SIDNEY — The growth of Whittier Early Childhood Center was shared during Monday night’s Sidney City School Board of Education meeting.
Director Beth Abbott said there are currently 315 students enrolled in the school, which is for 3-5 year old students. At the beginning of the year in 2021, there were 220 students and the en of the year there were 300 students. At the beginning of this school year, there were 260 students.
When a child turns 3, whether it is before the school year begins or during the school year, the parent can enroll the child in the preschool program.
Abbott said about 50% of the students entering kindergarten have attended preschool.
“We are still missing 50% of students starting school which leaves a huge discrepancy of skills and the gap keeps growing,” said Abbott.
She said brochures have been placed at Job & Family Services, Metropolitan Housing and pediatrician’s offices. She plans to meet with the agencies and doctors over the summer to explain the program and the process families can go through to register their children.
“The biggest hindrance to reaching the children who need the most support is transportation,” she said.
She said another concern is the number of students that participate in the preschool are open enrolling in a district other than Sidney. She’s looking for ways to encourage parents to keep their children in Sidney City Schools.
New at the preschool this year is an 11th half day classroom; new playground; new parking lot; and they are working with Master Gardeners to put in a garden at the school.
Sidney High School Principal Greg Snyder recognized sophomores Tatum Werntz and Jace Puckett for their success in the American Legion Americanism and Government Test. Werntz was a state winner and Puckett was a state qualifier
Bruce Toal, representing the Council on Religious Education (CORE) thanked the board for their support of the 100-year program, which teaches religious education to first and second graders. This year, they are teaching 300 children. Parents approve their child’s participation in the program.
In other business, the board:
• Had a moment of silence for Douglas Jackson, who recently passed away.
• Held an executive session to discuss the compensation of an employee and employment of an employee.
• Accepted the tax rates and amounts determined by the Budget Commission to be collected in calendar year 2024 for tax year 2023.
• Approved the replacement of Sidney High School roof No. 6 by Cotterman & Company at a cost of up to $70,330.
• Approved a proposal with Huelskamp Mowing for the district’s edging and trimming needs for 2023 at a cost of up to $20,000.
• Approved tax sharing agreements with the city of Sidney for JBM Sidney LLC, Sidney Fair LLC (Vision Development Inc) and Fairway 57 Holdings LLC.
• Approved a School Psychology Graduate Assistantship (GA) contract with the University of Dayton for the period August 2023 through May 2024 at a cost of $24,352.46 and the period August 2024 through May 2025 at a cost of $26,745.26.
• Accepted the resignation of Richard Allen, custodian, and retirements of Katherine Patton, assistant cook, and Claudia Langhorst, secretary.
• Hired Trent Francis as director of technology on a two-year contract at $82,000 per year effective July 1, 2023.
• Hired Emma Feytag as a Sidney Middle School IS teacher on a one-year contract at $42,056 for the year effective Aug. 23, 2023.
• Hired Ethan Kiser as a substitute teacher at $110 per day.
• Hired Michael Gossard, bus driver; Mark Moses, bus driver; and Austin Kinman, custodian on one-year contracts. Gossard and Moses will be paid $21.21 per hour. Kinman will be paid $16.58 per hour. Gossard and Moses were also hired as substitute bus drivers at $18.31 per hour.
• Hired Raenah Daniel, Wesley Davidson and Ethan Kiser as substitute aides a $1258 [er hour; and William Blosser as a substitute van driver, $13.33 per hour, and substitute van aide, $12.58 pr hour.
• Hired Jenna Higgins as a T-School monitor at $30 per hour.
• Approved the technology job descriptions for the network administrator and IT systems administrator.
• Renewed membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association for Sidney Middle School and Sidney High School.
• Heard the legislative report from board member Greg Dickman.
• Heard the Upper Valley Career Center Board of Education meeting report from board member Michele Lott.
The board’s next meeting will be Monday, April 17, at 6 p.m. at the board office.