TVS preparing for new school year, hears from residents

By Kelsey Kimbler -

WEST ALEXANDRIA — Twin Valley Community Local Board of Education updated the school’s breakfast and lunch prices for the 2019-2020 school year during its meeting on Monday, July 22.

Regular priced lunch will be: Grades K-8 $2.95; Grades 9-12 $3.10; adults $3.70.

Reduced price lunch will be: all grades $0.40.

Regular priced breakfast: all grades $2 and adults $2.25.

Reduced price breakfast: all grades free.

Two members of the public also chose to speak during the public participation portion of the meeting.

Lisa Greyhouse spoke to the board about special education aides and asked for the board’s support.

“I just want to make sure the board would approve funds for special education aides, if needed. My son is special needs, he has an aide, and I heard there were some moving around. I know you guys haven’t done that, but I wanted to make sure, if needed, you guys would approve aides,” she said.

Laura Adams spoke to the board about the district’s vaccine requirement papers and what she would like to be added to the sheets.

“On these papers it reads, that the child must bring appropriate documentation to school that they have received the required vaccinations, or they can be held from coming to school. That is, basically, what they say. Nowhere on these forms does it mention anything about the actual Ohio law of exemptions,” she said.

“Technically, you would either have to prove in the State of Ohio that you have the vaccines, or that you have had the diseases themselves and are therefore immune from them, or a signed exemption from a parent or guardian. In Ohio, we have three exemptions.

“We have the philosophical, religious, and medical. The religious one I know I’ve seen where I’ve had parents reach out to me that they were questioned about their religion, which is against the law constitutionally to question which religion someone is stating as their reason to not vaccinate. The denial, harassment of, or failure to inform parents of their right to reasons of conscious, religious convictions, or medial exemptions in the State of Ohio is unethical, unconstitutional, and violates Ohio Revised Code,” she continued. “The school website and all written notices stating parents are required to submit immunization records or child will be omitted from participation at school, should also state, unless parent has submitted a reasons of conscious, religious, or medical exemption.

“Failure to do so is a direct violation of the rights of Ohio parents, and the right to a free and appropriate public education for their children. Also, when providing an exemption based on religion, schools may not require proof of religion. U.S. Constitution only requires that a religious belief be religious in nature and sincerely held. Furthermore, we need to look at this as a district issue, if parents are not aware of these rights of exemption, then it is going to be a lot easier for State Legislatures to take away these exemptions.”

“What that is going to lead to is parents like myself who will not vaccinate our children any further or at all, we would have to pull our children from school,” Adams said. “If we are not making people aware that these exemptions are there for us in Ohio, then we are going to look at a situation where a lot of children are going to have to be withdrawn from school, which is going to affect the entire district.”

She requested the wording be changed on the vaccine requirement papers. She added, she would like to get on the agenda eventually to speak in deeper detail. The board agreed to look into the matter.

In other business:

•Superintendent Scott Cottingim updated the board on updates to the building and grounds. He also shared with the board the Crayons to Classrooms program which will be piloted in various Preble County school districts.

•The board approved a contract with the Butler County Educational Services Center for Professional Development, Instructional Coaching, and Strategic Planning Support for the 2019-2020 school year at a total of $47,500.

•The board approved Derick Meyers as athletic field painter at a cost of $150 per week for approximately 13 weeks, effective July 30.

Twin Valley Community Local Schools Board of Education will hold its next meeting on Monday, Aug. 26, at 6 p.m. in the TVS Media Center.

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