By Linda Dillman
The Jan. 11 Canal Winchester school Board of Education meeting found a new president wielding the gavel, a new second-in-command and the superintendent hopeful students can to return to full in-person instruction before the end of the school year.
Mike Yonnotti was elected board president and Kevin Butler elected vice president. Yonnotti will serve as the district’s Ohio School Board Association legislative liaison, Monika Talley volunteered for the business advisory committee and Matt Krueger and Jon Metzler will serve on the Canal Winchester Joint Recreation District board.
Hoping to get back to in-person class
Superintendent James Sotlar said his main goal, at least for the next month and a half to two months of school, is to get kids back to school full time. He said Gov. Mike DeWine has a plan to get vaccinations for educators by Feb. 1.
“I don’t have any more details about that plan,” said Sotlar. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take to distribute the vaccine out to schools.”
However, Sotlar said his goal is by late winter or early spring to have students back in school five days a week.
“I think it’s extremely important to get our kids back as soon as possible,” said Sotlar. “I’ll be working closely with the union, the governor’s office and Franklin County Department of Health in getting these vaccines set up for our school district.”
Sotlar also shared information on enrollment numbers for the Canal Winchester Online Academy versus the school-based learning tract. For the first semester, 35 percent—1,324 students—were enrolled in the all-online academy, whereas 2,464 or 65 percent of the total 3,788 student enrollment was in the district’s school-based (hybrid) model.
For the second semester, the numbers for Canal Winchester Online Academy dropped to 28 percent and the number in the school-based tract increased to 72 percent or 2,741 students.
“We saw more students go from CWOLA to hybrid,” Sotlar said.
Treasurer Nick Roberts said revenue continues to trend 1.3 percent above where the district was at the same time last year, coupled with a similar trend in expenditures.
“It’s always a good sign when your revenues have increased as much as your expenditures at this point,” said Roberts. “Revenue is 50.1 percent of the forecast and we’re halfway through the (fiscal) year. We’re right where we need to be as far as expenditures…trending towards that 1.7 million revenue over expenditures.”