PERRYSBURG — Due to the new hybrid teaching style to be used this school year, the board of education has partially suspended some non-teaching employee contracts.

A special meeting was held Monday to amend the 2020-21 contract with the non-teaching employees who are primarily being affected by the hybrid model of teaching. This is the model that the board accepted last week in response to the coronavirus. It includes virtual teaching as the primary method of education on Mondays.

“That arrangement does impact how we use staff moving forward,” said Superintendent Tom Hosler. “Some jobs rely on students being in class.”

The Ohio Revised Code does allow a partial suspension of a contract, he said.

With the hybrid, students will begin the year receiving in-person instruction at school Tuesdays to Fridays. On Mondays, school buildings will be open to employees who are assigned to report, some students will continue to attend to receive specialized services, and some staff members will report for enhanced building sanitation.

“The largest group is bus drivers,” Hosler said. “If there is no school, what role do they play?”

Employees in the transportation and monitor classifications will not have work on Mondays, and the board noted in the resolution that “a reduction in spending is prudent.”

Hosler did point out that the employees would continue to receive health care benefits.

Board members said that the decision is consistent with the Ohio Association of Public School Employees Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Bus drivers will have their work year calendars reduced from 189 days to 155 for the academic year.

Those employees in the monitor classification (high school and junior high school study hall monitors/paraprofessionals, kindergarten monitors, cafeteria and playground monitors) shall have their work year and work calendars reduced from 187 days to 153.

School board member Kelly Ewbank asked Hosler why cutting one day a week only resulted in an 18% pay cut.

He said that because of holidays, not all weeks are a full five days.

Hosler also said that he is worried that some of the employees who are receiving cuts may not return in the fall, because they will find other jobs.

Several board member questions also revolved around the number of students who may be using the full remote learning option and not attending school for face-to-face classes.

Hosler said that on Monday morning there were 161 students, but by the end of the day there were 196 opting for full remote learning.

Based on the survey conducted earlier in the summer, the expectation was that 4%, or approximately 225 students would be using the remote learning option. However, Hosler said that some school districts in Ohio are expecting that number to be as high as 20%.

The motion to cut the contracts was passed unanimously by the board.