Parents air concerns about 4th grade class sizes

SYCAMORE – Parents of fourth-graders brought their concerns to the Mohawk Board of Education Monday evening.

The current fourth grade of 86 students is the largest of all the grades in the elementary. When in first grade, the students were taught by four teachers, but in the second and third grade they had three teachers. This year, there are three classes of 32, 27 and 27 students. This is the third year parents have voiced concerns about the large classes.

Superintendent Ken Ratliff said it was a scheduling issue, not a financial issue.

Board member Michelle Konkle said small class size is one of the benefits of Mohawk schools.

Board president Duane Coldiron made the analogy of “no matter how strong the work horse is, the load can be too much. Thirty-two students just seems too much with everybody bumping into each other.”

The board instructed the superintendent, administrators and parents to meet and present a plan at the next board meeting about how to reduce the class size for this year and the next two years.

Two representatives from Brewer-Garret made a presentation on options for improving or replacing the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. Options ranged from replacing elements of the current geothermal system to replacing the entire system with a conventional boiler system. The board will need to consider the initial investment, cost of ownership and energy savings.

The board voted to authorize $12,200 for an investment-grade audit by Brewer-Garret. Its report should be given to the board by October.

A trip to Nashville for the band April 16-19 was approved.

Paul “Bud” Cook and Brad Rice resigned as wrestling coaches. Nate Lofay was hired as head wrestling coach.

A number of new and revised board policies and bylaws were approved. They are to be posted on the district’s website.

Because it is “impractical to transport” students to Calvert Catholic School, the district has offered to pay six families to transport their students to Tiffin.

One-year contracts were approved for cafeteria workers, custodians, teachers aides, bus drivers, secretaries and substitute teachers.

The board approved preschool monthly tuition rates of $130 for two days and $195 for three days per week. The board chose to join the North Central Ohio Regional Council of Governments for shared services. Membership is free for the first year.

The board is to meet next at 7 p.m. Sept. 15.