The Barnesville Exempted Village School Board of Education approved a one-year limited contract for Blake Allen as head Barnesville High School football coach at its meeting Thursday, March 30. (See article on Page B1). The board also accepted Allen's resignation as the team's offensive coordinator, a position he has held for the past two years. Allen, a 2007 BHS graduate and stand-out athlete, currently teaches ninth grade English there. At its February meeting, the board accepted the resignation of head coach Luke Johnson who held that position for the past five years.

Under administrator's reports, Transportation and Maintenance Director John Blattler reported that the nine, new propane powered buses were in service and the fuel site was completed the previous week. Drivers were trained on how to use the pumps and were tested and certified through the State Fire Marshal's office. He invited board members to see the fuel site.

Blattler said five of the seven diesel buses were at Cardinal and would be decommissioned. He will witness that on April 4. He said two of the buses have been given to the district for use in training with the Barnesville Fire Department.

"The EPA was gracious enough to give back to us two buses. We're going to use those two buses to practice extrication," he said.

Those buses are at the old dairy site and Cardinal officials will come there to decommission them He said a couple of local wrecker services have volunteered their time to remove the scrap when the training is finished. Blattler said the training will likely take place in May and students may be involved in a "mock disaster." He said Barnesville Fire Department Assistant Chief Tim Hall approached him with the idea and will be inviting several local fire and EMS departments to take part in the training. He invited school board members to attend.

"I think it is a really good opportunity," Blattler said.

He reported that the district received another grant, this one for the testing of lead in drinking water. Blattler said the grant through House Bill 390 was received and the testing was done at the elementary and high schools (having been constructed prior to 1990) and the results came back "well below" the allowed amount which is 15 parts per million. He said the results will be available for public viewing soon.

In answer to a question from Board President Robert Miller, Blattler said the Building and Grounds Committee had interviewed three architects prior to the board meeting that night for a planned bus garage. Board member Scott Baker said the committee would soon make a recommendation to the board.

Athletic Director Mark Cook said the spring sports season had begun and was going well with all but the junior high track team having competed already. He said the baseball and softball teams had been fortunate to play all three nights at the Barnesville Memorial Park field despite the rain. He said the field was in excellent condition and games would be played at the SR 800 North field this week.

Saturday, April 8 the district will host its annual track meet. He said work at the track was going well and a concrete pad and been poured for bleachers that day. He said the maintenance department installed a new long jump take off board. The board approved a contract with Fisher Tracks and corresponding purchase order #51495 in the amount of $53,200 for track resurfacing.

Elementary School Principal Clint Abbott said it was a busy time of year. He reported that over 600 grandparents attended Grandparents Day activities in each grade level held over two days. He said both preschool and kindergarten registrations have begun. Currently 95 students are registered for kindergarten, however, typically more are added over the summer. Abbott said he hoped the number would stay around 95 and said he felt the school had done a good job in publicizing the registrations.

Abbott said a spring book fair that week went very well and he was amazed at how many books the students purchased. "Our kids like to read," he said.

He noted K-4 students attended the BHS musical, The Sound of Music and were very well behaved. High School Principall Micah Fuchs and Middle School Principal Julie Erwin both also praised the musical and noted that students from all grade levels were part of the cast. Erwin said her students were also well behaved and congratulated director Brianna Warner and the students involved. Fuchs said opening night attendance was "record setting" for the past few years. He said over 300 people attended that night and said each performance was exceptional.

"I think the musical program has grown a little bit, and I know we have a lot of younger kids involved and that is good," Fuchs said noting that he could hear the reaction of the elementary students to the musical. "The whole auditorium was just roaring and you could hear it all over the building," he said thanking the administration for allowing the elementary and middle school students to attend.

Fuchs said the high school will be an exploratory school for High Schools That Work next year.

All three principals said state testing had begun. Staff at all three buildings were also working on Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports.

Fuchs said some students were in Washington D.C. on a field trip that week and others attended a prom safety event held at the Ohio Valley Mall and sponsored by AAA earlier that day. He said schools from all over the country attended and BHS had 150 attend.

He said the business class was making commercials and five were voted on with one to be chosen to be shown on the district's web page.

"I think they did an excellent job. These kids are really creative and they really have positive strengths that we can highlight through these programs that you have allowed us to create and develop and I hope that as time progresses we will just see more continued success with our students in these areas," Fuchs said.

He noted that himself, Abbott, Allen, and BHS guidance counselor Natasha Shilling would be playing for the Barnesville Rotary Club against the Harlem Wizards at Ohio University Eastern this week as a fundraiser for the Belmont County Rotary clubs. Erwin said one of the Wizards players would be coming to the school for an assembly.

Erwin said the middle school completed its Making Middle Grades Work plan and developed three areas of focus. Areas of focus will include PBIS and literacy training for all subjects. Erwin said all subjects now have literacy standards and some science, math and social studies teachers are struggling with how they can apply those standards to their teaching. Universal Design for Learning, a set of principals for curriculum development, is another focus group.

She said activities at BMS included a contest through the School Climate group, and the development of Testing Survival Kits for teachers.

Erwin said Gifted and Talented in Education students recently competed and the "Spain" group received an award for their costumes, while Hailey Stewart received an individual award for Leadership, an award the school had never before received.

An art fair will be held for BMS students on April 13 and Cutting Class for a Cure will be held May 19.

The board issued a one-year supplemental contract for the 2017-2018 school year to Nick Saffield as head bowling coach.

The board also accepted the resignation of Jessica Leach as Middle School Art Teacher, and the retirement of Paula Nowak as high school aide, both effective at the end of this school year.

Merna Bettinger was approved as a substitute teacher, and Heidi Fisher was approved as a tutor for a homebound special needs high school student. The board approved a contract with Rebekah Detling as a long-term substitute teacher.

The following supplemental contracts will not be renewed at the conclusion of this school year: Devin Nicholes and Chris Hannahs, assistant football coaches; Mark Brown, head girls' and head boys' cross country coaches; Kelsey Leach, head cheer coach; and Joseph Stephen and Josh Moore, assistant boys's basketball coaches.

The board went into executive session to consider employment; preparing for, conducting or reviewing negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation or other terms and conditions of their employment; and matters required to be kept confidential by federal law or regulations or state statutes.

The board approved a $250 donation from Barnesville Rotary to GATE-Ohio Model United Nations.

The board adopted Resolution #17-11 Inter-District Open Enrollment Guidelines, Resolution #17-11 Inter-District Open Enrollment Guidelines, and Resolution #17-12 to approve the enclosed 2017-2018 school calendar for the 2017-2018 school year.