Animal Assisted Therapy coming to PC ESC

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — Animal Assisted Therapy might be coming to the Preble County Alternative School.

The Preble County Educational Service Center (ESC) Board of Education will be asked to approve such a project in the future. During the ESC Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 28, the program was once again presented to the board.

Brent Krumdiack presented the Animal Assisted Therapy program to the board months earlier, noting the school had to check with lawyers and see if insurance could be provided for the project before moving forward. The Educational Service Center’s current insurance company wanted to see the policy Krumdiack held through the School Councilors Association and DOGTORS University, where he received his training.

They wanted to see both policies carry an umbrella policy which would cover all incidents that would involve the dog.

Krumdiack found another insurance company which would cover any incidents involving the dog, but to a sizable cost to Krumdiack himself. Since he already has two policies and this would be adding another with more complete coverage, Assistant to the Superintendent Shawn Hoff wanted to ask the board if they would be willing to offset or cover that cost.

“I’m asking. You can talk about it, I can answer any questions, or I can bring him back. It doesn’t need to be acted on now,” Hoff said. “We do have a solution to actually make this work.”

Board President Rhonda Schaar asked if the price would only cover Krumdiack and if they would need to add additional policies to expand the program.

“They would add the ESC as an additional insured on that. It was actually a little less than that, but to add the ESC as an additional insured on the certificate of insurance, the cost goes up,” Hoff said. “That covers anything that could happen with the dog. If we did anything additional, it wouldn’t change that at all.”

The board will be asked to approve the insurance for the program during the December Board of Education meeting.

In other business, according to Preschool Supervisor Debby Barnett, in the past months, the referrals for pre-school evaluations and special education have gone up significantly. Right now, there are 18 students in evaluation. The program is seeing more students referred and the significance of the disability is more than they’ve seen in the past, which is straining classrooms. They have had to add extra staff for safety reasons.

Superintendent Mike Gray attended the Western Ohio Advocacy Network (WOAN) meeting, where they discussed new bills and legislation that affects education. According to Gray, Governor Mike DeWine is going to focus on quality pre-school education while Senator Matt Huffman is going to continue to focus on deregulation.

One bill discussed was Senate Bill 82, which will require a public school to notify the parent of a student who fails to arrive at school and is not excused from attendance within two hours. Gray added, it was going to be one hour, but they thought it was “ridiculous.”

“We’re trying to get, if the kid is absent for one day, to not make the call until the second day. I think it is going to be there for two hours,” Gray said.

“If a child has been abducted, it is not going to be very beneficial to wait a whole day before calling,” Board Member Peggy Crabtree said.

According to board member Kevin Johnston, a similar situation is what inspired the bill.

Gray added, the first hearing for the high school graduation extended options bill — House Bill 630 — was held on Tuesday, Nov. 27. If passed, this bill will extend the alternative graduation requirements for two additional years.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH