PERRYSBURG — The school board has suspended or partially suspended 38 food service workers.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board also approved Aug. 25 as the new start date for kindergarten through sixth grade students.
There will be 19 employees whose jobs will be suspended and another 19 employees will have partial suspensions, resulting in their hours reduced.
“We didn’t eliminate the job. It’s just that we do not need it at this time, given the changers to food service. It will come back when we resume a regular, non-hybrid, school year,” said Superintendent Tom Hosler.
The district will be using a hybrid model of instruction for the 2020-21 school year. Part of that new methodology is virtual computer-based classes on Mondays, resulting in students not attending in-person instruction on that day. Lower participation in purchasing school lunches is anticipated at those buildings.
The change affects both the junior high school and high school.
Additionally, there has been state and federal guidance to minimize the congregation of students in cafeterias. The district will be providing “brown bag” and “grab and go” lunch options until the traditional food service model can be resumed.
Last week there were reductions to hours for bus drivers and some other employees, but no layoffs. All of those employees were able to retain benefits like health care.
Because there were job cuts employees went through a “bumping process,” where the lay-offs were based on job seniority, Hosler said..
“When everyone’s jobs are cut across the board, everyone is treated the same, which means no bumping,” he said.
Food service employees who had hours reduced had not were already not working enough hours to have health care benefits.
The Free or Reduced Price Meal Program will be continuing and will not be reduced for the students that are included in the program.
In other business it was reported that 593 students, or 10.4%, will be using the Virtual Campus and not attending face-to-face classes.
Because of the social distancing requirements it was previously determined that there would not be enough bus availability to transport high school students. That may change for some.
“Because of the number of parents who are choosing to transport their own students, we’re optimistic that there may be some areas that could have service. It may be an opportunity for families who are struggling with the situation. We are working on it,” Hosler said.
The board also approved Aug. 25 as a new start date for students kindergarten through sixth grade.
The Jacket Jumpstart days will also all be shifted back one day.
Students were to have a staggered start to school. Some had been starting on the previous Friday. That will now be used as another in-service day for teachers to get the schools more prepared for the many changes that were not there in previous years.
“Virtually all aspects of school procedures will be changed due to COVID-19. From classroom seating, unloading and loading buses, restroom breaks, lunches, individual cleaning protocols, and recess, for example, staff serving students in grades K-6 needs to implement, evaluate, and finalize each building’s plan,” Hosler said. “Consider the view of what these changes will look like from the eyes of a student. Having teachers and staff comfortable and confident in these procedures are vital to a warm and welcoming start to the school year.”