MOUNT CARMEL — Wabash School District 348 Board Member Ryan Peter ended the last school board meeting with an impassioned speech pleading the board to defy state orders in a potential return to school in the fall.
After which, there was expected to be considerable discussion in regards to the board’s plan for a return to the classroom in Monday’s meeting.
The topic was discussed, but not at length, as it seems the board is on the same page about its options in a return to the classroom setting for fall learning.
The three potential reopening models discussed were: the normal resumption of school, a hybrid model, and lastly, remote learning.
Per the state mandates this spring, Wabash schools have experience in both a normal classroom setting, as well as remote learning — which the school began operating with in April.
“We are fully prepared for a normal resumption, we have experience with remote learning that will make everything more successful,” Superintendent Chuck Bleyer spoke of the varying methods. “The hybrid model however is an unknown, but we will prepare for this unknown. I’d like to stress that the faculty and staff at Wabash District 348 will make the best of whatever scenario that will befall on this community.”
“In thinking about school for next year — I think everybody on this board is fully committed to being back in August, unless the state mandates we’re not able to,” School Board President Tim Schuler added. “We hope and pray that doesn’t happen.”
The board approved the hiring of three faculty members for the 2020-2021 academic year:
- Julia Alka
- Annie Dardeen
- Sarah Morris
Alka was hired as a third grade teacher for the Mount Carmel Grade School, which is a new position mandated by increased numbers in enrollment.
Dardeen will be filling in as the eighth grade math teacher at the Mount Carmel Junior High School, filling a position left by Amy Kensler, who transferred to the Grade School.
Morris will be replacing Laura Taylor — who transferred to the Grade School — as the Junior High’s student council sponsor.
They also approved the resignation of Ivey Shehorn, who was a Paraprofessional at the Mount Carmel Elementary School.
Two positions will be seeing pay increases per the meeting, custodians and paraprofessionals. The board passed a measure to improve their pay rate to minimum wage effective July 1, and will revisit in December meeting.