The Willard City Schools Board of Education approved a five-year contract for superintendent Jeff Ritz. The board also approved a one-year 3% raise.

Cynthia Shoup, district treasurer, received a one-year 3% raise. Both are effective Aug. 1.

At the end of the fiscal year on June 30, the district has a $1.6 million in carryover, according to Shoup.

“That was before any encumbered purchase orders,” Shoup noted. “We got all the grants closed in June. There are some that we are carrying over, but we got permission from ODE (Ohio Department of Education) to do that.”

In reviewing the maintenance report, Shoup said there is a unencumbered balance of $154,000. In August, the district will make its annual $97,000 in August. That is the yearly amount that must be deposited for the new building.

“We will be using more of the ESSER money,” Shoup pointed out. “We are trying to hold back on spending so much.”

The Willard City Schools will not offer online learning for elementary and middle school students with the coming year, according to Ritz.

“We will offer it to the high school students,” he pointed out. “It’s going to be a little bit different.”

Willard High School Principal Chris Schaaf, the high school will be using Ingenuity. It will eliminated students having to log into the class time with Google classroom and the teacher dealing with both. The program has been used, he noted, for credit recovery.

“Those kids that opt to go online, tour plan is to put a lot of restrictions on it,” he explained. “You can’t just say, ‘I’m going online.’

“You have to have a reason,” he said. “Parents will have to sign saying they understand their student is going to be online.

“That program grades it,” Schaaf pointed out. “We just need a teacher of record in a lab here. They won’t be grading it, but they will be monitoring the progress.”

Ritz said the district plans to use ESSER funds to hire what the district will call a Title teacher. Those funds can be used for extended learning.

“We have about $820,000 we have to spend,” Ritz said. “For the next two years, which is how long we will have that.”

The position was just posted. Ritz said they will move one of the existing teachers inside that wants that position.

“We will be moving them to that position for two years,” he explained. “Then they will go back into the classroom wherever an opening is at that point.”

Ritz said the district hire someone to take that place. The ESSER fund will pay for that position.

“This Title person is going to focus on help for the at risk,” he said. “And, we are going to have them do more with the gifted and talented kids. They both struggle.”

There are eight students who are in the gifted and talented program, according to Ritz. They are in grades K-12.

“The majority of their time is going to be dealing with the at risk kids,” he pointed out. “We are also going to do things with extended learning after school. We are also going to work with the Hope Center.”

Ritz also talked about the Critical Race Theory.

“I tell people we are covering the state standards,” he explained. “If the state standards change, we have to change. But as it stands right now, we are covering the state standards.”

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