MINSTER – Minster Superintendent Brenda Boeke thanked the voters for passing the permanent improvement levy by an over 2 to 1 margin.
Boeke told the school district’s Board of Education at their Nov. 18 meeting that the final count was 727 for and 324 against passage of the levy. This tax will cost the owner of a $200,000 home $78.97 per year, an increase of $50 over the current rate. The money is earmarked to be used for improvements in the school’s physical property. Boeke also thanked the “Continue the Excellence Committee” members for overseeing the campaign.
Boeke also told the board that the district received an Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Grant which will provide chromebooks and additional devices for their students. The $216,240.00 grant will eliminate fees charged to parents and collected toward the rental/purchase of chromebooks for the next few years. She added parents in grades 9-12 will be given information about a possible buyback opportunity for the chromebook their child is currently using as they have paid fees toward owning them at the end of 12th grade. The superintendent commended Technology Coordinator Doug Axe for his work in obtaining the grant. Not finalized were the specifics of when the devices will arrive and how they will be dispersed.
Boeke said the Nov. 5 Veterans Day ceremony welcomed over 70 veterans to the elementary school. Led by the program’s Master of Ceremonie, Junior/Senior High Principal Austin Kaylor, there was recognition of each veteran by service branch, a presentation of the Colors, Americanism Essay winners, explanation of the Missing Man Table, and music performed by the fourth-grade choir and band students. She said the featured guest speaker, Jim Harting, gave an emotional account of his two tours of duty in Vietnam. The guests were very appreciative of the school program.
Elementary students were commended by elementary Principal Leann Keller in her report to the Board. Fourth-grade student Bentley Hale received the Spirit Stick for the first quarter. Bentley was honored for his positive outlook and determination to succeed, consistently showing respect, responsibility, and kindness toward others.
Seventeen elementary students were honored with the school’s new quarterly “Humble & Kind” award. They included kindergarten students Grady Cordonnier, Detrick Kremer, Lucy Sommer, grade one students Kaycie Heckman, Andrew Sullivan, Alexandra Mendes, and second graders Brody Ranly, Calleigh Fancis, Tayt Hein. The third grade awardees were Raedyn Castrechino, Alekx Hernandez whilefourth graders were Nora Homan, Max Roetgerman. Fifth grade awardees were Allie Sextro, Brad Bruns and Sixth Graders Alexa Collins, and Quintin Link.
Keller said The entire student body received Oreo cookies to celebrate receiving the National Blue Ribbon School Award.
Finally she reported that Parent Teacher Conferences had an overall attendance at 97% and the results of the results of the third-grade Ohio State Test for English Language Arts are expected Dec. 20.
Kaylor reported that 10 juniors and 2 seniors will be inducted into the National Honor Society at an all-school assembly on Nov. 23. He also congratulated the “Respectful Cats of October” and congratulated the fall sport athletes and coaches on successful seasons. Kaylor said the Math Club members have begun a tutoring program for 7-9 grade students during fifth period.
The principal had Kyle Pruter from Great Lakes Biomedical Company give an overview of their company’s random, confidential drug testing policy for student participating in extracurricular activities. The board asked Kaylor to prepare a presentation for a future board meeting which would outline his thoughts and the specifics of a possible Minster program.
Kenleigh Ludlow, 8th grade ELA teacher and Kristi Counts, Intervention Specialist presented information on how fluency passages tie to their eighth-grade ELA standards and how they implement the practice of these passages in their classroom.
The board approved school treasurer Linda Klosterman’s report that included payment of bills, the establishment of ESSER funds and reallocated appropriations for those ESSER funds. After a review of the assumptions used to determine the latest 5 year forecast, the Board heard the cash balance is stable but the district is spending more than it is taking in.
In new business, the board approved a resolution expanding employment of substitute teachers. Boeke explained that as substitute teachers are greatly needed, all individuals holding a high school diploma and a clean background check can contact the Auglaize County ESC to apply.
The board also approved the Tristar advisory board referral for welding equipment. The group also approved 20 updated policies and the personnel recommendations. The personnel were Charity Ranly as an as-needed part-time tutor, Christe Sanders allowed two additional hours as secretary, Ralph “Tim” Barga, Erika Whiting, Byron Albers, Jeff Blanke as coaches and Brian Stephey, Grant Klosterman, Peter Morsey as volunteers.
Finally, the board met in executive session to discuss the employment and compensation of a public employee. No action was taken when they returned to regular session. The next regular Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 20, 2021.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.