ESC has new plan to find substitute teachers; moves autism program PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Staff Writer   
Saturday, 29 June 2013 08:36
In its ongoing effort to provide services to area school districts, the governing board of the Wood County Educational Service Center on Tuesday approved the first agreement with its new Wood County Substitute Network.
Eastwood Local Schools is the first district to join forces in the program which is designed to ease some of the burdens in obtaining substitute teachers during the school year. The ESC and its affiliation with Rachel Wixey & Associates, will provide and organize qualified substitutes to the district.
Superintendent Kyle Kanuckel said there are other districts in the county which are considering their use of the service.
The board also approved an agreement with Bowling Green State University which will allow the "Mr. B. Cool" to appear at select Falcon athletic events. Mr. B. Cool is the mascot of The New Cool program which is designed to alert the students regarding the dangers of alcohol and drug use. The mascot will appear on the floor of the Stroh Center with Freddie and Frieda Falcon at one basketball game. The ESC is spending $6,000 for the advertising promotion contract with BGSU.
Belinda Rhoads, director of the Special Education, Early Childhood, and Gifted Services, announced that a long-standing home for the autism and related programs is moving. Wood Lane School has previously provided classrooms for the autism program; however its needs have expanded and there are no "extra" rooms available.
Thus the autism program will now be housed in North Baltimore.
Though few people really desire great changes in their routines, it is especially true of those who deal with autism in their lives.
"It's really a win-win situation," Rhoads said. "They will learn that changes are a part of the bigger world."
The students will be integrated into a high school experience, but will be done with the current staff and teachers moving right with them to ease the transition.
Rhoads also informed the board that the PATHE Center is facing overcrowding for the 2013-14 school year. The creative solution is that the seniors who attend PATHE will attend morning classes at the ESC, then will seek and be employed in the community in the afternoons.
Rhoads said the goal is to find opportunities for the students close to the ESC to make getting to their job easy.
The board also approved the hiring of Judith Hilinski as the special education supervisor, assuming the duties of Rhoads. She will be working four days a week with a salary of $53,065 per year. Rhoads who previously submitted her resignation and will continue to serve the ESC on a part-time basis three days a week. She has been employed at the ESC since 1994.
Kyle Clark, who has supervised the ongoing Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative said they were approved for an extension. The five-year grant has expired, however the first year was a start up year and much of the allocated funds for that year were not spent. The grant allows for the extension to spend unused funds during the sixth year.
"We will continue almost all of our services for the upcoming year," Clark said.
Board member Larry Tussing was not in attendance for the sixth consecutive meeting. He was elected to the board on Nov 8, 2011 for a four-year term that began Jan. 1, 2012. His last appearance at board meeting was in December.
According to Kanuckel, there are no regulations requiring attendance at meetings. The superintendent said it is his understandings that the newest board member has scheduling conflicts with his employer.

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