Van Wert Board member Debby Compton and Superintendent Vicki Brunn listen to reports during Wednesday' meeting. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Van Wert Board member Debby Compton and Superintendent Vicki Brunn listen to reports during Wednesday' meeting. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – The Van Wert Board of Education received an updated transportation policy procedure during Wednesday's regular meeting. The policy, which will begin during the 2019-2020 school year, prevents parents/guardians from having their child switch to a different bus stop for convenience reasons.

"It's in an effort to ensure the safety of all our students," said Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton. "We believe that consistency means safety. In order to provide safety to all our students to and from school, we need to be more consistent."

The new policy is effective for all Van Wert City Schools. Starting at the beginning of the school year, parents will designate one bus stop location as a primary stop. Students must ride this bus daily.

A secondary/emergency bus stop may be designated and students may take this route only on occasion and if the reason for the change is pre-approved by a building leader.

"An emergency can't be once a week; an emergency can't be often," said Clifton. "An emergency is basically what it represents – it happens occasionally, but I'm guessing for a family that should happen a couple of times at most."

Any changes to transportation provided by the district must be delivered to the school by a note or by a call to the school no later than 2 p.m. the day of the change.

Letters of the full policy will be going out to parents in the coming weeks. A copy of the full procedure can be found here: https://www.vwcs.net/Content2/transportation-procedure

Clifton also gave a brief update on the Eggerss renovation project. He said that the district has been waiting on costs and figures and that they now have those. Clifton noted that the next step is to take those numbers and begin the fundraising phase which is expected to begin soon.

In other business, Treasurer Mike Ruen gave an update on the five-year forecast. The district is expected to remain in the black by $220,000 for 2019 but will fall into the red by 2023 by $1,367,641. Ruen said a lot of these projections have to do with state funding and noted that state funding has been flat-lined for two years already and is expected to remain flat-lined.

"To be able to continue to serve our students we can't continue to be flat-lined," said Ruen.

"If we truly are flat-lined, we're going to have some pretty difficult decision to make in the next few years," added Superintendent Vicki Brunn.

Brunn said that the district needs to take a stand and she urged community members to write their state legislators asking them to provide more funding for school needs. The alternative option, said Brunn, is to likely ask the community for financial support.

Also during the meeting, the Van Wert Board of Education presented veteran Glenn Morefield with a high school diploma and heard an education impact presentation about middle school career connections from Mark Bagley, Amie Moonshower, and Sarah White.

In other business the Board made the following motions:

- Accept the resignation of Thomas Sanford, fifth grade teacher, effective at the end of the 2018-2019 contract year.

- Accept the resignation of Stephanie Hanneman, High School Guidance Counselor, effective at the end of the 2018-2019 contract year.

- Accept the resignation of Cara Hoffman, Elementary Paraprofessional, effective at the end of the 2018-2019 contract year.

- Accept the resignation of Eli Alvarez, High School Paraprofessional, effective at the end of the 2018-2019 contract year.

- Approve Kelly Foster as sixth grade Science Teacher, effective the 2019-2020 contract year.

- Approve Amie Moonshower as eighth grade Intervention teacher, effective the 2019-2020 contract year.

- Approve Amy Feasel as High School Guidance Secretary, effective the 2019-2020 contract year.

- Approve a list of supplemental contracts for 2019-2020 contract year including: Eli Alvarez - High School Girls Tennis Coach, Vicki Smith - Middle School Volleyball Coach, Atta John Ochil - High School Boys Assistant Soccer Coach, Hannah Phlipot - Head Varsity Girls Basketball Coach, Harry Florence - JV Girls Basketball Coach, Ben Laudick - Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach, and Samantha Fleming - Fall Cheerleading Coach.

- Approve a list of Summer School Early Childhood Center Staff for the Summer of 2019.

- Approve a list of Summer Substitute Custodial/Maintenance Workers for the Summer of 2019.

- Approve a list of Administrative Contracts.

- Approve a Special Work Session for the Van Wert City Schools Board of Education for the purpose of Strategic Planning, on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, from 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. in the Goedde Building Conference Room.

With no further business, the next scheduled regular meeting is set for Wednesday, June 26 at 5 p.m. in the First Federal Lecture Hall at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.