NEW KNOXVILLE – The New Knoxville Board of Education met Monday night to learn about the upcoming kindergarten class, to approve renewal of part time personnel contracts and view the new welding booths. They also agreed on a new two-year contract with the teachers’ union.
Superintendent and elementary Principal Kim Waterman, reported that Tuesday, they were screening 26 children for readiness for kindergarten this fall. She said they expected all of the children to pass the screening and be ready for school. She said they would be forming two classes to get the new students a head start on reading skills.
“We like to keep those K to 3 grade level classes small,” she said. “We are still under the State Reading Guarantee guidelines and this helps those kids at a young age.”
She said they had plans to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week next week, including a breakfast served by the senior class members.
“We just want to show them how much we appreciate their efforts dealing with COVID restrictions while allowing the students a five day a week, year-round school year.”
Jenny Fledderjohann, 4 to 12 grade principal, told the board Sam Anspach, son of Kelly and Patty Anspach, was recognized as the Franklin B. Walter recipient for New Knoxville on April 3. He recognized Mary Wiest as his teacher of influence. He plans to pursue a dental degree after attending Bowling Green State University.
Fledderjohann also thanked those who assisted with the prom, junior high spring dance and father-daughter dance.
Fledderjohann and Waterman gave the board a tour of the new VoAg department’s four new welding booths. Teacher Dustin Knapke and student Carter Piehl showed the board the three types of welding that could be done, along with various student projects being worked on. Board member Shawn Egbert expressed the board’s appreciation for all those in the community who donated funding and equipment to make the welding booth project happen in a very short time.
The board also approved several renewals of contracts in certified and non-certified levels, including a dozen sports-related positions. Waterman said renewing those latter contracts now allowed the athletic department to begin plans for the all sports season.
The board approved a two-year contract with teachers for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. In the first year, there is to be a 1.79% pay increase and in the second year, a 2.0% increase. Benefit levels remained at the same level. A one-year contract was approved early last year in response to the uncertainties of the COVID pandemic’s effect on school being able to hold full time classes.
They also approved an out-of-state field trip for the Class of 2020 to Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 23, 2021, and a donation from the New Knoxville United Methodist Church for the No Shame Lunch Fund.
Due to schedule conflicts, the board agreed to move the next board meeting from May 24, 2021, to May 17, 2021, beginning at 7 p.m.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.