By Ashley McCarty
The Adams County Ohio Valley Board of Education met on Monday, Aug. 30, to recognize paraprofessionals, discuss athletics and North Adams Elementary dilemmas.
“We wanted to recognize our paraprofessionals that attended two or more training activities this summer in the month of June. It was a very long school year, and this group of individuals still understood the importance of doing professional development so we can all learn and better serve our students,” said ACOVSD Director of Exceptional Education Tracy Spires.
Those recognized and presented with certificates were Pamela McKee, Sarah Colvin, Sharon Swanye, Mitzi Corrill, Courtney Stevenson, Cynthia Howard, Jessica Murphy, Kimberly Delvento, Misty Taylor, Robin Rapp, Lisa Applegate, Macy Staggs, Heidi Minton, Darlene Anderson, Ashley Beam, Andrea Wesley, Amanda McFarland, Toylia Morgan Powell and Sarah Hayslip.
“I’m Chris Reed, the athletic director for Peebles High School. Jason Little came up with the idea last week to share a document of things that we perceived as being an issue. Several of the things on the list are things out of our control, like shortage of OHSA officials, COVID-19, reschedules. We reschedule the reschedule three and four times over. The budget is the big one. We took quite a hit last year at 33 percent capacity with 192 spectators for basketball. That really cut us short. For Peebles, boys basketball is always the one that brings in the revenue and helps us sustain other sports. We missed out on a lot. Looking at this year, I have a junior high basketball team that is in desperate need of uniforms,” said Reed.
Athletic Director Katie Ragan of North Adams High School shared similar financial concerns.
“We also had a pretty big basketball team last year, and we couldn’t allow people to come to the games which really cut into the revenue. Basketball pays for everything else, that’s just how the finances work. As far as the busing situation, busing seems to be a uniquely Adams County Ohio Valley Schools problem. At North Adams, busing is worse this year. It’s 10 minutes worse. If we return to doing three boys’ basketball games this winter with the freshmen starting at 5 p.m., we’re probably going to have freshman basketball parents driving them to the games. It’s not an ideal situation, but the alternative is to start at 6 p.m. or after and try to play three games,” said Ragan.
In the treasurer’s report, Treasurer Brian Switzer reported that First State Bank donated a golf simulator — valued at $5,500 — to the West Union High School Athletic Department.
“On behalf of [Transportation Supervisor] Melissa Baker and [Transportation Secretary] Tabi Carter, they’ve worked really hard to get the dual-routing in play. Even to plea to anyone out there — we need bus drivers. We struggle to get drivers. We need drivers,” said Superintendent Rich Seas.
North Adams Elementary School Principal Deirdre Mills was invited to share the problems the school is currently facing.
“Space at North Adams Elementary — we have none is the short answer. I have no room to put anybody. Every pullout room, every office, every classroom is being used. Some classrooms are being shared. For example, I no longer have a sensory room. I had to take that out because I had to put an intervention specialist in there. She is sharing a room with PT and OT that comes in to service our students. I have 26 kids in a classroom in fourth grade. I have 20 kindergarteners in a classroom. I don’t see this problem going away anytime soon. If anything, it’s going to continue to grow. North Adams is growing. I had to go back to using our small gym as an auxiliary cafeteria. I also had to integrate preschool this year. That was a challenge,” said Mills.
Due to COVID-19, NAES also had to revert back to breakfast in the classroom.
“Our playground recess time is all in zones. We had to go back to that. The only thing we’re not doing is the mandating of masks. The vast majority [are not wearing masks]. When we have a space problem, that just compounds the precautions that we’re taking with COVID-19,” said Mills.
Mills reported that families are transitioning to homeschooling because they don’t feel school is a safe environment.
“I’ve been mentioning for two years now about moving the sixth grade to the high school building. I think that makes more sense than building on. There are other challenges to it though. I get that it’s not just that easy, but at the rate we’re going, we’re not going to be able to serve our students in the manner that we should without doing something drastic soon,” said Mills.
A motion by board member David Riley to enter into executive session regarding ORC 121.22(G)(1) To consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official, or the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual, unless the public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual requests a public hearing was seconded by Board President Charlie Bess, the board agreed.
With no more business before the board, the meeting was adjourned. Meeting minutes will be approved by the board at the next meeting, subject to revisions.