Van Wert Middle School Principal Mark Bagley speaks on PBIS during the district's Board of Education meeting Wednesday evening. (DHI Media/Sherry Missler)
Van Wert Middle School Principal Mark Bagley speaks on PBIS during the district's Board of Education meeting Wednesday evening. (DHI Media/Sherry Missler)

By SHERRY MISSLER

Times Bulletin Staff Writer

smissler@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT — Van Wert Middle School Principal Mark Bagley and Assistant Principal Darla Dunlap spoke to the school’s board of education on the challenges of having a large number of students during Wednesday evening's meeting. “Last year we knew we would have 515 kids coming to our building. That’s our largest enrollment in 17 years which made us pretty excited. But we also knew we had to do a better job in our building," Bagley said.

The question was how to address the challenges so many students would create. Bagley told the Board that one third of the staff took two days out of their own time without compensation to come up with ideas which became PBIS: positive behavioral interventions and supports. "There's a lot of things in life that you tell kids 'don't do' and kids tend to do those things you tell them not to do," Bagley said.

Dunlap said the goal of the teachers was to come up with a plan that the district could implement. She noted that PBIS came directly from IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and became part of the law through Ohio Administrative Code 3301-35-15 and House Bill 318. Dunlap said, "We didn't have a formal, written plan and that's what we have been working on." The plan revolves around behaviors that will keep students safe on the bus, in the commons area, in the hallways, and the restrooms.

Bagley told the Board, "This year is a journey. It's not complete." He added that the PBIS team meets as a group once a month. Full implementation of PBIS is anticipated in 2020-2021.

In other business, the Board:

Approved Beverly Wisher as Early Childhood Center Physical Education Teacher.

Approved supplemental contracts: to Tabitha Williams and Stephanie Sudhoff - Elementary School Student Council representatives, Drew Bittner - Elementary School Echo Support Staff, Zane McElroy - Middle School Echo Support Staff, Jeremy Kitson and Bob Spath - High School Echo Support Staff, Charlie Witten and Kelly Fritz - HSTW Site Coordinators, and Marty Hohman - Middle School Robotics Club Advisor.

Approved the correction of Marie Markward as a “focused mentor” only.

Approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Van Wert Federation of Teachers and the Van Wert City Schools Board regarding staff reporting on calamity days and negotiations procedures.

Acknowledged notification from the City of Van Wert of a Community Reinvestment Area Agreement (CRA) with Greve Chrysler Jeep Dodge.

The next regular meeting of the Van Wert City Schools Board of Education will be Oct. 16 beginning at 5 p.m. in the First Federal Lecture Hall in the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.