Tech director resigns from Patrick Henry Faculties | Native Training

HAMLER — Monday evening at 7 p.m., Patrick Henry Local School Board of Education held its October meeting and heard the latest COVID updates and accepts the resignation of the technology director.

Superintendent, Dr. Josh Biederstedt, updated the board on the new in school COVID quarantine guidelines. He explained that if a student is a close contact with a positive case at school, families can now choose to quarantine that student at home or in school. Students deciding to stay in school will wear a mask for 10 days or take a test on the fifth day and with a negative test can remove their mask.

The students deciding to say home for quarantine will follow the same procedures we have in the past with one exception. Now students can return after a negative test on the fifth day at 3 p.m.

Biederstedt reiterated the new guidelines are only for school contacts and that any student exhibiting signs of COVID during the quarantine is advised to go home and test negative before returning to school or stay home for the remainder of the quarantine.

“This change in procedures has allowed students to be in school and not at home. So far this has saved students over 30 days of instruction,” said Biederstedt.

He shared that the health department and school districts are continually examining guidelines.

Under recent direction of Dustin Ruffell, the tech department has received three grants:

• hotspot grant — a continuation grant that allows the school to pay for hotspots students/families use that do not have access to the internet at their homes.

• Chromebook grant — replenishes Chromebook supplies in the fifth and ninth grades. In those grades, our students get new Chromebooks that they keep for the next four years.

• bus wifi grant — allows purchase of 16 Wifi routers to be installed on our buses that have the longest routes prioritized, allowing students to work on homework while riding a bus to and from school or an activity.

After an executive session to discuss personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation of the tech director, Dustin Ruffell, effective Nov. 19, 2021 at the end of the work day. Ruffell has resigned in order to take a position with the Northwest Ohio Computer Association (NWOCA).

In his letter of resignation, Ruffell asked that the NWOCA work with the superintendent in order to ensure some continuity of technology coordination with Patrick Henry Schools.

“NWOCA sought him out,” emphasized Biederstedt, speaking highly of Ruffell’s character and expertise.

“They reorganized their leadership structure and created a new position that fits Dustin very well. They were very aware of his abilities.”

Speaking of the new partnership, Biederstedt iterated, “Our partnership with NWOCA will allow us to have Dustin maintain a continuity of services for us as NWOCA builds out this new position with the hope of a long term relationship.”

The school board will continue to work with Ruffell to oversee “high-level planning of technology services for the remainder of the year”.

According to the board and the superintendent, reevaluation of the arrangement will be done at the end of the school year.

In other news, the board also:

• heard from the superintendent and High School Principal Adam Wagner that the Veterans Day activities, like last year, will be held virtually. A video will be made from submissions by students and shared with the district’s social media account.

• planned Nov. 22, after the regular board meeting, for strategic planning.

• approved high school intervention teacher Hailey Nusbaum as a homebound instruction tutor.

• approved swimming as part of competition sports; a volunteer coach was also approved.

• employed Paula Latta as gymnastic assistant.

• approved employees Jackie Bower and Bethany Gable to middle school after school program.

• approved an updated volunteer list.

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