Board of Education approves virtual learning for snow days

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

NEW BREMEN – To avoid potential staff shortages and an extension of the school year, the New Bremen Board of Education approved a measure that will have teachers go to virtual learning in the case of cancellations. Another measure allowed the temporary hiring of substitute teachers without teaching degrees.

Superintendent Jason Schrader said since the five calamity days have already been used this school year, he recommended to the board approve a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Bremen Teachers Association requiring teachers to report for duty from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on days where school is closed due to inclement weather.

This will be done for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Lessons will be posted or given to students ahead of time to complete virtually. The MUO also listed ways for teachers to abide by the new requirements. Teachers will not be required to work more than the 184 days they are contracted to work. This MOU expires on June 30, 2021.

In order to meet potential staffing shortages, the board authorized the employment on an as-needed basis of substitute teachers who do not hold a post-secondary degree. The substitutes would have to have a successful completion of a criminal background check and evidence of a non-renewable temporary substitute teaching license issued by the Ohio Department of Education.

This is a temporary resolution of the New Bremen Board of Education, and is effective through June 30, 2021.

Schrader said at this point the district is managing staffing levels, but this authorization can cover any shortages.

In other news, Brian Puthoff and the superintendent demonstrated the new technologies in the Komminsk Center which included a laser engraving printer, 3-D printer, plus poster and vinyl printers. The plan, said Schrader, is to train the teaching staff on their use for the 2021/2022 school year. He said currently the students are using the equipment.

Schrader told the board that the New Bremen Education Foundation’s 2021 Scholarship Fund Drive is now underway. He said the 2020 Fund Drive resulted in 71 scholarships totaling $67,427.50 being awarded to the 2020 Seniors.

Any group or individual interested in making a contribution can do so by cash, check, or online at Checks should be made payable to “New Bremen Foundation” with the scholarship name noted in the memo line and can be mailed to: New Bremen Foundation, PO Box 97, New Bremen, OH 45869.

He added that any questions can be directed to Anna Rammel, New Bremen Foundation Coordinator, at 419-629-9260 or [email protected] All donations are tax deductible as provide by law.

A donation of just over $1,000 was given to the No-Shame lunch program by Kathy Hall of the Backpack program.

The board commended volunteers that assist with the spring athletic programs. They include Cortney Norris (track), Logan O’Neill (baseball), Hannah Tenkman (softball), Abbi Thieman (softball) and Lauren Cordonnier (softball).

New hires for the 2020-21 season included Jason Barhorst and Kris Kuck 2020-21 as high school assistant track coaches. Joel Niekamp, Cody King, Seth Williams, Lindsay Roiberg and Cody Topp as 2020-21 junior high track coaches. Kurt Rammel was hired as Varsity Assistant coach for baseball, Chad Wells for high school softball and baseball facility coordinator, and Geoff Mayer as Music Department’s junior high solo and ensemble staff.

Two students were approved the following as graduates of NBHS, effective Jan. 15, 2021, having completed all required coursework. They were Alex Benitez and Carlos Solorzano.

Under announcements, Schrader said the Cardinal Booster Center now open to community members as of Feb. 1, 2021.

Also, open house will be held March 14 and 15. The K-12 building will be open for community members on March 14 from 1 to 3 and on March 15 from 6:30 to 8 for parents.

Also, staff have opportunity to receive the COVID vaccination on Feb. 26. The second shot will be administered on March 26.

Hired as lawn care employees on an “as needed” basis for 2021 at a rate of $10 per hour were Burt Fiser, Wayne Gruebmeyer, Greg Maurer and Rob Sniegowski.

The board then adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel employment. No action was taken when they returned to open session.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.