School board denies assignment request

EAST LIVERPOOL — Giving no details, the city school board Monday night denied a student’s request to complete assignments missed due to a suspension.

As permitted by law, the board entered executive session to discuss matters required to be kept confidential by law, specifying it planned to consider “Student A’s” request.

After returning to open session, member Richard Wolf made the motion to deny the student’s request, which was approved 4-0, with member Pat Persohn abstaining from the vote.

Referring to issues that were raised during a meeting last week of the buildings and grounds committee, Wolf recommended the superintendent contact legal counsel.

The committee met with the city’s sewage superintendent about a lift station that services Patterson Field which the district paid $27,000 to repair, and it is Wolf’s contention that the school district should not be responsible for that cost.

He said the city has the responsibility of maintaining sewers and there are lift stations throughout the city, noting, “I don’t understand why we should take on the burden of $27,000 when I feel the city should allow us to tie into it without cost.”

The board did not take action on having the superintendent seek legal advice.

In personnel matters, the board approved the resignation of Jason Ray as reserve girls’ basketball coach, effective Jan. 23, and the resignation of Heather Johnson, four-hour custodian, effective Feb. 5.

Appointments approved included allowing Westgate custodian Gene Hughes to return to his previous position at the high school; Gwen Croxall, two-hour cafeteria aide; Elizabeth Wines, head custodian at the junior-senior high at $36,897.10 annually; Rochelle Russell, 3.5-hour cafeteria worker, $13.30 per hour; Anna Weigand, 4-hour custodian, $14,863.33 annually; Randi Salmons, crossing guard, $11.42 per hour.

Extra-curricular assignments approved were Thomas Pease, varsity assistant baseball coach, $1,298.07; Nate C. Conley, reserve baseball, $1,619.84; Edward Brown, varsity assistant baseball, $1,887.63, upon completing all requirements for a pupil activity permit.

Numerous policies were given first reading, and Treasurer Kathy Jo Laughlin said this is a formality required by the state Department of Education, with no changes made in the policies.

In financial matters, the board agreed it will pay the cost of transportation to Enon Valley, Pa. for students to attend the junior/senior prom and also approved a donation of a Cybex Arc Trainer from the East Liverpool YMCA for the high school weight room.

The school calendar for 2018-2019 was approved at the recommendation of Superintendent Randy Taylor, who said this version received the greatest number of votes from all staff members.

During board comments, Wolf asked his fellow board members take a look at the fact they are still contributing to the union each month even though “we don’t get a dime out of it.”

Wolf said $35 is deducted each month from his board wages and the district also pays $35, yet board members cannot collect a pension.

He said it makes no sense for boards of education to contribute to the retirements of other people and said the state legislation should be asked to remove them from the fund.

The personnel committee met prior to Monday’s meeting, convening in executive session to discuss upcoming negotiations and bargaining strategy for the OAPSE contract that expires later this year.