RECOGNITION … North Central winter student athletes who had received special awards for their season were recognized at the North Central Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
By: Rebecca Miller
Following the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the Tuesday evening, March 16, 2021, the North Central School Board paused the meeting for the Winter Athletes Recognition Ceremony.
They returned to the Facebook page broadcast after the ceremony.President Homer Hendricks thanked the FFA for an appreciation cookie and a Fifth grader, named Desiree, for a kind note and card.
Superintendent Bill Hanak wished Mr. Hendricks a Happy Birthday, adding, “You are a great man.” Hendricks proudly said he is now 65 years old.
Board member, Anthony Burnett said the Pancake breakfast was great by the FFA and thanked the fifth graders for all the notes they received. Shane Martin said his note from a fifth grader, Lincoln, said thanks for the upgrade to the playground.
Eric Smeltzer shared his financial report, including the minutes of the previous meeting, the financial statements and investments from February and appropriations, for which he asked approval from council.
He added that the Fiscal year 20 audit is completed and the auditor is stopping by to go over the audit. It will be finalized in the next week or so and he will meet with audit committee. The ESSER II funds will offset salaries and curriculum.
Superintendent Bill Hanak said he was thrilled to have parents and kids back in for the board meeting, to recognize the student athletes. He wants to get other groups back, in person, to recognize them.
In his report, Hanak shared that there are presently 601 students, (75 in NOVA, and down from 31-29 going to Hilltop). There was some discussion following a question from Burnett asking what is being done to draw students back from NOVA, the online option.
Some of the thoughts, shared by Hanak and HS Principal Marcia Rozevink were:
•Some will return “when things go back to more normal”
•There will be students who will never come back as they responded well to online
•May need to be open to all sorts of ways for students to get educated
•Letters have been sent saying that students who had all passing grades will be allowed to choose; students who did not do well will be required to return to the building for school
•Classes that cannot be offered in person are available through NOVA and they want to continue those
•There is a broad spectrum for which they use NOVA
•The youngest classes, K-3 definitely need to be in person
•It will still be offered for suspension and for (Credit Recovery) covering credits in order to stay on goal to graduate
•79 is too many and they do want to get that number lower (54 in Grades 7-12)
•It has been good for students who are self-motivated as they have been able to move at their own faster speed to complete classes
•A new Online Opportunity Specialist will need to be hired as Debbie Weyandt is retiring (Has been there for 12 years so she was “a terrific help” getting through the covid online studies. “She will be so missed as she was so good at making it work for each student,” Rozevink said.)
•Having it be for doing the whole of school online was not the usual, and they hope to change that.
Concerning Calamity Days, Mr. Hanak said that the school has missed 54 hours but they are allowed 39 hours. Basically that is six days and two early releases, so they have to make up 15 hours of calamity days.
They are doing that by returning to regular dismissal time, getting out at 2:50 now instead of 2:30. They will be over by an hour and 20 minutes if they don’t have any more calamity days before the end of the school year.
The school has spent a little over $110,000 on COVID-19 items. As of March 16, 2021, they have had 49 COVID cases, making that only one case since the February meeting. “It is going down quickly,” he said.
With the staff vaccines – 58 signed up for Feb. 12, 54 got it; 54 for March 12 and 51 got it. All those who wanted it and have missed are being followed up.
He thanked Pam Waters and Janet Powers for the generous donation of the many masks that they have made and recently donated for the staff and students, saying, “We appreciate your kindness. Another example of people caring about people.”
The Business Advisory Council for NwOESC met on March 9, 2021 and approved the joint statement and minutes of previous meeting. There are twenty-three districts that meet.
He shared that the businesses that presented to show how they are integrating with the schools were a great insight into ways that North Central could do that. He mentioned the possibility of internships and other ways to integrate with the businesses.
Hanak spoke briefly on all the Neola policy updates and encouraged board members to look through it.
At this point in the meeting Mr. Hanak showed his screen with a powerpoint concerning the Additional Tax Levy for $420,000, which will come due in calendar year 2022.
He stated that the board had to decide at that meeting if they don’t want to do it or it would be on the ballot the very next day. (No action was taken so it will be on the ballot.).
The bullet points from his presentation were: The district has operated for seventy years without any new operating taxes, they have lost 9.4% in property tax revenues over the past four years, and close to $244,000 due to state cuts related to COVID.
An emergency levy is to keep the school from going into a deficit; what the school has already done to control finances; all the one-time money received during 2020-21; some charts comparing area schools; It is a five-year emergency levy and they hope not to have to renew it. He read some positive statements made by graduates of North Central School District.
Burnett touched on the statement that twenty-nine North Central graduates are employed at North Central, a third of the staff. He encouraged the school to really get into including the industry in the area and integrating them as Hanak had spoken about earlier.
They agreed that a committee should be formed that would meet with the area industries and take advice from them and get a mutual benefit formed for them and the school.
Elementary Principal Andy Morr reported that state testing starts in Mid April for grades 3-6. Kindergarten Screening is scheduled for May 12 (full day) and 13 (half-day). DARE is back for the past three or four weeks. It has been there for the past five or six years and Deputy Miller is doing a great job.
As there was No Quiz Bowl in October so they wanted to do something to recognize the Quiz Bowl students. They have instituted a question on the PA for the students and one fo the teachers.
He mentioned that Airman Jeremy Adams was covered in a newspaper article that shared how his sons 2nd grade class reached out to him while he was in the Middle East. Morr had him come to speak to the students and he brought a flag that had been flown on some missions and presented it to the school.
In the day-to-day: RTI process intervention – team working on strategies to boost the students back up and get them to grade level; English for Students of other Languages (ESOL) is going great with the Spanish speaking students, who are supported along with their families.
Backpack program – reaching out to needy families, Some of the 6th grade girls help pack them; Technology as a whole this year has been so different, but our teachers and students have embraced it and have done great; Eagle Way Awards assemblies have still been so helpful.
Preschool had 16 students getting support, this year the numbers were down but will bounce back next year; Community reading and tutoring program – community members are coming in and helping young students with their reading; and Field Day is in the works for mid May, as well as hopefully some music showcasing of some kind.
Jr. High/High School Principal, Mrs. Rozevink joyfully announced that they are GOING TO HAVE A PROM. It is scheduled for April 24th, and might not be totally the way it used to be, but it will be very close.
Next year’s schedule is being worked on; she and the students love being dismissed at 2:50 and she hopes it stays that way; Upcoming events – there will be live concerts, vocal and instrumental, separately for the high school, at a certain time with parents of the students able to attend.
Graduation is set for May 30 – she has been meeting with Senior Class officers and they want traditional in the gym with maximum number they can figure out, as well as they want to have matching masks “to look cool” if they are still required; March 29 Spring Break; April testing starts in mid month; Band and choir – when she came the choir had 7 students and there are 20 signed up for next year. Band is also growing.
The elementary students are coming up that want to play instruments; They applied for a pilot program called ODE so they did math modeling and reasoning last year as a hands on, Next year they will be doing Beta Science Foundations with 17 signed up for it; Greg Waidelich went to 6th grades and did computer programming.
The elective Floral Design class is so popular that they have added an advanced class of it for next year; Pioneer Industrial Systems is already involved with the school as Cassidy Faylor has been there, on an internship, to see what is involved in an engineering career.
Some students are out for FFA doing internships, they have 8 students on work release, which is school part of day, go to work and get school credit when they do the paperwork, Getting the kids out in the community; Nova – she is able through that to offer some classes that she can’t do at the building. She has students in Sign Language 1 and 2, psychology, sociology, holocaust class, and so many other options, and they are successful with it.
She ended by saying, “Change is slow, but we have some really good things going on academically for those who do want to go to college and for those who don’t.”
Athletic Director Greg Waidelich gave his report, saying that the HS Boys Basketball ended with 7-17 record; Girls finished at 12-11, their first winning record for girls since 1992 or 93.
Spring sports – Varsity and JV teams are close to 20 for each of those sports; Baseball and softball for younger students at Parks and Rec – community members are willing to coach; Baseball starts March 27 and Softball on March 29; Track starts April 1 for HS and 5th for Jr. High.
Burnett said, “great job to the athletes, coaches and spectators for how we got through the winter sports. It is very appreciated. It says a lot about NC.”
Waidelich said that they got highly rated when a home event was checked to see if they were following the state requirements. “The coaches and spectators have been great examples to the kids of being respectful,” Waidelich added.
Hanak said that NC played more games than any other teams in the league and it is “a credit to our kids, the parents and our Athletic director and coaches for getting the games rescheduled.”
Recommendations approved by the Board:
•Resolution ot approve the following students for early high school graduation with the Class of 2021: Wyatt Altaffer and LaKenzie VanDyke
•Rescind contract Aubrey Ridinger as Jr. High Track Coach
•Employments: one year supplemental contracts held by certified employees: Aubrey Ridinger for Jr. High Track (shared), and One year supplemental contracts held by classified employees Brooke Schofield for Jr. High Track (shared) and Coleton Pilmore as Volunteer Baseball Coach
•Resignation of Debbie Weyandt as NC Virtual Academy and Suspension Center Instructor effective May 31, 2021 for the purpose of retirement
A resolution to approve the purchase of a 30 passenger G5, Chevrolet/Micro Bird, Package 1 OSC (seats with 3 point seat belts) from Cardinal Bus Sales and Service, Inc. Purchase Price of $60,945.00 (Antenna WiFi Installation and programming for $2400), (to be purchased partially by $41,000 in Wellness Funds) was approved, but rescinded following discussion.
Transportation Director Eric Moreland explained the needs for the bus so that the preschoolers will be buckled in, but there was concern that the high school students would not want to use the seatbelts when they are transported in that bus.
There was a lengthy discussion which ended with the resolution being rescinded and tabled for future consideration.
Before adjourning, the Board went into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing personnel. There was no action taken. The next meeting, on April 20, 2021, will start at 7 p.m. to let people finish watching the game.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org