Whittier Center ready for students

By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com

SIDNEY — The Whittier Early Childhood Center is ready to open for the 2019-2020 school year.

“Things have g on incredibly smooth,” Superintendent Bob Humble told member of the Sidney City Schools Board of Education during its Monday meeting. “We’ve been given a provisional license to operate this year.”

Humble said requirements for a license include data from the previous school year. Because this is the first year the district has operated a preschool, no such data exists.

“We are excited to show it off to the parents and community,” said Humble.

Humble said the morning session of the preschool program is full and a limited number of spaces are still available for the afternoon session. A waiting list has been created for the morning session.

“I can’t remember which classroom it is but it has the cutest little toilet I’ve ever seen,” said Humble, which caused the board members and meeting attendees to chuckle.

Board member Chip Hix said he toured Whittier for the first time in many years.

“The transformation of the building is phenomenal,” said Hix.

An open house for students, parents and community members will be held Aug. 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. The district is also hosting a business after hours for Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce members in September.

The Latchkey program will also be housed at Whittier. An open house is planned for the program on Tuesday, Aug. 27, and Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. Anyone attending the open house should enter through the south door on the back patio as the program is housed in the basement of the school.

In final preparation for the first day of school, the board approved various personnel items.

Resignations were accepted from Diana Thobe, Sidney Middle School custodian, effective Aug. 1; Danielle Bender, SMS teacher, effective Aug. 1; Beth Harp, Emerson Teacher, effective Aug. 1; and Nick Watkins, Northwood teacher, effective Aug. 1.

Retirements were accepted from Lori Dowden, transportation, effective Aug. 15; and Lori Billing, IS teacher, effective Oct. 1.

The board approved one-year contracts for several new certified employees. Receiving contracts were Natalie Townsend, SMS math teacher, $41,318; Samantha Hall, Northwood IS teacher, $44,927; Adriana Chaney, Whittier IS teacher, $41,319; and Kelly Gagnet, auxiliary services, $39.54an hour.

Beth Abbott, student services coordinator, received a three-year administrative limited contract. She will be paid $85,341 per year.

Classified employees receiving a one-year limited contract were Alan Straman and Jason Martin, both Sidney High School custodians. They will be paid $15.98 per hour.

Classified substitutes receiving a one-year limited, as-needed contract were Diana Thobe, sub custodian, $14.39 per hour; Larry McLaughlin, Michael Lipka and Bria Foy, all sub Latchkey, $11 per hour.

The board also approved purchased service agreements for school security officers. They will be paid $17.50 peer hour. Security officers will be John Pence; SHS, Kyle Gee, SMS; Jim Richardson, Emerson; Chuck Shepherd, Longfellow; Rod Austin, Northwood; and Doug Schagetter, Whittier. Substitute security officers are Dave Spicer, Brad Boyd, Robbie Boyd, Walter Conley, Joel March, Matt Luthman, Mike Henry, Cami Frey, Mark Henman, Kevin Hammergren, Tyler Renner, John Puckett, Rick Cron and Cody Ferguson. School event security members are Rod Austin, Mark Henman, Mike Henry Doug Schlagetter, Chuck Shepherd, Lynn Marsee, John Pence, David Spicer, Brian Strunk and Kyle Gee.

The board adopted a new salary range schedule for administrators and psychologists for the district. The schedule includes the number of days the contract is for and the minimum and maximum salary the person can earn.

In other business, the board:

•Approved the transfer of $65,000 from the general fund to the capital projects fund for turf and track replacement. $40,000 is earmarked for the turf replacement and $25,000 for the all-weather track replacement.

• Approved a resolution determining the Lowell School property is no longer needed for school purposes.

• Approved a resolution determining the modules at Northwood School are no longer needed.

• Approved an agreement with WORKS International Inc. for the renewal of Public School Works for fiscal year 2020 at a cost of $16,320.

• Approved a purchased service agreement with the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center for early childhood intervention specialist services at a cost of $44,581, and speech language therapist at a cost of $50,672.50.

• Approved the substitute teacher rate of $105 per day, an increase from the previous $90 per day.

• Appointed Anthony Moeder, Melissa Welch, Ashley Wiley, Tabatha Schmiesing and Beth Abbot to be district representatives for ETR/IEP meetings.

• Approved the bus stops for the new school year. Because of the realignment of the buildings, several new stops were added and more students will be bused this year. Postcards have been sent out to parents with busing information. For more information, call Joni Renner, bus coordinator, at 937-497-2206.

• Appointed Jason Schaffner as the delegate and Mandi Croft as alternate to the Ohio School Boards Association convention in November 2019.

• Approved the opt out of the requirement to offer a career tech course at SMS for the 2019-20 school year.

• Approved the update for the transition/work study coordinator job description.

• Went into executive session to discuss the employment of personnel in the district. No action was taken.

The board’s next meeting will be Monday, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m.

By Melanie Speicher


Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.