Grievance Rejected

The Warren County School District’s board of directors held a special meeting prior to scheduled committee meetings Monday night to handle a number of housekeeping items and address a grievance related to personnel.

The meeting began with an executive session in regards to a personnel matter. Directors met behind closed doors to discuss the issue with administration and legal counsel under a personnel privacy provision in the state Sunshine Act.

While details on the matter were protected, final board action was added and conducted publicly. Director John Grant made a motion that the board reject the grievance discussed in executive session and find the action taken by the district giving rise to the grievance to be justified.

The board voted unanimously to accept Grant’s motion.

Directors also addressed a number of other items already on the special meeting agenda.

A budget transfer of $4,148.76 was approved. The measure adjusts usage of Perkins Grant funds from training to instructional equipment.

An affiliation agreement with Western Governor’s University was approved. The agreement outlines the protocol for students of Western Governor’s to participate in student teaching internships through the school district. Western Governor’s is an online university. There were questions concerning the need for the measure.

“I guess I don’t understand why we need another agreement with this university when we have all the universities around here,” Director Thomas Knapp said.

District Director of Administrative Support Services Amy Stewart noted such agreements are generally provided at student request.

“We have folks that will come to us and request that,” Stewart said. “That’s a request for students that need to student teach… that’s not something you can do virtually.”

Stewart also noted there are Western Governor’s students, and some faculty, in the area.

The measure passed on a 7-2 vote with Knapp and Mary Anne Paris voting against.

Supplemental contracts for cyber courses being offered in the district were unanimously passed after directors expressed concerns regarding requirements for staff to receive the supplements. The supplements are provided to teachers whether students take the courses or not.

“This is a new process we’re going through,” District Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Gary Weber said. “We’re offering a lot of courses as cyber courses utilizing our own teaching staff rather than going out for services.”

“These are high traffic areas,” Stewart added, explaining the courses offered are those with high enrollment. She also noted employees receiving the supplements had to receive special training. “That’s what we’re paying them regardless for.”

Dual enrollment agreements with the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and Clarion University were approved. The approvals are continuances of agreements the district had with the two schools last year.

Routine personnel measures in anticipation of the upcoming school year were also approved.