Wauseon Board Of Education Awards Commendations, Discusses Open Enrollment Policy

The Wauseon Board of Education opened their March 10 meeting with Superintendent Larry Brown and the Board commending the performance of the Wauseon High School Boys’ Bowling Team and the Wauseon Exempted Village School District Transportation Department.  The Boys’ Bowling Team, which has enjoyed much success over the past season, finished the season winning the NWOAL Championship and placing 14th overall at State.  Also being commended for their performance over the difficult winter season was the Transportation Department, which was represented that evening by Butch Kline and Pam Waugh.  Upon accepting the commendation, Waugh commented that what impresses her most “is the drivers treat the students and each other as an extended family.  They truly care and are concerned for the children.  This is more than a job to them.”  The Transportation Department, responsible for transporting Wauseon students both to and from school and to and from many extra-curricular activities has had no incidents despite this year’s sometimes treacherous road conditions.  Also being commended by the Board that evening was Wauseon Schools’ Treasurer Karen Dameron.  More information on her commendation and recognition for receiving the Auditor of State Reward can be read in the accompanying article.

            Along with the approval of the bills, financial reports, and investments, the Board also approved a modification to the FY14 Permanent Appropriations regarding the WHS Choral Fund.  A change fund for $150.00 for the WHS Student Council was also established.

The Board also accepted, with gratitude, the following donations:

$2128.89 from the Wauseon Athletic Boosters to the Wauseon High School Athletic Department to be used toward weight equipment for the football field house

$2300.00 from the Wauseon Athletic Boosters to the WHS Athletic Department to be used for internet access.  The internet access is beyond the use typically provided and will allow for an area at the football stadium for members of the media to gain internet access.

$500.00 from Wauseon High School Student Council to the Wauseon High School Speech Team to be used toward National Competition expenses.

$287.02 from Kathy and Arthur Perry to the Brandon Perry Scholarship Fund.  It was noted that this will be the final donation to the fund and that the Perry’s support over the past several years is much appreciated.

            Personnel matters gaining approval during the meeting included a one-year limited outside athletic supplemental contract to Chelsie Woten as the Assistant Varsity Softball Coach for the 2013-14 school year.  Approval is contingent upon receipt of both a clean BCI/FBI background check and Pupil Activity Report.  Jen Croninger was also approved as a Volunteer Assistant Softball Coach for the 2013-14 school year with the same contingencies.  Student workers approved for the 2013-14 school year approved during the meeting included Kyle Blankenship, Robbie Huss, Nate Suntken, Ty Suntken, and Clay Tefft.  The resignation of Anna Martinez as a WHS 2 hour cook, effective March 14, 2014, was also accepted.

            The 2014-15 school calendar also gained approval during the meeting.  The 2014-15 calendar brings with it a change in the way staff and faculty training is scheduled as the district will be working to utilize more full training days as opposed to delayed starts.  Wauseon Exempted School District will also begin tracking their calamity hours instead of days during the 2014-15 school year.

            Reports from building principals included WES Principal Theresa Vietmeier commenting on several activities held recently, including Art Night.  The event was coordinated by WCLC Site Coordinator Pat Turpening and included a variety of activities for the 182 students and participants who participated in the event.  Vietmeier also informed the board that three of the elementary school students; Jillian Colon, Eva Menetti, and Ayden Cheney; took part in the Fulton County Spelling Bee and that Eva Menetti placed first in the fourth grade.  Upcoming events to look forward to include the fifth grade musical performance of The Princess and the Pea on March 25 and March 27.

            Middle School Principal Joe Friess reported that, while the district is still waiting to see what the State Legislature decides regarding calamity days, that the middle school has moved forward with some changes regarding this year’s calendar.  The ending of the third nine weeks grading period has moved from March 21 to March 28.  The OAA testing will also be pushed back one week.  A letter detailing these changes has been sent out to parents through the mail.  Also sent home with students was a notification regarding parent teacher conferences which are scheduled for April 14 and 15.

            Friess also reported on many recent student accomplishments.  The Creative Writing Team and Quiz Team have both had a successful season and Joey Shema won the 7th Grade portion of the County Spelling Bee.  Fiess also commented on his pride and appreciation for the nine student volunteers that gave their time to assist with the awards banquet for Triangular Processing as the students went well beyond the scope of what they were originally asked to do.

            Wauseon High School Principal Keith Leatherman reported that OGT (Ohio Graduation Test) Testing is scheduled for the week of March 10.  All freshmen will be given a practice OGT and all sophomores will be administered the OGT from 8:00 to 10:00.  Juniors and seniors whom have passed all sections of the OGT will operate under a two hour delay schedule during the week of March 10.

            Leatherman also commented on many accomplishments made by the high school students.  The Wauseon Quiz Team won the Northwest Buckeye Academic League Tournament, defeating several schools in a round robin tournament.  This included Defiance in the final round.  This win clinches the local Quiz Team Trifecta as Wauseon’s Quiz Team also won the Fulton County Tournament and placed first in league.  The team will be moving on to regional in Tiffin in April.

            Likewise, the High School Speech Team has also had a successful season.  The team, 24 members strong, competed in eleven regular season tournaments this year as well as at the Tarhe District Tournament held at Mt. Vernon and the Western Ohio NFL District Tournament in Wooster.  Four students from the team have qualified for the National competition.  Members Demaline, Jonshon, Maxted, and Kost will travel to Kansas City this June to compete in the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament.

            Leatherman also commented on the success of the Swimming/Diving, Bowling, and Wrestling teams.  All teams have enjoyed tremendous success over the season.

            Wauseon Primary School Principal Troy Armstrong reported that the Primary school is preparing for the CogAt (Cognitive Abilities Test) to be administered to second graders during the week of March 31.  The assessment is used for gifted identification and will be administered by Mrs. Gerig, the K-6 Guidance Counselor.

            Iowa tests will also be administered by classroom teachers to first and second grade students during the week of April 7.  Wauseon will be administering the newest version of the test which is aligned to the new learning standards in English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Sources of Information.

            Armstrong also reminded the board that Kindergarten Registration will take place on March 21 and March 28 and that Kindergarten students will not be in session on those days.

            Prior to the hearing of the building reports, the Board also had a discussion involving the open-enrollment policy of Wauseon Schools.  Superintendent Larry Brown is asking that board members give consideration to four options involving the policy so that a decision regarding the policy can be made in the near future.  These four options include keeping the current language of the policy, keeping the current language with an addition of allowing incoming students to enrollment in Virtual Academy and then transfer into the district, changing the language to reflect open enrollment deadline changes, and changing the language to reflect no deadline for open-enrollment.

            Many concerns were brought forth regarding the policy.  Some of these concerns included Larry Fruth’s concerns on how open-enrolled students, particularly those that might come in after the first day of school, effect state testing, the deadlines for enrolling in Virtual Academy, and whether or not funds received by the State for open-enrolled students were worth the risk of seeing a possibly lowered rating of the district.  Facts given on these concerns were that students not entered into the district prior to the 120th day have no effect on district wide state testing scores and that Virtual Academy open enrollment is flexible.

            Also a concern, which was addressed by Miriam Frank, was how students entering the classroom after the first day of school might cause disruption in the classroom.  Rick Stidham also voiced concern and his belief that open-enrollment decisions should be focused on the welfare of the child and on a somewhat case-by-case basis.            Other options discussed for students not immediately eligible for open-enrollment were also discussed.  These options include tuition of $3800 per year and custody changes and/or Grandparent Affidavits which can have a student enrolled under policies outside of those involving traditional or open-enrollment polices.

            With further research and consideration being needed to reach a final decision regarding the open enrollment policy, the matter was tabled.  It is hoped, however, that a final decision can be reached in time for the next meeting.

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