Superintendent to approve litigation settlements

By Melanie Speicher - [email protected]

SIDNEY — A resolution authorizing the Sidney City Schools superintendent to settle any pending litigation and/or administrative actions resulted in questions by the Sidney City Schools Board of Education during its Monday meeting. The board entered into an executive session before approving an amended resolution.

“The board should be privy to what the litigation entails,” said Board President Zach Bosslet, who added the board needs updates on any pending litigation.

The resolution, he said, allows the superintendent to make “decisions without the board knowing what’s going on.”

Bosslet said the board received an update last week on pending litigation, which was more detailed than anything he had seen since joining the board in January.

The resolution was tabled until the executive session, which was held at the end of the meeting. After returning to public session, the board added the word, “currently” to the resolution so it now reads: Motion to authorize the superintendent to execute any and all documents necessary to settle any currently pending litigation and/or administrative actions.”

Sidney Middle School Principal Gregg Johnson gave a report to the board on how the first five weeks of school is going.

“We’re off to a great start,” said Johnson “I knew we had a big task at hand.”

Johnson said he and the staff are focusing on three goals for the school year: behavior, the culture of the school and academics.

He said the suspensions at the school for the first two weeks to the previous two weeks had dropped by 43%.

“We want the kids in school learning,” said Johnson.

He said teachers are documenting the students’ behavior in their classroom and managing the behavior instead of sending them to the office.

“Everyone knows the expectations,” said Johnson. “They know the classroom expectations. They know the hallway expectations. They know the recess expectations. They know the lunchtime expectations. Those who meet those expectations will be rewarded. There are amazing things happening everyday.”

The culture of the school is changing, he said.

“We are putting fun things back into the school,” he said.

Johnson said during spirit week, 94% of the staff participated in at least one day. There were 70% of students participating in the event.

“The pep rally was a success,” he said.

Academics, he said will be a long term goal. He wants students and teachers to take ownership in the grade level and the classroom.

There are five areas of focus in the academics for the school: What are we teaching? How are we teaching it? What does success look like? Have the students shown success? What’s next?

“The sky’s the limit,” said Johnson. “The staff came back refreshed and excited about what next year will bring.”

In other business, the board:

• Heard public comments from Doug Jackson and Xavier Foy.

• Approved the treasurer’s report.

• Approved a purchased service agreement with the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center (MRESC) for the 2022-23 school year for instructional assistant services at an additional cost of $45,770.65; and Early Childhood Educator at a cost of $60,360.22.

• Approve a Lehman High School Auxiliary Service invoice from the MRESC in the amount of $36,894.60 due to the purchase order not being in place.

• Accepted a donation from Dave Ross in the amount of $24,611 for technology upgrades for the new graphic arts programs at Sidney High School. The board thanked Ross for his donation.

• Accepted the resignations of Leah Lewis, IS teacher, and Lezlie Sullenberger, assistant cook.

• Hired certified substitutes on a one-year limed, as needed contracts at $110 per day. Hired were Adella Arthur, Katlyn Arthur, Tony Dixon, Rebekah New, Autumne Johnson, Cindy Gibson and Jessica Hull.

• Hired Ethan Langhorst as a home instruction tutor at a rate of $28.96 per hour.

• Hired Kevin Sherer, custodian, $17.58 per hour; and Jessica Smith, Latchkey aide, $11.22 per hour, on one-year limited contracts.

• Approved a memorandum of understanding attachment dealing with severance to the Sidney Education Association agreement.

• Adopted new and revised policies for the district.

• Approved an overnight student trip for FFA members to go to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, from Oct. 26-28. Trip expenses will be paid by the students, Sidney FFA and donations.

• Heard the legislative update from Greg Dickman.

• Heard the Upper Valley Career Center update from Michele Lott.

The board’s next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m. at the board office.

By Melanie Speicher

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.