The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020

VWCS Board hears updates on COVID-19

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent writer

At least to this point, the spread of COVID-19 hasn’t happened in Van Wert City Schools. That was the word from Superintendent Mark Bagley during Wednesday’s City Board of Education meeting.

Superintendent Mark Bagley updates the Van Wert City Board of Education on the district’s COVID-19 situation, while District Treasurer Michelle Mawer looks on. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

“We currently have three cases that will be coming off the books shortly and we have 42 quarantined right now,” Bagley said. “What we’re doing with our superintendent’s groups right now is we are charting (cases) and we’re at about 78 for the year and the number of those that actually had COVID is zero. So the spread … we know it’s in the community, we know it’s in the area, but it’s not happening in the school right now.”

“I’m very pleased about how our staff and how our students have worked together as a team to want to be here,” Bagley added.

Bagley informed the board that 10 percent of Van Wert students are currently doing remote learning and he said, with COVID-19 concerns in mind, discussions will begin soon on how to handle upcoming parent-teacher conferences.

“We have to find a smart way to do that and a lot of those will be virtual and we’ll also go with the phone, but some parents want to come in and meet with our teachers,” Bagley explained. “We can do it safely and we can spread out.”

During his report to the board, Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton said the school system is currently dealing with a substitute shortage, including substitute teachers, custodians, food service workers, and paraprofessionals.

“Anybody who has an interest in working, we’re willing to interview them and potentially get them on board to help our school district out,” Clifton said.

The board heard a brief presentation from Van Wert High School music teacher Julia Reichert, Van Wert Middle School music teacher Melissa Bloomfield, and several members of the choir. They group explained the ways the music department is dealing with COVID-19, including spacing singers, singing in small ensembles and singing while wearing masks.

A long list of winter sports coaches was approved by the board, including Ben Laudick, varsity boys’ basketball head coach; Sam Boehnlein, assistant varsity boys’ basketball coach; Josiah Poletta, JV boys’ basketball coach; Jeff Hood, boys’ freshman basketball coach; Brandon Miller, boys’ varsity volunteer assistant coach; Kerry Koontz, eighth grade boys’ basketball; Nate Hoverman, seventh grade boys’ basketball; Hannah Phlipot, girls’ varsity basketball head coach; Harry Florence, girls’ varsity assistant; Kelsey Wertz, girls’ JV coach; Jared Loughrie, Reagan Priest, girls’ varsity assistants; Eli Alvarez, girls’ eighth grade basketball coach; Troy Hoffman, girls’ seventh grade basketball coach; Kevin Decker, boys/girls head bowling coach; Stan Bladen, assistant bowling; Seth Blackmore, volunteer bowling assistant; Ben Collins, varsity head wrestling coach; Mark Collins, Austin McIntosh, Colten Royer, Terrin Contreras, assistant wrestling coaches; Brad Allmandinger, middle school wrestling coach; Chris Heath, middle school wrestling assistant; Megan Hurless, boys/girls head swimming coach; Keith Rydell, assistant swimming; Samantha Fleming, high school basketball head cheerleading coach; Selena Witten, basketball cheerleading volunteer assistant, and Tiffany Werts, middle school basketball cheerleading coach.

Board members accepted the retirement resignation of custodian Dan Freund, effective January 4, 2021; Early Childhood Center paraprofessional Ashley Rickard; and assistant maintenance director Gregg Scheidt, effective December 31. Scheidt will become the new maintenance director on January 1, 2021.

In other business, the board approved an agreement with Therapy Solutions for physical therapy services for the current school year and board members accepted several donations, including $1,000 from First Federal Bank for high school robotics; $2,500 from Trevor and Whitney Webster for the athletic department; $1,500 from Van Wert Health for the elementary wellness program; $50 from Bruce and Ruth Ann Dowler for the National Honor Society; $275 from Sealscott CPA for the high school football program; $500 from Citizens National Bank for high school robotics and $3,500 from Van Wert Federal Savings Bank for the athletic department.

The board also accepted a donation of $2,375 from multiple individuals in memory of former teacher Chris Raines for the special education department.

The next meeting of the Van Wert City Board of Education is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 18.

POSTED: 10/28/20 at 11:02 pm. FILED UNDER: News