LIBERTY CENTER — The Liberty Center Local Schools Board of Education Monday approved three graduation seals as determined by the district.

Through House Bill 166, the Class of 2023 is required to meet new graduation standards, and the approval establishes locally-set initiatives students can meet.

Middle School Principal Nick Mariano II said he is currently working with classes of students that make up the Class of 2023 and beyond. He said part of the standards, labeled “readiness,” feature a series of state-created seals, but the district is also required to create three of its own to tailor the seals to what the district offers locally.

The local seals include the fine arts seal, community work or service seal and the student engagement seal.

The fine arts seal is obtained by students by completing three units in one area of fine arts — band, choir or visual arts — or two units in two areas with a 2.5 GPA in the total units.

The community work or service seal is obtained through 120 hours of qualifying service documented by a supervisor, along with writing a description of the duties and creating a time line of the experience.

The student engagement seal is obtained through earning 10 “points” of qualifying activities. One season of sports at the high school is one point, one year of participation in a school club is one point, school activities (drama, National Honor Society, etc.) earn one point per 20 hours documented and participation in a community or church group (including 4-H) also earn one point per 20 hours documented. A journal signed by a supervisor must be kept for all activities.

The state’s seals include the OhioMeansJobs seal, industry-recognized credential seal, college-ready seal, military enlistment seal, citizenship seal, science seal, honors diploma seal, seal of biliteracy and technology seal. As part of the graduation standards, students must meet at least two of the overall readiness seals, along with reaching a minimum of 20 credits in specified subjects and earning a passing score on Ohio’s math and English testing (or meeting other state-approved “competency” guidelines).

Superintendent Richie Peters said getting the local seals into place at this time allows the district the opportunity to pass the information along to parents, students and counselors in preparation for their implementation.

In other administrative reports, Liberty Center Elementary School Principal Allison Postl said more than 400 families attended the recent breakfast recognizing two years in the new K-12 facilities.

Postl also reported National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) testing will take place Jan. 21. The data assessment is only given to pre-selected 9-year-old students in either math or reading. Winter benchmarking will also start this week in the elementary.

Postl said the Tiger Etiquette for students in January is on acknowledging others, and the elementary is looking to have a literacy showcase in the spring to show the reading and writing taking place through the new curriculum.

Mariano reported the middle school received its results from iReady diagnostic testing in December, with the district being “a little ahead” of making a year’s worth of growth. Meetings are planned with staff to discuss the progress and find ways to support teachers through the remainder of the school year.

Mariano also reported the annual fifth-grade D.A.R.E. graduation was recently held, along with a visit by a K-9 unit. The school’s annual spelling bee will be held Jan. 31, with LC Mayor Jay Branson as the emcee.

The board also:

•Approved the 2020 mileage rate and fiscal year 2020 alternative tax budget packet.

•Accepted a donation of $200 from Sauder Woodworking Inc. toward “The Amazing Shake” program, and LC Athletic Boosters donations of $644 for state cross country hotel rooms, $3,000 for the Hudl Focus program (for girls and boys basketball film) and $750 for bowling bags.

•Approved membership in the Ohio School Boards Association at a cost of $4,927 for calendar year 2020. The board also approved participation in the OSBA legal assistance fund consultant service at a cost of $250 for 2020.

•Approved an overnight trip for the varsity wrestling team and coaches to attend the Sally George Wrestling Invite in Marion Jan. 24-25.

•Approved Rodney Metzger as a bowling volunteer for the 2019-20 school year.

•Offered Brian Dotson a one-year non-certified supplemental contract as assistant wrestling coach.

•Approved Kim Dukes as a lunchroom substitute for the 2019-20 school year.

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