two professional development days to support teachers with the new resource.
Upon approval, curriculum resources will be ordered to ensure delivery of materials before teachers leave for the summer. Professional development is tentatively scheduled for June 1 or June 2. The second professional development day will occur either at the end of the first semester or the end of the 2021-2022 school year.
Environmental Science: One of the new high school courses for next year will be Environmental Science. Mr. Dymond has reviewed three different curriculum resources that offer a blended approach (print & digital).
SAVVAS Learning Company’s Environmental Science: Your World, Your Turn, formally known as Pearson Learning Products, best aligned to the course expectations and content standards.
In addition to the student textbook, a student workbook will support learning through an in-depth application of contents. Students will be introduced to environmental concepts that are integrated with case studies and projects that focus on student-centered experiences. The cost for a 6-yr subscription is $4,304.54, including shipping.
Elementary Guidance: Focusing on the individual needs of the whole child as part of the Ohio Department of Education’s Whole Child Framework allows districts to “focus beyond academics to include meeting students’ social-emotional, physical and safety needs” (ODE, 2021).
Sharon Lapitsky, our elementary school counselor, provides guidance lessons for each grade level.
As part of her guidance lessons, she focuses on meeting the individual needs of students based on recommendations from teachers, what she has observed, as well as developing lessons that integrate children’s literature.
Second Step is a guidance curriculum that supports social-emotional learning, as well as develops the skills they need to connect and strive in the future. Second Step’s curriculum includes a component on bullying to create and sustain safe and supportive learning environments.
This aligns with the school’s R.O.W. and PAX visions. Currently, the elementary school has the Second Step curriculum for upper elementary and are looking to expand the curriculum for grades kindergarten through second grade.
The cost for the Second Step guidance curriculum is $209 for each grade level (kindergarten through 2nd grade). The total cost will be $627.00. Viking Virtual Academy Enrollment- 2021-2022 Recently, the Viking Virtual Academy enrollment application was made available for families considering the VVA for the 2021-2022 school year.
Families have until May 21st to complete the application and return it to the assistant superintendent/curriculum director office. One application per family is acceptable.
By having the applications returned prior to the end of the school year, this will allow us to plan accordingly for class lists, teacher schedules, and prepare for the new school year in advance. In addition to the application process, additional changes will be made to the VVA.
First, high school students who participate in the VVA will only have access to courses taught in-person at EHS. This will allow students to receive appropriate support and feedback from content specialists.
Second, if a student is enrolled in the VVA for a semester, they will not be able to return to in-person instruction until the new semester. Although we allowed students to return during a semester to in-person instruction, we have noticed the gaps in instruction due to the VVA platform and in-person instruction not aligning well.
Students have experienced frustration in closing the gaps, even with additional instructional supports in place. Lastly, depending on the number of students enrolled in the VVA by building we will be looking at teacher assignment, meaning we may not have a teacher assigned to the VVA by grade band. Latin Honors System Beginning with the Class of 2022.
Also beginning with the graduating class of 2022, Evergreen High School will use the Latin Honors system to determine graduation honors. The Latin Honors system is based on a student’s cumulative grade point average at the end of the seventh semester (the end of the students’ first semester during their senior year).
We will continue to honor the number one ranked student academically in the class as valedictorian and the number two ranked student academically in the class as salutatorian. Students with grade point averages 3.50 or higher will be recognized using the Latin Honors system.
Graduating students will be awarded honor cords during the Senior awards and will be recognized during the graduation ceremony. The categories for distinction under the Latin Honors system are as follows: Summa cum laude: “with the highest honors” is the highest recognition awarded at graduation.
To graduate with summa cum laude, a student must achieve a 3.90 or higher grade point average on a weighted 4.0 scale. Magna cum laude: “with high honors” is the second highest recognition awarded at graduation.
To qualify for magna cum laude, a student must achieve a 3.70-3.89 grade point average on a weighted 4.0 scale. Cum laude: “with honors” is the third recognition awarded at graduation. To qualify for cum laude, a student must achieve a 3.50-3.69 grade point average on a weighted 4.0 scale.
HB 436 The Dyslexia Legislation On January 9, 2021, Governor DeWine signed into law HB 436. HB 436 includes new requirements for districts related to the identification and education of students who may have dyslexia.
District requirements under HB 436 do not begin until the 2022-2023 school year, but we will begin planning and preparing for these requirements during the 2021-2022 school year.
District requirements include: establishing a multi-sensory structured literacy certification process for teachers of students in grades kindergarten through third grade; creating a multidisciplinary team to support the identification, intervention, and remediation of dyslexia; selecting a evidence-based screening and intervention measures; and administering tier one dyslexia screening for all students in grades kindergarten through third grade. Teachers will be required to obtain between 6 and 18 clock hours of professional development in dyslexia instruction from an approved-ODE list that is yet to be determined.
This professional development will follow a staggered roll-out beginning with teachers who provide instruction in kindergarten and first grade, including special education during the 2022-2023 school year.”
The School Board went into an Executive Session to prepare for negotiations or bargaining sessions with employees concerning compensation and other terms and conditions of employment.
After the Executive Session, the Regular Session resumed and the Board approved a one-year Negotiated Agreement between the Evergreen Local Board of Education and the Evergreen Education Association (EEA) as recommended by the Board’s negotiation team and ratified by the association.
This agreement includes a .01 (1.00%) increase on the base salary in 2021-2022. It also provides a cap for future insurance premium increases to limit the employer’s share of the cost to provide health, vision, and dental insurance.
The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for May 17, 2021 at 6 p.m. at the Loren Pennington Learning Center.
Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com