Herald Staff Writer
The school board meeting June 30 was brief, only about 45 minutes and that included an executive session halfway through, but it was significant. This was the board’s first in-person meeting in months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The meeting began with praises from the board members. Pat Boyle saluted the volunteers from the schools who helped clean up the Barberton VFW. The downtown landmark caught fire in May.
Boyle also praised the yearbook, which he said was great despite the kids being shut out of the school building for almost half the school year.
“I think the district did the best it could under the circustances,” Boyle said.
“It was nice to see the focus,” board member Megann Eberhart said.
Eberhart also wanted to heap praise on the Booster clubs, which managed to set a record for their Booster Box collections, despite the pandemic economic downturn.
“Our district got out front and lead this thing,” board President Dave Polacek said. “Things changed daily, sometimes hourly and we managed. I’m happy and proud to be a Barberton resident and a member of this board.”
The board approved an agreement with Suburban School Transportation Co. Inc. for transportation on a case-by-case basis. It also approved an agreement with the county Educational Service Center to help with teaching the visually impaired and hired Phil Hodanbosi on a 180-day consulting contract.
The board voted to send a grant request to the Barberton Community Foundation to acquire a suicide prevention program for the middle and high schools.
The board again approved the LEAP program for $147,147. The previous agreement had the wrong school year.
The board hired six assistant coaches, the assistant band director and the high school video club adviser. The board also hired Chris Yokum, an alumnus of the Four Cities Compact, as the new bus mechanic. With the new bus garage, the mechanic work is being brought home. For several years, Barberton’s school buses were serviced in Norton under a contract with that school district.
The board voted to spend $55,510 in grant money received from the Barberton Community Foundation to have the preschool playground refurbished.
The SME Education Foundation donated $81,645 worth of equipment for the Machine Trades program. The same program also got a $22,000 donation from the Catherine L. and Edward A. Lozick Foundation to pay for tool kits and classroom supplies.
Halfway through the meeting, the board adjourned for an executive session to discuss employment and compensation but took no action that night.