Tipp City Board of Education hears school scenarios

TIPP CITY — Tipp City schools Superintendent Dr. Gretta Kumpf on Monday went over scenarios for the 2020-2021 school year for which the district is planning.

Kumpf, during the Tipp City Board of Education meeting, said these scenarios went out in a letter to parents and community members on Friday and include restrictive, blended, and open scenarios. The restrictive scenario would be if schools faced a similar lockdown scenario as they did on March 13 with no in-person learning permitted. A blended scenario would allow for some in-person learning adapted to social distancing guidelines, but not all students would be able to attend in-person classes on the same days. An open scenario would be if classes could return to as close to a traditional school setting as possible.

“Our hearts desire that very much,” Kumpf said about the third scenario. “I think, regardless, there are going to be some changes.”

Kumpf said the district has begun measuring classrooms and other facility spaces in order to prepare for possible guidelines on social distancing. Other considerations the district will have to take into consideration will be busing, food service, recess, face masks or coverings, sanitation and cleaning, and clinic protocols.

“Busing with the social distancing is a real concern,” Kumpf said. “The projections are one student per seat unless they are from the same family.”

Later on, Kumpf went over the need to provide staff with professional development days in order to prepare them for whatever guidelines the state may provide in regard to the fall. The board approved amending the school calendar in order to move back the start date for students, establishing the first day for first through 12th grades as Monday, Aug. 31, and the first day for kindergarten as Wednesday, Sept. 2. The days of Oct. 23 and Feb. 12 on the school calendar will be student days. All other student days remain the same as originally scheduled.

The board also approved a memorandum of understanding between Tipp City Exempted Village Schools and the Tipp City Education Association (TCEA) for progressive supplemental salaries for fall 2020 sports activities and fall 2020 student extracurricular activities related to performances associated with marching band, vocal and instrumental music programs. The understanding includes provisions to allow for athletic coaches and directors of extracurricular athletics and/or other activities for, in the fall of 2020, to receive one-third of their salaries should restrictions prevent a full season from occurring in the fall. They will also receive full payment of their scheduled supplemental contracts if half of the season takes place.

Later on Monday evening, the board approved two policies for the district, one in regard to tuition students and one in regard to vacation and holidays for support staff. This new tuition student policy states the board has to decide on or before March 31 on whether or not the district will accept tuition students during the next school year. If the board doesn’t vote at all, no tuition students will be accepted for the ensuing school year. The policies were approved by board members Joellen Heatherly, Theresa Dunaway, Simon Patry, and Anne Zakkour. Board member Corine Doll was absent on Monday.

Also on Monday, the board held a lengthy discussion on approving creating a technology coordinator position, non-teaching position, and no longer utilizing a director of technology position, a previous administrative position. The discussion followed concerns the technology coordinator position did not match the job description to which the new hire Brad Bush applied, so the board approved changes to make the job description better match the description on the job listing, as well as outlined the essential job functions and qualifications for the position.

At the end of the board meeting, the board approved authorizing the district’s treasurer to enter into agreements with former employees of the district — including Paul Arthur Hoff, a former maintenance supervisor, and Kimberly Royse, a former maintenance/custodial employee — on behalf of the Tipp City Board of Education, to resolve issues related to payment for accrued vacation upon separation from employment that arose during the 2019-2020 school year. The school district will pay $4,947.18 to Hoff and $2,876.04 to Royse, according to those agreements.