LEXINGTON -- Community members without a bachelor's degree will be permitted to substitute teach for Lexington Local Schools starting Sept. 23.
The Lexington board of education passed a resolution Wednesday that will allow individuals 18-or-older with a high school diploma to substitute teach if they pass a background check, obtain a substitute teaching license and are approved by the district.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio required all substitute teachers to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. In response to a statewide lack of substitute teachers, the Ohio legislature has waived that requirement through the 2023-2024 school year.
Superintendent Jeremy Secrist said Lexington has benefitted from the flexible requirements during the previous two school years. Once the state legislature dropped the bachelor's degree requirement, numerous community members stepped up to help.
“You’ve got a mother who can operate a family with four or five kids, don’t tell me she can’t run a classroom because she doesn't have a bachelor's degree," he said.
Any substitute teaching candidate who does not have a bachelor's degree is required to meet with assistant superintendent Kevin Young before obtaining a substitute teaching license through the Mid Ohio Educational Service Center.
Other area districts that have passed similar resolutions include Lucas, Madison and Ontario. Mansfield City and Plymouth Shiloh will allow substitute teachers with an associate's degree.
Board members also voted to raise the school lunch prices to $3 for elementary school students and $3.25 for junior high and high school students.
The federal provision that offered free lunch to all students was not renewed for the upcoming school year, so free or reduced meal eligibility will now be determined by income, as it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board also recognized Craig Clever, the district maintenance and custodial director, for his work over the summer.
Clever oversees a team of 13 custodians and four maintenance workers and also does maintenance work for the district. He estimated the group has moved between 135 and 150 pallets in and out of various buildings this summer as the district transitioned to the new junior high and high school building.
Clever thanked the administration and board for their support, as well as the members of his team.
"They’re a great group of guys," he said. “You ask them to do anything and they're right there to help.”
Clever began working at Lexington 47 years ago as a custodian. He was promoted to assistant maintenance director in 1997 and director in 2013.
"We appreciate Craig and his maintenance and custodial staff for the work they’ve done,” Young said during the meeting. “I know we wouldn’t be able to start school Sept. 6 without them.”
Secrist also walked the board through parking protocols for the new grades 7-12 facility.
Bus drop off and pickup will be located at the Championship Drive parking lot, by the soccer field admission gate.
Junior high and high school parent pickup and drop-off will be at the new junior high entrance off State Route 546. This is the only parent pickup and drop-off zone while the high school parking lot is under construction. It will be the pickup and drop-off zone before, during and after school for all students in grades 7 to 12.
“Please be aware the first three months of school this drop-off line could be long and possibly congested, so we highly encourage all 7-12 students to take advantage of riding the school bus while our high school parking lot is under construction,” Secrist wrote in a community letter on the district’s website.
High school drivers will park in the old student lot across from Clever Lane. Students will walk around the fieldhouse and enter the new building on the side closest to the football field. Staff members will be monitoring this route and the entrance will be marked.
Visitor parking for the junior high and high school building and the Board of Education office will be off Championship Drive on the right side of the lot, opposite of the soccer gate, in the yellow visitor parking spaces.
The board also:
Approved multiple long-term substitutes, science camp workers, salary adjustments, resignations, employments and coaching contracts.
Approved a revised calendar, which will align the junior high and high school on the same nine-week quarter schedule as the elementary schools
Approved Scott Hamilton and Tricia Brown as Athletic Department assistants for the 2022–23 school year, $15 per hour.
Approved the district building & transportation handbooks for the 2022-23 school year.
Approved the Lexington substitute lists provided by the Mid Ohio Educational Service Center.