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South Range extends contract with teachers union due to pandemic

BEAVER TOWNSHIP — The South Range school board has approved a continuation of its contract with the teachers union due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The board Monday night approved a “roll-over” contract with the South Range Education Association, an extension of current contract, through Aug. 31, 2022.

Superintendent Bethany Carlson said considering the pandemic and the uncertainty it brings, the best decision is to hold steady until the following year. She said she will begin negotiations on a new three-year contract prior to the 2022-2023 school year.

In other business, the board granted permission for the baseball and softball teams to travel to a tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C. in April pending state regulations regarding out-of-state travel.

A parent from each sport spoke on behalf of allowing the student-athletes to travel to the tournament. Board President Ralph Wince said he has no problem with the trips, but encouraged parents to remember disappointments from the past year due to Covid can be life lessons as their sons and daughters become adults with families of their own.

The board also agreed to continue open enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year. Carlson said the administration will carefully evaluate each grade level size. She also noted open enrollment will be available first to current open enrollment students, then to new prospective students.

Additionally the board accepted the resignation of instructional aide Christine Miller.

Also at the meeting Carlson reported few students tested positive for Covid over Christmas, but none were in the school. She also said the quarantine rules are changing for grades seven through 12 after research has found close contact students did not result in positive cases. She said the close contact students will not have to be quarantined, but their parents will be notified.

Carlson said it is not known yet if the close contact students will have to be quarantined in the elementary grades since they take their masks off to eat in the classrooms.

At its reorganizational meeting, the board re-elected Ralph Wince as president; however Taylor Christian nominated and voted for himself. The board also elected Brian Bagwell as vice-president and named Terri Lally and Christian to remain as Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) legislative and student achievement liaisons, respectively.

Additionally, January is School Board Recognition Month and Carlson and Treasurer Jim Phillips both paid respects to the board members. There was no cake and celebration this year, but the board members each received an OSBA certification for their service.

“It has been a very trying year, and your support and leadership is very appreciated,” Carlson said.

The board will continue to meet at 7 p.m. the third Monday of each month in the K-12 campus auditorium.

The next regular board meeting has been changed to 7 p.m. Feb. 8 in the K-12 campus auditorium.

khowell@salemnews.net

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