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Leetonia OKs school calendar, but not without discussion

LEETONIA – Remote participation by board members did not prevent a testy school board meeting in Leetonia Tuesday night.

The board streamed the meeting live on YouTube and board members Dan Votaw and Larry Duko participated via speaker phone.

At the meeting the board approved the school calendar for 2020-2021 that includes the first day for students on Aug. 19, last day on May 27 and commencement on May 21. However, the calendar has 184 total days for teachers, 178.5 of which for instruction, and Votaw and Duko objected.

The master agreement with the teachers union is set at 178 days of instruction. Votaw and Duko refused to approve the calendar because it does not follow the master agreement for 178 instruction days.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Andy Tommelleo presented the calendar, noting the teachers union had already approved it. He said the calendar appears to have 179 days of instruction, but there are two 2-hour delays, which make it 178.5. He also said it is the same calendar as this year, confirmed by Treasurer Jennifer Coldsnow and Board President Michael Henderson.

After much discussion from Votaw and Duko, Tommelleo said he felt the board was wasting time “quibbling” over the issue when the district is already significantly over the required number of instructional hours. Duko responded that he was simply uncomfortable not adhering to the master agreement, while Votaw said if Tommelleo thinks following the master agreement is “picky and picayune, that says a lot.”

In other business, the board approved supplemental coaching contracts to Liz Mills-Custer for assistant varsity softball, Kasey Lundsberger for girls varsity track (volunteer), Anthony Fuller for assistant varsity baseball, Sandy Solomon for varsity softball (volunteer) and Bill Knight for junior high boys and girls head track for the 2019-2020 school year as wells Melissa Brock for football varsity cheer and Amanda Mayfield for varsity volleyball head for the 2020-2021 school year. Board members Richard Hendricks and Christina Bulford voted against the action.

Prior to the vote, Votaw questioned whether the district will have to fulfill the contracts if school does not resume. The board discussed the contracts in executive session at the end of the meeting. Coldsnow said after the meeting the board will issue an unknown payment for the contracts at the end of the year but will determine the amount at a later date.

Also at the meeting, the board accept bid of $94,306 from Myers Equipment Corp. for the purchase of a new 2021 school bus and acknowledged the Bears to Bee preschool will renew its lease agreement for a classroom at the K-12 campus for the 2020-2021 school year.

khowell@salemnews.net

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