West Liberty-Salem to join Literacy Collaborative


WEST LIBERTY – West Liberty-Salem Elementary will begin using Literacy Collaborative next school year.

The program is a nationwide literacy model taught at Ohio State University and Lesley University in Massachusetts. It requires a Literacy Collaborative coach to be a half-time teacher and half-time coach to other teachers.

The school board approved starting the program 4-1 at its April 19 meeting. The dissenting vote was Board Vice President Chuck Buck, who questioned whether the board should enter into the program before the school building project is complete, Superintendent Kraig Hissong said.

“The one dissenter was concerned about the financial portion and wanted to wait until the building project was over,” Hissong said. “Other board members felt that the two were not related and that we should continue to work to improve upon our success at the recommendation of the teaching staff and administration.”

Literacy Collaborative is a pricey program: Hissong previously told the board the estimated cost for a Step 0 master’s degree level teacher to be more than $350,000 over five years; a Step 10 master’s degree teacher could cost more than $450,000 over five years. Those costs include training through the program, the cost to hire two half-time teachers, substitute costs for when the coaches are at OSU getting training, hotel and travel costs for the trips to get training, and the possibility of purchasing more and different books for the school library.

The benefits include improved reading abilities for students, which translates into more learning and better test scores, Hissong said. Other school districts have seen success with the program, he said previously.

The board approved posting two Literacy Collaborative coach positions – one for grades K-2 and one for grades 3-5 at the elementary. The board also approved the posting of the half-time teachers to replace the classroom time those coaches will be coaching. The program will begin in the 2016-17 school year.

In other action, the board:

•Approved teachers for tutoring/home instruction services of students with special needs for the remainder of the 2015-16 and the 2016-17 school years at the rate of $22 an hour as necessary to meet student instructional requirements.

•Approved a one-year limited contract for Steven Maag as full-time custodian beginning April 25, 2016, at Step 0 of the custodial pay scale column per the negotiated agreement.

•Approved a one-year limited contract for Danny Diener as a full-time custodian beginning June 1, 2016 at Step 0 of the custodial pay scale column per the negotiated agreement.

•Approved the reduction of hours to a part-time elementary music position for Bethany Smucker for the 2016-17 school year.

•Approved the 50 percent job-sharing request from Bruce Schlabach for his high school science position for the 2016-17 school year.

•Approved Brandie Roberts for the 50 percent shared staffing position with Bruce Schlabach for the 2016-17 school year.

•Approved the increase from part-time to full-time MS/HS vocal music for the 2016-17 school year. The additional hours will add both elementary music instruction and HS electives.

•Approved the Seasonal Summer Student Worker Program. The program provides four to five student workers for the custodial department to assist with cleaning the building during summer months, and two technology student workers to assist with iPad and computer maintenance. Hours are based on need, and students are paid $8.50 an hour. Students will work beginning May 23 and continue through the summer as needed.

•Approved the three-day early release for seniors. Dates are May 18-20.

•Approved a 50-minute early release at 2:09 p.m. for all middle/high school students and 2:05 p.m., for all elementary students on the last day of school, Friday, May 20.

•Approved volunteer coaches Ryan Ropp for baseball, and Hannah Ropp for track and field, for the 2015-16 school year; and Collin Link for football, for the 2016-17 school year.

•Approved the Title I-Neglected contract with the Midwest Regional ESC for services provided to Adriel School for summer school programming. The contract is not to exceed the federal grant amount of $63,813.34 for the 2016 fiscal year.

•Accepted the resignation of Tammy Ormsbee as custodian, effective Aug. 1, 2016, for retirement.

•Approved hiring Middle School Football Assistant Coach Kyle Wilkins at Step 0 for the 2016-17 sports season.

•Accepted the resignation of Deb Hinderer as paraprofessional/aide effective June 1, 2016, for retirement.

•Approved the cancellation of the one-hour delay scheduled for April 27, 2016, due to accommodation of testing schedules for state tests.

•Approved posting an Administrative Secretary position. The contract would be for 212 days and begin August 2016.

•Approved entering an agreement with the Ohio School Comp 2017 Workers Compensation Group Rating Program, a program of OSBA and OASBO and Comp Management, and to pay the 2017 enrollment and administrative fee in the amount of $615. Comp Management will serve as our third party administrator, our Managed Care Organization, and our unemployment compensation claims management service provider. The district will save approximately $5,127 by using the Group Rating Program for 2017.

•Approved Student Accident Insurance Policy for 2016-17 from Guarantee Trust Life Company, Agent Michael Percy, administered in Ohio by N. Carol Insurance Agency.

•Approved donations of $200 from Civista Bank for baseball, $1,525 from an anonymous donor for baseball, $18 from Amy Winters for softball, $1,166.18 from an anonymous donor for boys track, $240 from an anonymous donor for AD equipment, and $1,500 from Jon T. Prayer for baseball.

•Approved the Ohio Every Kid Healthy Week mini-grant in the amount of $500. The money to be used by the FCCLA Club under the direction of Margie Williams and Molly Smith.

By Casey S. Elliott

[email protected]

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

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