Solon Superintendent Joseph Regano told the school board last week that the district plans to enforce the policy prohibiting vaping on school grounds when the academic year begins on Aug. 21.

Mr. Regano said at the July 31 meeting that although the policy regarding vaping in the student handbook has not changed, the district has found the issue is growing. Students found vaping will be automatically tested for marijuana or other illicit drugs, Mr. Regano said. If the drug test is negative, students are subject to a three-day suspension for vaping, and if the test is positive for illegal drugs, the student will enter into the district’s drug and alcohol policy and receive a 10-day suspension that can be reduced to five days if the student meets certain community service, drug testing and counseling requirements set forth by the district, he said.

“It makes no difference how you’re consuming marijuana or some other drug, if you are then you’re under that part of the policy,” he said. “And also we’ll go the extra mile to work with parents and students so they understand [the policy].”

In other business, renovations on the new Solon City School District Preschool on SOM Center Road (Route 91) are wrapping up as the new school year approaches.

Assistant Superintendent for Business and Personnel Fred Bolden said that occupancy inspections are underway with minor details left to complete the project. Teachers are set to move into the facility next week, with the preschool program officially moving to the SOM Center building from its current location at Arthur Road School when the school year starts later this month.

The Solon Board of Education approved a $224,950 contract with Mid State Restoration, Inc. for outside work and a $619,000 contract with Town Center Construction for interior remodeling work earlier this year after purchasing the former home of Congregation Kol Chadash and Learning Trails Preschool from the Cleveland Hebrew School & Institute last year for $1.7 million.

“Everything is going really well as far as all of the facilities upgrades and everything that we’ve been doing,” Mr. Bolden said. “The carpet is in, the mill work is all in, everything right now is just the finishing details.”

Mr. Bolden said the district was also able to save $6,000 per bus on the purchase of five new school buses for this school year by buying stock buses “on the lot” rather than ordering buses made to order for a total of $405,358.

The board also approved lists of certified bus drivers and substitutes for the 2019-20 school year and the hiring of high school speech and language pathologist Dominique Alioto at an annual salary of $52,857. Mr. Regano said the district is nearly fully staffed, but he anticipates at least one more hiring for a fourth-grade teacher position after enrollment numbers in fourth grade dictated adding another section.

The Solon Board of Education’s next meeting is Aug. 19 at 6 p.m.

Tim Tedeschi covers the Solon and West Geauga Board of Education, as well as statewide education issues, sports and features. He is a lifelong diehard Cleveland Indians fan and a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University.

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