ROSSFORD – Plans for a new multipurpose center at the school were discussed at the July board of education meeting.

Dave Serra, a principal with the Collaborative, Toledo, updated the board on plans for a proposed new 60,000-square-foot multipurpose building near the ball diamonds.

He said that the building would include facilities for sports such as basketball, tennis, volleyball, football, basketball, track and baseball as well as esports such as drone racing, band practice, and community activities.

There is no estimated cost for the new building, but Superintendent Dan Creps emphasized that the funding for the building would require neither a new levy request, nor dipping into the $29 million carryover in the general fund. Instead, funding will derived from income of sources such as the new Amazon Fulfillment Center payments.

Serra also described progress on plans for completing two additional ball diamonds by the end of August. As with the first two diamonds, the infield will have artificial turf over concrete, with drainage installed underneath to alleviate chronic flooding problems. Additionally, he said they are ready to order the new high school score board.

Creps reminded the board that the new equipment was paid for with donations.

Also at the meeting, board member Tiffany Densic objected to sections of the new 6-12 grades social studies curriculum proposed to for adoption.

Densic voted against adopting an updated version of McGraw Hill textbooks and materials, maintaining that some passages were untrue.

Megan Spangler, curriculum director, said that after extension research, the entire 6-12 social studies department agreed that McGraw Hill’s content best met the needs of their students. Teachers stated that McGraw Hill’s resources closely aligned to Ohio’s standards, when compared to those of other publishers. McGraw Hill couples traditional text books with online resources, Spangler said. Digital components allow the reading levels of texts to be adjusted to accommodate diverse learners.

However, Densic said she had read passages in the textbooks which she felt were untrue, including statements such as “In 1776, the phrase, saying all men are created equal, was only for white persons.” Densic also questioned whether Critical Race Theory was being introduced into the curriculum, which Spangler firmly denied.

Dawn Burks, board president, said that all textbooks have different ways of interpreting history and it was the teachers who found the right way to teach the materials.

Board member Sharon Belkofer said that to say that CRT was being taught is not true. However, explaining what happened and why it happened was not unreasonable, she said.

The board approved the new social studies curriculum as well as the new math curriculum, with Densic voting against.

In a related matter, visitor Melissa Luderman complained about a staff training exercise presented by Amanda Conley that was “racist, cop-hating and full of contradictions.”

Conley had been hired by the school district to have a discussion with the staff about diversity issues and strategies.

Board member Kent Murphree said that the presentation did not talk about CRT, but that it was important to discuss the broad issues.

Burks said diversity training was part of the board’s previously approved strategic plans.

In other news, Murphree told the board that the Bulldog Foundation would be holding their Extravaganza on Oct. 28 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg. The purpose of the event is to raise funds for academic and extracurricular activities. He said speakers for the event include Archie Griffin and Lee Conklin.

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