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No raises for EP teachers in new contract

EAST PALESTINE — Board members indicated the East Palestine teachers and staff have agreed to new one-year tentative contract, which the board voted to approve on Monday.

Superintendent Chris Neifer said with the current financial situation at the school, the new contracts with East Palestine Education Association (EPEA) and with the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) do not include any pay raises or major changes. The contracts only change a few things, such as making certain employees are in the building 50 minutes before students so they can participate in planning sessions and improvement teams.

While the school district continues to have concerns about finances, there are some new things being launched for this upcoming school year. A new app for phones allow parents and students to get the latest information about events at school, cancellation alerts and even cafeteria menus. The app has launched in time for this school year. The school’s website also has a new look and improvements.

Additionally, there will be a robotics class available to students this year through the Justin Powers Foundation.

During last week’s meeting, Principal James Rook took board members through the various ways high school students at different grade levels can graduate. With ever changing requirements through the state, Rook said the high school has started meeting often with students, focusing on the seniors each year to make certain they are on at least one of the pathways needed. Neifer compared meeting the newest set of requirements each year “more than hitting a moving target.”

A state of the schools speech is planned for 7 p.m., Oct. 9 in the auditorium.

In other matters before the board:

— The board transferred $20,000 from the general fund to the athletic fund. When board member Ronald Novak questioned why, Treasurer Rick Ellis explained there was not enough revenue in sports and too man expenses.

— The board approved a resolution to bring seven returning open enrollment students and five new ones into the district this school year. Additionally, the board approved a resolution with the ESC of Cuyahoga County to admit tuition pupils for the school year.

— The board approved Holly Price, bus driver; Tina Cienik, van driver; Sherri Perkins, HS aide; Bill Sattler, school resource officer; Beth Stewart and Joseph Raniolo, custodian; and Terri Ward transportation aid and athletic worker.

–The board approved Rick Hostetter and Dan Kibler as split-contract wrestling coaches; Andrew Cunningham, cross country volunteer; and Austin Barone, HS boys basketball volunteer.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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