The Washington Court House City Schools (WCHCS) Board of Education approved a series of personnel items during its meeting on Monday evening.
The meeting opened on Monday with the pledge and roll call before WCHCS Superintendent Tom Bailey addressed the board about a number of resignations, employment contracts and more. In total, just fewer than 90 individuals were mentioned for a variety of positions, including substitute cooks, teacher-based team leaders in all of the buildings and choir/band directors. Additionally, five coaches/coordinator contracts were approved and one saw a change of status to a half contract. Another change was made on the list for Deborah Wolfe, who will no longer be “resigning,” but will instead be deemed a retiree for the district.
Following the personnel items, the board voted and approved: the cell phone reimbursement schedule for next school year (which saw no changes), insurance coverage with the Ohio School Plan for $76,661 — which district treasurer Becky Mullins said is a little lower than last year —, and agreements with the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center. Other agreements approved during the meeting were two with Fayette County Memorial Hospital to provide both public health nursing services and speech and language services.
Next, Mullins began her report by seeking approval for May 2019 financial reports, amended and temporary appropriations, and included receiving approval for an invoice from Lawrence County Educational Service Center for $4,225 for alternative school student placements.
Also during the report, Mullins, Bailey and director of marketing and communications Trevor Patton discussed a series of donations that appeared as historic asset preservation. Several years ago when the district received approval and built the new high school and middle school, a deal was made with Columbus Architectural Salvage to sell the old statues and various artifacts that adorned the historic Washington Middle School, and the district would get a portion of the money back. At the time the decisions on the statues were made by a statuary committee — according to members of the board — and it was clear in the agreements with Columbus Architectural Salvage that the company would take ownership of the statues and would cut the district a portion of the sales.
At the time, the historical relevance of the artifacts were not considered, according to Patton and Bailey, and since efforts have been made to not only get the artifacts and statues back, but also to fix them up for continued use in the school district. Columbus Architectural Salvage has worked with the district to help cover some of the costs to return the statues, and out of 30 or so pieces, about 25 are available to be returned. Some of the pieces have already been sold.
This prompted another discussion about the Washington High School Class of 1958’s recent work to raise money for this project to return the pieces of art. Some of these donations were noted on the agenda on Monday, and Patton said he expects to see more donations in the future. Currently, he has even helped the Alumni Association with this project by offering rewards for those who donate. Any donations of $100 will allow that person to put their name and/or class year on the donor list on the website and dedication ceremony program. Any donation of $500 will receive a six-inch replica of Winged Victory, 3-D printed by Washington Middle School students. For donations of $1,000, the person or class will have their name and/or class year on a bronzed cast plaque in the Washington High School entrance. For donations of $2,500, the person or class can put their name on display at the base of one of the statues for future classes to see, and finally, any donation of $5,000 will allow the donor to cut the ribbon at the statue re-dedication unveiling ceremony.
According to Patton, the Alumni Association has been quiet for a few years and he sees this project as a great opportunity to find new members for the association, preserve amazing pieces of art for the district, and provide past classes of the district a chance to help them recover the artifacts.
Finally, before the board went into executive session, Bailey briefly discussed possible time changes for the next school year to help accommodate the bus schedules. The proposed changes would see the Washington High School and Middle School start at 7:20 a.m., and would eliminate bus riding students from being at the school 45 minutes early, which has caused some issues at nearby businesses in the mornings. They would release at 2:05 p.m., or 2:35 p.m. for students who need to visit teachers for after-school assistance.
Additionally, the change would mean Belle Aire would start earlier at 7:55 a.m., but would overall allow the school 30 extra minutes of classroom time. Belle Aire would release at 3:10 p.m. Cherry Hill would not be impacted by the changes much, but would start at 8:45 a.m. and dismiss at 3:30 p.m.
Board member Jennifer Lynch voiced concerns about starting the students earlier, possible over-use of caffeine and energy drinks, and that it would lead to earlier practice times with coaches after school, meaning possibly even less time for students to complete work. Bailey listened to the concerns and said the changes would mean that athletic events would be able to start earlier and students shouldn’t return from games as late as they have been.
Stay with the Record-Herald for more about the recent Washington Court House City Schools Board of Education meeting.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.