Van Wert City School's Board of Education members and administration met on virtually for their March meeting. The meeting was held through Zoom and stream through Facebook Live. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Van Wert City School's Board of Education members and administration met on virtually for their March meeting. The meeting was held through Zoom and stream through Facebook Live. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – Van Wert City Schools Board of Education met virtually on Wednesday through Zoom and Facebook live in order to adhere to social distancing rules laid out by Gov. Mike DeWine. Each building principal explained that teachers and students are working through circumstances due to the coronavirus that prevents schools from being in session physically.

While each Van Wert City School building is working through the situation a little differently, the entire district is trying to ensure students are still able to learn. However, they are also trying not to overwhelm parents.

“We’ve done the same thing the other buildings have; we’ve stressed: let’s start out with a review this week and go gently into next week so that we’re not overwhelming our students,” said High School Principal Bob Priest. “Let’s avoid specific deadlines. Simply because we don’t know when students will have access to technology or paper assignments.”

Packets of assignments went home with students over spring break and Van Wert City Schools has asked students to take surveys to identify whether they have access to the internet and computers.

This week, Van Wert City Schools also began handing out lunches to all Van Wert School District students. Starting next week, the district will be handing meals out on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Goedde Building.

Also during the meeting, the Board approved Mark Bagley as Superintendent of the Van Wert City School District to a three-year contract for the period of August 1, 2020, to July 31, 2023.

"As we are facing these uncertain times, it's been great to have someone with Vicki's (Brunn) experience at the helm to guide us through this, but it's also wonderful that we found someone with the experience that Mr. Bagley has, and he's getting even more experience right now through this time," said Board President Anthony Adams. "This is going to be an important learning experience, and we feel comfortable that his passion and his experience in administration will serve us well going forward."

In other business, the Board made the following motions during the meeting:

- Accepted the resignation of Mark Bagley, Middle School Principal, effective July 31, 2020.

- Accepted the resignation, due to retirement, of Linda Gamble, Early Childhood Center Secretary, after 18 years with Van Wert City Schools, effective at the end of the 2019-2020 contract year.

- Accepted the resignation of Hailey Gross, High School Art Teacher, effective at the end of the 2019-2020 contract year.

- Approved Benjamin Showalter as Bus Maintenance Supervisor effective March 30, 2020.

- Approved Christopher Cochrane as K-5 Intervention Specialist effective the 2020-2021 contract year.

- Approved a supplemental coaching contract for Katie Peterson, assistant boys tennis coach, effective the 2019-2020 contract year.

- Approved a Lease Agreement between the City of Van Wert and the Board of Education of the Van Wert City School District for the setting up, display, and tearing down of 4th of July fireworks on the High School Campus for the community’s enjoyment as presented.

- Approved the Negotiated Agreement between the Van Wert City Schools Board of Education and the Van Wert Federation of Teachers effective August 1, 2020, to July 31, 2023.

With no further business, the Board adjourned. The next scheduled regular meeting is Wednesday, April 22, 2020, at 5 p.m. in the First Federal Lecture Hall at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.