Russia Board of Education hears updates about sports, other activities


RUSSIA – The winter sports season is moving forward as scheduled, Superintendent Steve Rose told the Russia Local School Board of Education during its Nov. 18 meeting.

Rose updated the board on the current status of COVID-19-related absences/quarantines and other issues related to the pandemic. He also discussed the upcoming winter sports season and the gym requirements for those games.

Rose also discussed the annual staff Christmas Party, which usually is scheduled as a lunch/dinner. However, due to the pandemic, this year the event will feature a five days of Christmas theme with each day recognizing staff with a small token of appreciation.

Principal Marcus Bixler reported parent-teacher conferences were well attended and many parents appreciated the in-person conferences. He also reviewed the first quarter of the school year.

Bixler reported on the Veteran’s Day appreciation signs and discussed the fall homecoming harvest, which was a big hit for the students this year. He also gave the board an update on the many student and staff collaboration activities and community engagement activities, including National Honor Society inductions, LEAD Russia activities and a wrap-up of fall sports.

The Russia Local School Board of Education Audit Committee reviewed the status of the state audit for financial year 2019 and financial year 2020. Field work is completed, and the report is in management review status. The draft audit report was received by the district, and the final report should be available by the end of November.

During the financial reports, a motion passed to approve the bills, including then and now certifications, as submitted.

The board reviewed the financial summary report, the updated spending plan and the three-year spending plan comparison. A monthly financial report also was reviewed.

Treasurer Mary Jean Borchers reviewed the five-year forecast in detail. A motion passed to approve appropriation modifications due to changes in estimated revenue as certified to the Shelby County auditor including an increase of $25,294.85 from a Broadband Connectivity Grant, an increase of $31,327.88 from township coronavirus relief funds and an increase of $4,167.01 from village coronavirus relief funds.

A motion passed to employ Ola Schafer as a long-term substitute for Michelle Muhlenkamp’s maternity leave.

A motion passed to employ Cameo Wilson, Holly Black and Brooks Blakeley as substitute aides on an as-needed basis for the 2020-21 school year.

A motion passed to employ Emily Counts as an educational aide for the 2020-21 school year beginning approximately Feb. 1, 2021.

A motion passed to employ Kori Oliver as a long-term educational aide for the 2020-21 school year on an as-needed basis.

A motion passed to approve Karla Pohlman as a volunteer indoor track coach for the 2020-21 school year.

A motion passed to approve the NEOLA policies as submitted at the October Board of Education meeting.

A motion passed to approve the sub-grant agreement with the Board of Township Trustees of Loramie Township to accept $31,327.88 in CARES Act funds.

A motion passed to approve the sub-grant agreement with the village of Russia to accept $4,167.01 in CARES Act funds.

A motion passed to approve a resolution to update the plan of the Upper Valley Career Center Board of Education.

A motion passed to accept a donation of $210 from the family of Norris Monnier to be used for athletics.

The board entered executive session to discuss personnel employment.