Dalton Board of Education monthly meeting report: Nov. 23

DGKN staff report

DALTON  Members of the Dalton Local Schools Board of Education met Nov. 23 via Google Meet.

During his report, Superintendent Jim Saxer said he was thankful for everyone’s dedication, including students and staff, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarantining of those in close contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has presented a challenge for staffing. So far, in-person instruction has been able to continue and three permanent subs have been busy. Saxer said he continues to meet with other superintendents as well as the Wayne County Health Commissioner Nicholas Cascarelli.

Board members had questions of Saxer including how the number of cases in the area impact the school, winter sports and spectators, and school staff who are considered essential workers. Saxer said some districts are reducing the amount of time staff who are considered essential personnel are required to quarantine if they come in close contact with someone with the virus, but they are not showing symptoms themselves. To help the schools stay open, Saxer asked the board about reducing the time for staff to quarantine to 72 hours if they come in close contact with someone at the school, or five days if the staff member is living with someone who has tested positive. Board member Tiffany Witmer noted that CDC guidelines allow asymptomatic employees to work in other organizations after a short period of quarantine. She recommended education and communication are important so that staff and the community are aware of any changes in policy. Board Member Lisa Gwin also noted that people can carry the virus without showing certain symptoms.
Saxer said that so far he hasn’t heard of staff or students who have been quarantined also testing positive for the virus.
Saxer agreed communication is important and if the district decides to shorten the length of quarantine it would only apply to staff members and not students.

In other business, the board:
* Approved three donations: Wayne County Community Foundation/Romich Family Fund, $300 for STEAM/CNC Router; Dalton Goalliners, $6,500 for lift-a-thon fund; and Slicker Farms, $1,000 for Volleyball Camp Fund.
* The board approved the resignation of Kirsten Shoup as freshman girls’ basketball coach.
* The board approved the retirement of Jackie Clark, fourth-grade teacher, effective the end of 2020-21 school year. Saxer said Clark has taught since 1987 and accepting her retirement is “bittersweet” because she is a “pillar of our staff” at Dalton Local Schools.
* Approved to extend a one-year contract to Becky Baum, bus driver, for the 2020-21 school year who is returning to fill in a position for a driver who resigned.
* Approved supplemental contracts to Lauren Hicks, freshman girls’ basketball coach, and Beth Campana, varsity girls’ basketball assistant coach, for the 2020-21 school year.
* Approved the recommendation from the Dalton Local Athletic Council for the following sports to be offered through Dalton High School Athletic Department for the 2020-21 school year: varsity girls’ swimming – Orrville High School; varsity boys’ swimming – Wooster High School.
* Approved volunteers for the 2020-21 school year: Tammy Lyons as girls’ swimming coach and Christina Matthew as boys’ swimming coach.
* Approved long-term substitute: Joyce Moyer, secretary.
* Approved to add Emilee Gregory, aide, to the support staff substitute list.
* Approved the purchase of a standard 65-passenger bus from Myers Equipment for $87,541. The purchase price includes the trade-in of a 1998 Thomas International bus for $2,400.
* Approved service agreement with Gardiner for $9,000 Dec. 1, 2020 through Nov. 30, 2021.

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