Minster prepares for 2021-22 school year

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

MINSTER – COVID precautions, 2021/2021demographics, new staff, and a corn maze were all discussed at the Aug. 16 Minster Board of Education meeting. Also, the Permanent Improvement Levy committee members were listed.

Superintendent Brenda Boeke reported, “We currently have 834 students enrolled with 451 at the elementary and 383 at the high school.”

Staff numbers were also included in the superintendent’s report. “The district has 108.5 employees with 6 in administration, 63 certified and 39.5 classified employees,“she added, “Also, there are 77 supplemental positions.”

Elementary Principal Leanne Keller reported the positive results of the Spring Ohio State Test administration were due to the positive work of their staff. She added this was especially true since the year had many students absent due to quarantine as well as new teachers in new positions. Broken down by grade she showed that Grade Three had 90% of students passed in Language Arts and 93% passed in Math. Fourth grade numbers were 83% passing Language Arts and 100% in Math. Fifth grade had an 89% success rate in Language Arts and 95% in Math. Fifth Grade science also had a 95% success rate. Sixth grade numbers were 91% passing in Language Arts and 95% in Math. She added, “As always, we will dig down into the data by skill area to look for trends and needs.”

Junior/Senior Principal Austin Kaylor reported to the board that both the Spring advanced placement testes and the five year trend for ACT data showed that Minster students out-performed the state/global average. Kaylor thanked the students and teachers for their hard work and preparation for the tests.

Boeke submitted to the board the names of the members of the Permanent Improvement Levy committee. They were Matt Quinter, Kate Hemmelgarn, Ryan Grillot, Rich Bruns, Laura Klosterman and Brenda Boeke with Gina Frick serving as treasurer. She added a meeting will be scheduled soon to discuss plans for sharing information with community members. If the levy is approved, the current rate of .1655254 will be increased by .25 for a total rate of .4155254 mill. This tax will cost the owner of a $200,000 home $78.97 per year, an increase of $50 over the current rate.

The board also met the new staff members. They included Brenda Eiting (student health aide), Lindsey Hopkins (Kdg), Kelly Hoying (4th gr. ELA), Elizabeth Paulus (6th gr. math) Kenleigh Ludlow (8th ELA), Brooke Schmerge (HS ELA), William Smith (HS Social Studies), Kristi Counts (HS Intervention Specialist). Also recognized but unable to attend were Lisa Newman (HS Intervention Specialist), and Seth Whiting (HS Intervention Specialist).

In regards to dealing with Covid, Boeke said that the school plans to hold in person learning this year with students not being required to wear masks although good hygiene habits will be discussed including maintaining 3 feet distance when possible. School buses will run normal routes. She added in the cases of quarantine, they will follow the same procedures as last year, utilizing teachers seating charts. The school nurse will notify parents in the event a quarantine occurs as a result of the classroom setting.

District Treasurer Laura Klosterman said the school is currently working with Julian and Grube for the financial audit of 2021. She said she also learned the district will likely meet the $750,000 threshold for federal grants which requires a single audit and special procedures. Finally, she said the July tax settlement was received as was the August real estate tax settlement.

The board also expressed appreciation for two donations from Danone North America. One was $4,000 to be used for the Positive Behavior Intervention Support at the high school and the second being $1,500 for the Science (Dirt) Club. They also accepted a $1,500 donation from the Minster Community Fund (Troy Foundation) for the elementary playground expansion.

Finally, the board will hold a public hearing at the beginning of their September meeting for the purpose of receiving public input on the spending of IDEA-B, Title I, Title IIA and Title IV funds.

The board then went into executive session. No action was taken when they reconvened.

The next board meeting will be Monday, September 20, 2021, at 7 p.m. at elementary school.

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.