Five positive coronavirus tests and the move to online-only classes weighed heavily on Kenton City School District superintendent Dr. Jennifer Penczarski as she addressed the community during Monday night’s board meeting.
The regular monthly session saw a visit by State Representative Jon Cross, who outlined two pieces of legislature he hopes to have passed in the lame-duck session: House Bill 756, which would amend current statewide regulations regarding substitute-teacher qualifications to make them a decision of each individual district; and House Bill 305, which would provide Ohio with a constitutional educational funding formula.
Superintendent Penczarski would echo Cross’s pleas for community members to help the district in any way possible.
“Anything you can do to help us will keep us open,” said Penczarski, adding that such positions as cafeteria workers and educational aides do not need four-year degrees.
The move to remote learning for Kenton City Schools was brought about by a 20-percent attrition rate among staff Monday, along with three students and two staff members receiving positive COVID-19 tests.
“We want to be open, and we will be open,” said Penczarski, “but we need more subs.”
Of concern to Treasurer Jill Smith was the district’s five-year budgetary forecast, which indicated about $110,ooo in deficit spending. Smith attributed these monetary shortfalls to the shock effect of COVID-19 on the economy, with revenue streams from casinos and other regional sources being halved or worse.
Other items of business at Monday’s meeting included an upcoming Career Center Virtual Open House, which is scheduled for Tuesday, December 8, from six until 7:30 p.m., the retirement of longtime middle-school secretary Carol Maag, and the acceptance of a new Health Reimbursement Arrangement with American Fidelity.
Of the five current board members, two attended in person, two appeared through videocall, and one remained absent.