Bethel board OKs open enrollment

Teacher contract talks continue

By Cecilia Fox -

BETHEL TWP. — The Bethel board of education voted on open enrollment and personnel before going into executive session to discuss contract negotiations.

The board approved the continuation of open enrollment, although Superintendent Ginny Potter pointed out that the district has not accepted open enrollment students to the elementary in several years.

She noted that continuing the program gives the district the option of accepting open enrollment students only if there is space or if district employees would like their children to attend Bethel schools.

The board voted to go into executive session after the meeting to discuss negotiations. Board president Jacob King said that no action concerning contract negotiations would be taken following the executive session.

The district will have a negotiation day with the Bethel Education Association on March 5.

“We hope for a great negotiations day,” King said. “I’ve been told that’s all I can say about that.”

Later in the meeting, BEA president Traci Brewer thanked the board for attending negotiations last Monday, adding that it was “great.”

Treasurer Tammy Emrick provided a budget update for the board. The district is currently over budget on revenues and under budget on the expenditure side, Emrick said. She noted that income tax revenues have been trending higher. The district ended January with $3.2 million in the general fund.

The board approved the hiring of Louisa Tsuchida, a middle school language arts teacher, as well as Randy Morgret, who had previously worked for the district and was returning to his former position as a bus driver. The board also approved several supplemental positions, including Brett Brookhart, varsity baseball; Corey Steinke, reserve baseball; Jeremy Reittinger, varsity girls softball; and Mark Clute, varsity girls track.

In other business, the board president answered questions submitted by parents and residents during the meeting, a section that was added to the meeting format last month.

Asked why the pep band makes more frequent appearances at boys sporting events, King said the district is reevaluating its policy for next year.

“The advisor does it voluntarily. In the tradition of the school, they’ve traditionally done all of the boys home basketball games and one of the girls basketball games,” King said. “One of the things that we’ve looked at to ensure we have a more inclusive environment is next year asking for more involvement, if it’s available, at the girls basketball games.”

King said the board has also received several questions about teacher resignations and if those departing teachers are being surveyed. King said that there is a “form of a survey,” which is shared with the board and administration.

Teacher contract talks continue

By Cecilia Fox

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