Warren approves calamity plan

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) pertaining to calamity days was passed unanimously by the Warren Local Board of Education Tuesday evening.

Superintendent Kyle Newton said that the MOU is a step in the right direction for dealing with calamity days in the winter.

“This is really exciting,” he said. “I think this is groundbreaking; it’s very different in comparison to other school districts around us.”

Newton said that the first three snow/calamity days can be used as Teacher Waiver Days.

“The first three waiver days are for professional development for our teachers,” he said, adding that these are preapproved days where teachers can come in during the summer and work with different staff and principals to gain those days back.

“They will get credit for (those snow days),” he said. “That is a huge deal.”

Not only can teachers use days for summer, they can also report on a calamity day on a two-hour delay schedule. These days must be approved by the teacher’s immediate supervisor.

The subsequent three days are Blizzard Bag Days, where students will have take-home exercises during school closures or have exercises after they return to class.

“The benefits of teachers having professional development, or doing work with blizzard bags, (are) everybody gets something from it,” said Newton. “On average, we have six to nine snow days. If we only have six, we’re completely covered.”

Newton added that the next three days, calamity days seven, eight and nine, are days that will be forgiven.

“At (day) 10, we start to make time up,” he said. “It’s much different from (surrounding) districts…It puts the focus back on education.”

In other business, Treasurer Melcie Wells and board member Willie Holbert have been working on a new computer program to track repairs taking place at all the schools in the district.

“It’s a computer management maintenance program,” said Holbert. “We’re trying to track the cost of each facility. One of these days, when somebody asks …we can tell them how much we’ve spent in each building.”

The school district is also hiring two new teachers at Barlow-Vincent for grades six and seven.

Lori Lynn has been hired to teach sixth-grade on a one-year contract for the 2014/2015 school year.

Lucy MacDonald will teach seventh-grade reading, also on a one-year contract for the 2014/2015 school year.

Their salaries will be determined after their degrees and experience are verified.

There are also several retire/rehires for the district: Lydia Hunter for Warren Elementary and the junior high for a two-year contract, Sharon Westbrook for fifth-grade at Little Hocking and Katherine Hamrick for fifth-grade at Little Hocking.

Newton said that these teachers will be in the pay range between $30,469 and $39,610 for the year.