School board talks alternative instructional days


By Mindy Kearns - Special to the Register



NEW HAVEN — Alternative instructional day packets for students and attendance incentives for school employees topped business items at a recent Mason County Board of Education meeting, held this week at New Haven Elementary School.

Under the alternative instructional day program, students would use their in-home computers to access lessons on days when it is too cold to attend school, or possible other reasons. Those not having computers would be given paper packets.

According to Superintendent Jack Cullen, teachers would still report for work and would be available to students having problems by phone or email. Cullen said many other counties are already doing this, which provides an extra five days without extending classroom days at the end of the school year.

He said Mason County has already used four of its five days available for weather related closures. Cullen also noted the five days set aside for professional development cannot be changed and used as student instructional days.

Board members agreed to meet in special session Jan. 16 in the hope of supplying the state school board with plans for student packets by the end of the month. The plans will arrive in time for the state board February meeting. If approved, the packet program could be in place for the remainder of the school year.

Also set to be discussed at the special meeting is next year’s school calendar.

Following an executive session, members voted 4-1 to give employees a $300 attendance incentive. The incentive can only be earned if not more than five days are missed for the remainder of the school year.

The five month period begins Jan. 24 and continues through June 30. The use of vacation days for 261 extended day contracts is not calculated for the attendance incentive award program.

In other action, the board:

Heard a preliminary fiscal year 2019 budget report from Gary Hendricks, treasurer;

Heard concerns from a parent regarding the change in time of intervention at Wahama High School, which interferes with work and college class schedules for seniors;

Approved Erin Tolliver as an approved driver for the 2017/2018 school year;

Approved parent volunteers from Leon and New Haven elementary schools for the 2017/2018 school year (Member Rhonda Tennant emphasized parents do not have to be approved volunteers to eat lunch with children, or attend parties, plays, concerts or other activities);

Approved out-of-state travel for Ian Duff to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada, April 11-13 to attend the 2018 National Educational Technology Expo (funding sources to be HATS, MU, and Mason County Professional Development Council funds);

Accepted the resignation of Elizabeth Lieving, Pre-K Specialist, Central Office, effective at the end of the 2018 school year, due to retirement;

Approved the employment of Alea Hipes, substitute teacher, effective 2017/2018 school year;

Approved the transfer of Jodie Craft, Aide, Central Office Itinerant, to Aide, Central Office Itinerant, effective Jan. 11, 2018;

Approved the employment of Sarah Lamm, Aide, Central Office Itinerant, effective Jan. 11, 2018 (being hired from the Reduction In Force list);

Approved the transfer of Melissa Williamson, custodian, Point Pleasant Jr./Sr. High, to custodian, Point Pleasant Jr./Sr High, effective Jan. 11, 2018;

Accepted the resignation of Charlotte Oshel, assistant varsity track coach, Wahama Jr./Sr. High, effective Jan. 2, 2018;

Approved the employment of Ashley Buckle and Adam Watson as homebound/alternative education, on an as needed basis, effective 2017/2018 school year;

Approved the employment of June Kessinger, interventionist, on an as needed basis, effective 2017/2018 school year;

Approved the placement of Joel Lloyd, athletic assistant, Wahama Jr./Sr. High, for the 2017/2018 school year (this is an unpaid position);

Approved change order 2 to the wastewater treatment project, to add a disconnect to the effluent pump station at Ashton Elementary, at the cost of $1,877.70, to be covered by the contingency fund; and,

Approved the low submitted bid of $10,360 from Colonial Equipment, for the purchase of a Hobart dishwasher to be installed at Roosevelt Elementary, to be covered by child nutrition funds.

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By Mindy Kearns

Special to the Register

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at mindykearns1@hotmail.com.

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at mindykearns1@hotmail.com.