The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, May. 24, 2022

L’view Bd. discusses COVID-19 mandates

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent writer

Discussion of COVID-19 and Ohio Department of Health mandates dominated Thursday night’s meeting of the Lincolnview Local Board of Education.

New Lincolnview Local School District staff members include (from the left) Brittany Rieman, Bailey Clement, Nick Leeth, and Kaylee Thatcher. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

A number of people were in attendance and one person questioned ODH’s mandate of 15 percent fan attendance at sporting events, noting fans and even some family members could be shut out. High school Principal Brad Mendenhall said the school is complying with the state’s order and he noted failure to do so could result in forfeiture of games or a shutdown of the season. He also said athletic events taking place in the high school gym are being live-streamed free of charge.

One person noted her brother in Texas contracted COVID-19 and was near death, and is still dealing with after-effects of the virus.

“The argument about the death toll isn’t a good one, because of a lot of people really suffering,” she said. “Just because you’re not a death number doesn’t mean you’re not really suffering and having a horrible way of life.”

Board member Mark Zielke wondered aloud how long the state mandates will continue and questioned how long people will comply with the rules. At one point, Zielke called it all ridiculous, which drew a strong reaction from one of the people in attendance.

“This is not ridiculous and for you to sit there and say that, I just think it’s outlandish of you,” the woman said. “We as a community want to get through this. I want to see bright eyes in the morning – it’s not ridiculous and you need to check yourself once in a while.”

Other people in attendance noted that, while masks aren’t ideal, they’re willing to wear them if it means children can attend school and participate in extracurricular activities. Several teachers were in attendance and said students have done well wearing masks.

It was suggested by more than one person that complaints or concerns about ODH guidelines should be directed to the state level.

Superintendent Jeff Snyder urged parents to keep their children home if they have a fever or are sick and he said the goal is to keep school open. He also said the district is ready to switch to remote learning if necessary.

Personnel matters approved by the board including Solomon Okang and Elijah Wortman, co-JV soccer coaches; MaKenna Klausing, freshman volleyball; Kyle Stechschulte, volunteer junior high cross country assistant; William Hanna, home instruction/NOVA assistant, and Christopher Kraner, Alexis Miller, and Emily Smith, part-time/as-needed Lincolnview Community Center front desk attendants.

The board also approved a list of substitute teachers and aides for the first semester as provided by the Western Buckeye Educational Service Center and by a 3-2 vote, board members approved a memorandum of understanding with the Lincolnview Education Association for a supplemental gym supervision position. That person will monitor students as they arrive to make sure social distancing is being obvserved. Zielke and Brad Coil voted against the measure.

During his report to the board, Snyder said he applied for a broadband connectivity grant and is waiting to receive approval, and added that a new bus is scheduled to arrive next month. He said the new softball press box is scheduled to go up on Monday, and Snyder told the board that 268 open enrollment students are attending Lincolnview, while 113 students went to other districts.

Mendenhall said 26 students are enrolled in NOVA online classes, while elementary Principal Nita Meyer said 33 kindergarten through sixth grade students are using NOVA. She also told the board she received a donation of several hundred smaller masks for students in kindergarten through second grade.

Several new staff members were introduced, including junior high science teacher Bailey Clement, special education aide Brittany Rieman, school psychologist aid Nick Leeth and Kaylee Thatcher, a counselor who works with Westwood.

2020-2021 bus routes were officially approved by the board, along elementary workbook bills and class fees, an agreement with the Mercer County Educational Service Center for curriculum director services, an apkplication for the national school lunch, breakfast and government food program, and revised fall sports ticket price.

Board members accepted a donation of $3,381.60 from the Richard L. and Nadie O. Klein Memorial Trust through the Van Wert County Foundation, and a $2,000 donation from the Cooper Family Foundation/Raymond James Charitable Trust.

Eric Germann was appointed as the 2020 virtual Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference voting delegate and Lori Snyder was chosen as alternate.

The next regular meeting of the Lincolnview Local Board of Education is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, September 24, in the Neubrecht Lecture Hall.

POSTED: 08/27/20 at 11:32 pm. FILED UNDER: News