Roger Sanders accepted a certificate on APT Manufacturing's behalf for being the recipient of the OSBA Business Honor Roll during Thursday's Vantage Board of Education meeting. Pictured (from left) are Vantage high school director Tony Unverferth, Sanders, and Vantage superintendent Rick Turner. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Roger Sanders accepted a certificate on APT Manufacturing's behalf for being the recipient of the OSBA Business Honor Roll during Thursday's Vantage Board of Education meeting. Pictured (from left) are Vantage high school director Tony Unverferth, Sanders, and Vantage superintendent Rick Turner. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – During Thursday evening's Vantage Board of Education meeting high school director Tony Unverferth spoke about a new Participation Points program that the school will be starting in during the 2018-19 school year that will encourage attendance.

"This has been in the works since before I became director," said Unverferth. "With House Bill 410, the attendance bill, and with the Positive Behavior Intervention system that all schools are required to have by 2019, this came to the forefront over the last year or so."

The program was piloted during the 2017-18 school year to see what points would work the best, Unverferth said. Unverferth explained that all students will start with 75 points, and as they have unexcused absences, they will have four points deducted from their total. Points will also be deducted for detentions and tardies.

Students who keep all their points each quarter will be rewarded. If a student loses 20 points, Vantage will contact the parent. If they lose 30 points, Vantage will contact the parent and the home school. Students who lose 20 points will be able to earn points back. Unverferth explained that a student could earn points back by going a certain amount of days in a row without having an unexcused absence.

"We would have had 120 out of 400 students that had zero points [deducted] this school year," said Unverferth. "The students weren't told about this; they didn't have any idea that we were keeping track of these points. So, I would imagine that number is only going to go up."

"It's not meant to be punitive in any way," continued Unverferth. "It's meant to keep more students here at Vantage and give the home schools, as well as us, a better chance to keep them here and help our attendance numbers continue to improve."

The attendance rate for the 2017-18 year was 95 percent.

During her report, OTC Director Kit Tyler spoke about how the LPN program is filled, with 20 people participating. Two of the students are high school students from health programs. She also noted that there have been at least two high school students who have received their CDL through Vantage's new CDL program.

"We're beginning to see there are some emerging pathways that we can provide through Adult Ed. for our high school students," said Tyler. "A strong Adult Ed. program is going to provide a lot of opportunities for our high school students. Not all of them want to leave the area; this is a very rural area where people have strong roots. If we continue to provide opportunities to make them more employable in the area, it's going to serve our community, and it's going to serve our students."

Also during the meeting, the Board recognized APT Manufacturing and Van Wert Health and presented them with certificates for being recipients of the OSBA Business Honor Roll. Accepting the award for APT Manufacturing was Roger Sanders. Accepting the award for Van Wert Health was Denise Foley.

The Board approved a list of contracts as well as motioned to approve following items:

- Approve the Career Education Opportunity (CEO) Expansion agreement between Van Wert City Schools and Van Wert County School Districts.

- Approve the expansion of the current CRA area to include 160-acre property on Van Wert Decatur Road, Van Wert, Ohio, formerly the Dickinson Family Farm, for a new additional housing development.

- Resolution to waive the 45-day notice and approve the City of Van Wert Commercial Community Reinvestment Area Agreement between Vantage Career Center and Fox Road Investments, LLC for building renovations and construction at an investment of $150,000, 90 percent abated.

- Resolution to waive the 45-day notice and approve the City of Van Wert Commercial Community Reinvestment Area Agreement between Vantage Career Center and MacWhite, LLC for building renovations and construction at an investment of $498,000, 95 percent abated.

- Resolution to waive the 45-day notice and approve the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) agreement for payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) from Rodney Niece Farms, LLC, Palmer Township, for the construction of a hog barn, at an investment of $660,000.00, 100 percent abatement for 15-years, with Vantage receiving a 25 percent payback of approximately $162.55 annually.

With no further business, the Board went into executive session for the purpose of discussing employment of an employee or official of the School District and then adjourned.

The next regular Board meeting will be held June 28, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the District Conference Room.