NEW KNOXVILLE – The New Knoxville Board of Education approved measures Monday night allowing the school district to move their students toward a successful academic year despite COVID-19 closures. In compliance with the hovernor’s social stay at home orders, the BOE meeting was held online.
New Knoxville Superintendent Kim Waterman said the school calendar has not changed. K-11 students’ last day is May 21 and the seniors last day will be May 15. Teacher work day will remain May 22. She added all of their students have internet access and were provided computer if needed.
She said teachers are still instructing and students are still learning.
“There is a combination of electronic instruction and completion of assignments with the paper and pencil, depending on the grade level and teacher comfort level” she added.
Waterman also discussed graduation, saying that they want it to occur, but know it can’t be done in traditional fashion. She said whatever they decide, the will be using the governor’s safety guidelines to ensure the safety of graduates and their immediate family.
The most significant measure approved was to allow implementation of the new teacher evaluation tool, OTES 2.0 (Ohio Teacher Evaluation System), to be completed in the following school year.
Waterman said due to school closures, they were not able to complete teacher evaluation, so approved the option to complete the process next school year. She said the new OTES rubric has condensed to less categories, with data found within each category. The school is still evaluating the elements of a high quality assessments. OTES replaces an earlier evaluation program entitled SLO (Student Learning Objectives).
Other resolutions approved included an MUO with the New Knoxville Teacher Union and to finish the school year instruction as distance learning.
Donations accepted included a $25 donation from Jacqueline Kutkowski to be used toward the year book, a $1,045 donation from German Farmers Insurance to be used for the Class of 2024 to help with expenses for the eighth grade Washington, D.C. trip, a $1,000 donation from Minster Bank to be used toward a scholarship, a $294 donation from Jerry VanderHorst to the athletic fund, and a $200 donation from Jami Leffel to be used for track.
The Board also approved membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the 2020-21 school year.
In personnel matters, the board approved resignations of Ginger Zwiep, cook, Linda Wolf, Junior high scholastic bowl adviser, Mike Piatt, High school varsity basketball and Mary Wiest, high school science.
The board approved renewal of one-year certified contracts for Elizabeth Barhorst, Jocelyn Warfield. Stacey Stetler was approved for two-year contract.
Non-certified approvals went to Laura Gengler, Jennifer Parsons, Elaine Greenbaum, Randall Huber and Donna Hoge, Mike Schneider and Sondra Thatcher
The next BOE meeting will be Monday, May 18, at 7 p.m. It has not been determined if the meeting will be online or in person. Waterman said that if the meeting is in person, it will be in a larger room to allow personal distancing.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.