School Board OKs contract for Supt. Yates

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local

The Lebanon District School Board approved a two-year contract for Supt. Bo Yates for 2022-24 at its May 19 meeting.
Board members Richard Borden and Mike Martin expressed appreciation for recent public involvement in the process.
Borden said it’s common to not receive any public feedback on the matter, but this year he did, both from people in favor and people against the renewal. He said it’s not a simple process and it’s been a “very interesting” year.
“This is something we’ve always wanted, and we’re starting to see that,” he said of the public input.
Martin said he’d rather hear what the community is thinking than hear them get upset after the board has made a decision.
“I appreciate the comments and it gets me to think a little deeper about the decisions I’m making,” Martin said.
Before approving the contract, Board Member Tammy Schilling noted the prior contract was for three years at a lower rate, but wanted it to be clear that the new contract is in line with the same increase received by certified staff.
She said it’s been difficult to scrutinize the process because the last couple years with COVID-19 disrupted a standard assessment of Yate’s work.
“So this is really difficult, but I kind of consider this (new contract) an extension so we can get back to where we started from, and on that same road moving forward,” she said.
Also during the meeting, the board tabled for next month an update to a policy regarding Naloxone (commonly known as the brand, Narcan). Two similar paragraphs were added to the district’s medications policy stating: “Naloxone or any other similar medication that is in any form available for safe administration and that is designed to rapidly reverse an overdose of an opioid drug may be administered by trained, designated personnel to any student or other individual on school premises who the person believes in good
faith is experiencing an opioid overdose.”
Schilling asked to remove a request for approval of the policy change so that the district could present more information on the matter.
When Narcan first came on the market and was presented as an option to the school district in 2017, the district did not opt to install the treatment as on option at schools, partly because it wasn’t urgently needed and partly because a school nurse employed at the time did not want to subject herself to potential liability, said Asst. Supt. Jennifer Meckley.
But given the recent scare with fentanyl, she believes the drug-reversal treatment is now much more important.
Details – such as where the treatments would be stored and what its shelf life is – would still need to be figured out, but Meckley made it clear that if or when the district makes Narcan available, there will be training on the treatment and its use.
Still, Schilling wanted more information before approving the changes.
“I think we need statistics of how many overdoses on school property,” she said. “I like those facts before I just make a decision like this.”

In other business, the school board:
♦ Approved an audit submitted by Pauly, Rogers and Co., PC, which gave the district a clean report. Given the amount of federal funding with “strings attached” received by the district, Business Director William Lewis III was pleased with the audit’s report;
♦ Approved a resolution for the transfer of up to $150,000 as a loan from the special revenue capital projects fund to the textbook adoption fund in order to purchase textbooks earlier than usual;
♦ Heard a summer school update by Meckley. Within four hours of sending out summer school invitations, the district received 66 enrollments for K-7.
For high school students, counselors are tracking those students who need to make up credits in order to graduate and working on ways to recruit. The first 200 students to earn “on track” status or 1.5 credits by summer school’s end will be taken on a field trip. “That’s hopefully a re-enforcer for some kids,” Meckley said. Summer school begins June 1.
♦ Approved a contract for Meckley.
♦ Heard a report from Human Resources Director Kim Grousbeck about House Bill 4030 which allows funding of a one-time grant in the amount of $480,000 for recruitment and retention.
♦ Heard public comment from Matt Wyatt and Jason Powell. Wyatt said he thought the bond proposal lacked enough detail explaining, to the penny, where the money would be spent. He suggested a budget breakdown similar to how the school budget is written.
“Projects and bonds could then be cross-referenced against school budget funds, COVID relief money and other grants before asking taxpayers for more money,” he said.
Wyatt also said he thinks the district needs new direction with the replacement of the current superintendent.
Powell talked about the facilities assessment report that reported five schools are at risk of collapse, and the $20 million bond request that wouldn’t be enough to fix everything, in addition to putting half of that toward a new pool. He went on to say the district needs to get its priorities in order.