A day shy of the end of the 2020 fiscal year, the Chardon Schools Board of Education approved a number of financial and administrative items during a board meeting broadcast via YouTube on Monday.

The board voted to approve Superintendent Michael Hanlon’s consent agenda, which included a number of agreements, including a staffing contract between the Geauga County Educational Service Center and Notre Dame Elementary School. There was also a revised service agreement between the Western Reserve Education Service Center and Chardon Local School District, as well as several approvals for various middle and high school handbooks for the 2020-21 school year.

Board members considered a pair of board policies that had their second reading, one for a medical leave act expansion and the other for extended sick leave as a result of the Department of Labor’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

District Treasurer Deb Armbruster walked the board through several financial items in need of approval including two donations. The first was a $600 contribution from the Fair Housing Resource Center to help purchase a new playground at the middle school.

The other was a gift of $5,877 from Hope for KIDS Geauga to pay for portable Wi-Fi hotspots that helped students who lacked stable internet access at their homes to complete work remotely after schools were closed in mid-March due to COVID-19.

“Access to internet is huge and it’s a big deal in areas across the country where people who don’t have access to these things,” board member Guy Wilson commented during the meeting.

Mrs. Armbruster then recommended the board approve the disposal of various school books, including 16 dictionaries and 53 literature textbooks, that the district will either sell or recycle. The board also approved a then and now certificate in the amount of $5,784 to help students who have graduated purchase textbooks for college.

“For certain students, it’s a great opportunity so it’s good,” Mr. Wilson explained. “The downside is we’re not given any additional funding to support this program. College textbooks are not cheap, so it doesn’t surprise me to see this amount of money. It is good, but ultimately costs above and beyond what the state gives us.

The next school board meeting is scheduled to stream on YouTube at 6:30 p.m. on July 20, with members meeting in the same room while audiences are required to tune in online.

“It’s going to be an in person meeting with streaming but still no other audience until we can do ones with just us and we’ve gotten approval,” Board President Madelon Horvath said.

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