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Innovative Middle School teaching and learning at B-C-S

Pictured above, left to right, are award winning athletes Bryce Buderer, Cooper Hicks, Jeremy Balboa, Ben Petersen and Andrea Cecil, along with Coach Tom Kontak and Director of Athletics Drew Grahl.

At its March 18 meeting, the Benton-Carroll-Salem Board of Education heard first hand from students and teachers at Oak Harbor Middle School about innovations that increase student achievement, highlighting how teaching and learning continue to evolve using technology. 

Language arts teacher Mr. Kelly Croy and some of his students discussed how students are able to get peer feedback on their presentations using a secure online platform. Science teacher Mr. Aaron Bomer and his students explained how he is able to provide immediate feedback to his students using online software to ensure that students stay on the right track when doing school work after school and on weekends. OHMS Principal Mrs. Marie Wittman explained how student-led conferences piloted by Mr. Kyle O’Neill this school year have increased and enriched the level of parent involvement in their child’s education.

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BCS Volunteer Appreciation Night

The Intra-District Committee of the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District will host a Volunteer Appreciation and Recruitment Night on Thursday, April 3, at the Oak Harbor High School Cafeteria. This event is open to current volunteers, people interested in learning more about volunteering, school staff, and all community members. 

Doors open at 6 p.m. with a welcome from Superintendent Guy Parmigian.  Free pizza and a free open swim will be available from 6:15-7:30 p.m.  The walking track will also be open during this event. 

This will be an opportuninty to meet representatives from school organizations, network and learn about becoming a volunteer for BCS Schools to make a difference in the lives of students.  Volunteers are needed to work directly with students, work behind the scenes (yard work, office work, bulletin boards, etc.) and work on special projects (website, Career Day, taking photos, etc.).

Door prizes for this event have been donated by African Safari Wildlife Park, Allied Chiropractic of Fremont, Bill's Auto, Coffee Express, Drown's Dairy and Ella Lou handmade creations on Etsy. 

Call 419-898-6210 to make reservations, to ensure proper amounts of pizza and lifeguard staffing are available.

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B-C-S Board welcomes Science Olympiad students

Oak Harbor High School Science Olympiad Advisor Mrs. Lauretta Swint along with Science Olympiad students Nathan Purk, Nikki Weis, and David Birchall.

To open their Feb. 25 meeting, the B-C-S Board of Education welcomed Oak Harbor High School Science Olympiad students Nathan Purk, Nikki Weis, David Birchall, along with their advisor, Mrs. Lauretta Swint. The students explained that the projects that they prepare for Science Olympiad competitions help to sharpen their skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) areas. The students provided details on the trials and challenges of competing against students from across the region. These challenges include the logistics of moving projects into competition areas because of the precise construction and engineering that the projects require. The students went on to explain the fun and learning that are part of many hours that they put in working on their projects, and praised the dedicated efforts of their advisor, Mrs. Swint. They also highlighted the accomplishments of Science Olympiad students over the past five years, and expressed the personal satisfaction they gain from being part of the group.

The Board then approved the Treasurer’s report, which showed that the district revenues continue coming in above budget, while expenses continue to come in below budget.

In personnel matters, the Board accepted the resignation for retirement purposes of several employees, including Michele Boussalia, teacher at Oak Harbor High School, and Lynn Brownell and Joy Ceraldi, teachers at R.C. Waters Elementary School. The Board also approved the retirement and re-employment (for a period of two years) of Charles Morse, teacher at Oak Harbor Middle School. The re-employment of teachers under the provisions of emeritus employment (otherwise known as retire-rehire) saves the school district approximately $25,000 per year in salary and benefits. The Board also authorized the employment of Keith Kirby and John Pratt as technology assistants for the district, approved supplemental contracts for employees directing the spring musical for Oak Harbor High School, approved Rick LaFountain as a volunteer boys’ tennis coach, and approved the employment of Tracie Branum as the middle school track coach. 

In other business, the Board gratefully accepted a $200 donation from Jason and Brooke Sandwisch to benefit the new press box project at the Oak Harbor High School Softball Field. The Board also accepted the donation of $300 from Karen Stein of BP. BP allows employees to choose an organization to receive a donation through the BP Fabric of America Fund, and Ms. Stein elected to make her donation to benefit the softball program.

In discussion items, the Board discussed a possible partnership with the Commodore Perry Credit Union that would result in growing leadership and team-building skills for students, as well as increasing financial literacy. The Board also discussed partnering with other school districts and businesses from across Ottawa County to help ensure that students are aware of the high-quality employment opportunities, from the service industry to manufacturing and the skilled trades, that are available in Ottawa County. Superintendent Guy Parmigian indicated that B-C-S School District wants to be part of the solution in developing a quality workforce pipeline for the employers of Ottawa County.

The next regular B-C-S Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 18, at 6 p.m. at the Board of Education Office. This is a change from the normal meeting time of the fourth Tuesday of each month.

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