By Shari Harris,Publisher
The Licking R-VIII Board of Education met on Monday, June 12, at 5:45 p.m. for the six-month community meeting and review of the district’s Safe Return to In-Person Learning Plan, followed by their regular monthly business meeting at 6 p.m.
There was no community input voiced at the initial meeting, and Superintendent Telena Haneline reviewed the plan, with no changes indicated.
After approval of the Consent Agenda, the Board recognized the baseball team for winning the Class 3 State Championship. Coaches and players were presented with resolutions and a Congressional Record from Rep. Bennie Cook, Sen. Karla Eslinger’s office, and U.S. Rep. Jason Smith’s office. Head Coach Harv Antle and assistant coaches Cole Roark and Chris Harris were recognized as the June Spotlight Staff.
Rep. Cook recognized LHS softball player Halee Clayton for receiving the MSHSAA Sportsmanship Award for her demonstration of “exemplary sportsmanship, integrity and positive citizenship,” along with earning a spot on the 2023 Class 2 District 3 All District Softball Team and the 2023 All Region Softball Team. He presented her with a House resolution listing her accomplishments. The Board also congratulated Clayton on her achievements.
High School Principal Dr. Jarad Rinne reviewed changes to the accessibility of class rankings at the secondary level. Individuals may access their GPA, but with the change to the Cum Laude system, class rankings will no longer be available unless a specific request is made directly to the school by a college or university.
The 2023-24 schedule of classes for the secondary campus was reviewed. Sophomore sections will be decreased and junior sections increased to compensate for the large class that will be entering its junior year. A Physical Science class was cut and a Biology class added, as a small group of freshmen will be allowed to take Biology. A new Biomedical Science class and a new Computer Science Essentials class will be added. The board approved the secondary schedule and the secondary handbook for the 2023-24 school year.
A LEAD school update was provided. The cost of renovation has been reduced from $35,674 to $21,000. Up to 10 students may be accommodated in the first year, depending on the needs of those students.
Planned uses of the $150,000 Safety and Security Grant were discussed. A key fob system will be implemented. A safety vestibule will be created at the high school office. Ballistic film for door windows versus metal paneled doors were discussed. More information will be gathered to present at the next meeting. Kid Account software was considered as an enhancement to current emergency and transportation protocols. Consideration was given regarding on-campus transportation for the School Protection Officer.
The Bullying Report was presented. No incidences of bullying were reported during the 2022-23 school year. This does not mean there was no harassment, but incidences were able to be addressed by school counselors and administrators.
The Dyslexia Report was presented. Mrs. Amy Antle and Mrs. Amanda Floyd provide dyslexia training in the district.
Supt. Haneline gave a summer maintenance update. The elementary cafeteria expansion is anticipated to be completed in early August. The transition of the central office to the clinic building on College Avenue is complete. Painting, gravel for playgrounds, landscaping, replacement of HS windows are underway or completed. Dampness under the clinic building and the two white houses needs to be addressed and resolutions are being considered. Gym floors are scheduled. The Board discussed the status of the HS gym floor; it will need to be replaced soon. The FEMA roof has been looked at, and due to it being installed incorrectly when the building was constructed, it will need to be replaced in the next two years. The current cost to replace it is $210,272.
Tuition rates were discussed and the Board voted to keep rates at their current levels.
In preparation for the salary study, which is due in July, Supt. Haneline presented information regarding area rates for bus drivers as compared to the district’s current rates.
ESSER III fund use was reviewed.
The Board approved the maximum fund transfer from Fund I to Fund IV allowed by state statute for capital projects.
Board President Rawly Gorman shared a request by Tim Hill Showcase Summer Leagues to use the high school and FEMA gyms on June 22. Licking teams would benefit by not having to pay entry fees.
During closed session, Supt. Haneline reported the approval of the Board for the employment of Mrs. Marcie Ammons as LEAD school administrative assistant, Mrs. Donna Shanks as LEAD school teacher, Mrs. Amanda Terry as elementary paraprofessional, Miss Kaitlyn Cook as second grade teacher, Ms. Tania Wood as secondary ELA teacher, Ms. Laura Spurlin as custodian, Mrs. Amanda Floyd as JH assistant girls’ basketball coach, and Mr. Carter Rinne as JH assistant boys’ basketball coach; the approval of the internal transfer of Ms. Lynette Sundell to secondary counselor; and the acceptance of the resignations of Mrs. Joann Cooper as secondary counselor, Mrs. Andrea Denbow as third grade teacher, and Mrs. Amanda Reeder as administrative assistant.