Jackson Center BOE agrees to reinstate raises

JACKSON CENTER – The Jackson Center Local Schools Board of Education agreed to reinstate originally scheduled raises within the negotiated contract for the 2020-21 school year during its Oct. 29 meeting.

In July, the board requested staff members forgo scheduled increases due to the uncertainty of key revenues related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This request was then voted on and agreed upon by staff members.

While the pandemic remains, improvements in key indicators such as local unemployment rates, monthly state revenues and quarterly earned income tax revenues provide the confidence to reinstate the once agreed upon increases for all staff members.

The motion to reinstate the contract and raises was approved 3-0, pending approval from the representative association, with Matt Kohler abstaining.

In other news, the board approved the treasurer’s finance report, which included a study of the effects on the athletic fund as a result of the pandemic. A loss of revenue to the athletic fund of between $8,000 and $12,000 is estimated. Based on the current fund balance, the athletic fund should be able to sustain this for this school year. Further analysis and discussion would be recommended should the pandemic effects last into another school year.

Jackson Center is studying the opportunity to livestream some of athletics events. Jeff Reese, the fourth through 12th grade principal, said the school is studying the feasibility of using Hudl to stream its games. There would be some cost to the school and viewers.

Reese also explained the challenges posed by seating capacity limits due to the COVID-19 pandemic in anticipation of the upcoming junior high and high school basketball season.

Superintendent Bill Reichert reported students have supported the school’s operations during the pandemic while understanding there will be exceptions.

All of the school’s staff members now are working at the school, Reese said. One staff member previously had worked remotely.

Ginger Heuker, the pre-K through third grade principal, reported the first day of parent-teacher conferences seemed to be going as planned.

The board approved the purchase of a new school van/minibus from Cardinal Bus Sales for $45,800. The van has all the safety features of a regular school bus and will seat eight people plus the driver.

The board accepted the resignation of pre-K teacher Brooke Luthman and pre-K certified aide Peyton Esser. It then ratified contracts for Esser as a pre-K teacher and Victoria Neer as a pre-K certified aide.

Kylan Booser was approved as the head track coach, and Caylee Karg was approved as an assistant track coach.

A $100 donation from Master Swaging Inc. for the band and choir programs was accepted.

Student council and cheerleading fundraising activity account purpose and budget requests were approved.

The board approved the transfer of $484.74 from dormant fund 487 to the 001 general fund.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 16.